Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Jenny Peebles's blog

Asia’s fastest growing cities… and why these are mostly small cities

When urban specialist David Satterthwaite was handed a list of Asia’s fastest growing cities he didn’t recognise any of them, while the list of those with the largest annual increases in population was very familiar. Why was that?

This blog looks behind the lists featured in the tables below and seeks reasons for the unexpected dominance of China – which has five of Asia’s most rapidly growing cities 2000-2020, including three in the top ten.

Data tales – part three: the technological prowess of the urban poor

Is the valuable technology expertise of the urban poor being overlooked? Guest blogger Antarin Chakrabarty calls for greater awareness using surprising (to some) examples from his work during an ambitious, state-wide slum upgrading programme.

These data tales again draw on real life examples from my work with Jaga Mission in Odisha (India). They show how technology – in its truest sense – is often misunderstood but is fundamental to the local knowledge and practical skills used in everyday life by the urban poor.

Data tales – part two: the challenge of technology

Guest blogger Antarin Chakrabarty continues his tales of data discoveries made in the course of his work in the Indian state of Odisha during its ambitious slum upgrading programme.

My previous blog looked at the generation, ownership and use of GIS (geographic information system) data underpinning the slum upgrading programme. Claims that no such data existed were not true for some cities – the problem was that it had never been used; indeed senior officials were often unaware of its existence.

Data tales – part one (or Ibn Battuta looks for data)

Guest blogger Antarin Chakrabarty reflects on how valuable data for slum upgrading programmes can be forgotten, rediscovered and then used to good effect.

When Antarin reviewed the data available on slums, he was often told – including by senior officials – that no such GIS (geographic information system) data existed, writes IIED senior associate David Satterthwaite. But he discovered that a surprising amount of relevant GIS data had indeed been collected but not used.


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