Urban planning policies suggested by UN Habitat implicitly assume that a growing and expansive urban economy would primarily benefit the rich and harm the poor. Their focus on containing “urban sprawl” and defending “the right to the city” can, however, be counterproductive if adopted in cities in less developed countries (LDCs) that grow fast due to internal migration. Attempts to limit urban growth may merely lead to more informal settlements, less affordable housing, and increasing costs of doing business. In other words, it may benefit the rich and harm the poor.
The article of Philipp Aerni Coping with Migration-Induced Urban Growth: Addressing the Blind Spot of UN Habitat (PDF, 390 KB) is published in August in the Journal 'Sustainability'.