So there’s a zillion things I would have liked to blog about in these past dissertation-filled months. Localism, National Trust vs Government, National Planning Framework etc. But I’m demob happy having just handed in three months of intensive work, and the item on top of my in-tray is….. Latin American megacities being a drag on economic growth.
Inspired by this article in The Economist, I was intrigued to see that despite the eulogies of Andrew Marr, Edward Glaeser etc (both of whom include Latin American cities in their analysis), the mega-city may not be the panacea for sustainable and innovative living after all.
The Economist story is focussed on Latin America, but probably familiar to the good people of many a developing country metropolis: Lagos, New Delhi etc. Basically infrastructure, and particularly transport infrastructure, has failed to keep up with population growth and the daily struggle to keep up is grinding the population (and economic growth) down.
However, the article is still upbeat about the potential of cities (source of productivity gains). If only the planners did a better job….
After a recent trip to Rio, where the journey to the conference centre could take between 30 minutes and 4 hours, I have to agree.