Cities and Development (Paperback) book cover

Cities and Development

By Jo Beall, Sean Fox

© 2009 – Routledge

268 pages | 32 B/W Illus.

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Paperback: 9780415390996
pub: 2009-06-19
Hardback: 9780415390989
pub: 2009-06-23
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pub: 2009-09-10
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By 2030 more than sixty percent of the world's population will live in urban areas, with most of the world’s population growth over the next twenty-five years being absorbed by cities and towns in low and middle income countries. What are the consequences of this shift? Demographic pressure already strains the capacity of local and national governments to manage urban change. Today, nearly one billion people live in slums, and in the absence of significant intervention that number is set to double in the next two decades. Will our future be dominated by mega-cities of poverty and despair, or can urbanization be harnessed to advance human and economic development?

Cities and Development provides a critical exploration of the dynamic relationship between urbanism and development. Highlighting both the challenges and opportunities associated with rapid urban change, the book surveys:

  • the historical relationship between urbanization and development
  • the role cities play in fostering economic growth in a globalizing world
  • the unique characteristics of urban poverty and the poor record of interventions designed to tackle it
  • the complexities of managing urban environments; issues of urban crime, violence, war and terrorism in contemporary cities
  • the importance of urban planning, governance and politics in shaping city futures.

This book brings into conversation debates from urban and development studies and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of current policy and planning responses to the contemporary urban challenge. It includes research orientated supplements in the form of summaries, boxed case studies, development questions and further reading. The book is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students interested in urban, international and development studies, as well as policy-makers and planners concerned with equitable and sustainable urban development.


"Beall and Fox’s text provides a comprehensive, concise introduction to the interweaving of urbanism and development in a rapidly urbanizing world. Written in clear, unfussy prose, with text boxes bringing exemplary stories under the microscope, it largely succeeds in presenting a nuanced view of this complex and perplexing topic. Study questions at the end of each chapter will help teachers to guide class discussions." John Friedmann, Professor Emeritus, UCLA; Honorary Professor, University of British Columbia, USA

"Most books about developing cities tend to be written from the standpoint of either academic disciplinary theorising or from practitioner concerns with a problem, such as urban upgrading. The strength of this book lies in its focus on the role of cities in development from a multidisciplinary perspective which will appeal to students." Stella Lowder, University of Glasgow, UK

"Cities and Development is an informative, very useful book designed to be used for college and university classes in urban studies or economic development…The level of the content is both very solid and suitable for the intended audience…Summing Up: Recommended." -- Choice, May 2010

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Development in the First Urban Century 2. Urbanisation and Development in Historical Perspective 3. Urbanism and Economic Development 4. Urban Poverty and Vulnerability 5. Managing the Urban Environment 6. Human Security in Cities: Crime, Violence, War and Terrorism 7. Shaping City Futures: Urban Planning, Governance and Politics

About the Authors

Jo Beall is Professor of Development Studies at the London School of Economics. A political sociologist, she specialises in urban development policy, local governance and cities in situations of conflict and her books include Uniting a Divided City: Governance and Social Exclusion in Johannesburg, A City for All, and Funding Local Governance

Sean Fox is a researcher and Teaching Fellow in the Development Studies Institute at the London School of Economics. He has worked as a consultant on urban poverty and development issues with Oxfam, Care International, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

About the Series

Routledge Perspectives on Development

Routledge Perspectives on Development provides an invaluable, up to date and refreshing approach to key development issues for academics and students working in the field of development, in disciplines such as anthropology, economics, geography, international relations, politics and sociology.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / Urban