Urbanization, Health and Human Security in Emerging Markets
The economies of scale, operation, specialization and integration that drove the growth of cities in Europe and North America in the 19th and 20th centuries have also driven urban growth in EMCs. But because the process has been compressed, accelerated and magnified by more productive technologies, massive internal migration and higher net reproduction rates, many EMC cities have grown at breathless speeds to unprecedented sizes and have written new chapters in the world's urban history.
Urbanization in EMCs is distinguished by its speed, scale and the facts that:
Most large EMCs (e.g. Brazil, China, India, Russia), like large OECD countries (e.g. USA, Canada, Australia) have relatively 'balanced' urban systems featuring dynamic second and third tier cities, whereas, with some exceptions (e.g. Colombia) most smaller EMCs, like smaller OECD countries (e.g. Britain, France), have urban systems dominated by one city.
Most EMC cities are more socially and spatially segmented than OECD cities with sharper distinctions between high and low income neighbourhoods and districts.
Most large EMC cities are surrounded by massive suburban settlements, often populated by migrants and characterized by high unemployment, low incomes, poor housing, inadequate infrastructure and urban services, unhealthy environments and social deprivation and isolation.