A Renewed Space: Rural Communities and the Countryside

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21st Century political wisdom has been invested in a city-based future for most of the world. City-life is seen as the future of the world. Paul Collier in 2010 espoused that ‘as populations grow and the Southern climate deteriorates due to global warming, the South will necessarily urbanize. The future of populations will live not on quaint little farms but in the slums of coastal megacities.’[i] In 2018 55% of the world’s population was living in an urban area, by 2030 it is expected to reach 60%, and 70% by 2050.[ii]  Urbanisation has been a continuing trend for the world, with the urbanised global north still expected to see increases. According to a 2014 report commissioned by the UK government, urbanisation in the next several decades will be slower in the ‘developed world’ with them gaining only seven of the 41 predicted global megacities (those with a population 10million+) in 2030.[iii] This, though, will be in the face of the rapidly growing urban populations of Africa and Asia, with 73% of the world’s urban population being in these two continents by 2050.[iv] Chris Smaje has nevertheless highlighted that this urbanisation ‘isn’t some force of nature. It has occurred as a result of active policies that often haven’t greatly benefitted many of the people they’ve affected.’[v]

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