An upside to urbanization

Earth’s urban lights in 2001

Photo: Earth’s city lights in 2001 (NASA/Getty Images)

On January 12, 2007, there was a brief report on American Public Media’s radio show “Marketplace” suggesting that problems associated with rapid urbanization could be an opportunity in disguise.  Worldwatch Institute President Christopher Flavin was quoted as saying that cities hold the keys to attacking both poverty and climate change.  “Increasingly, cities are the source of many of the world’s problems — whether those be social problems or environmental problems — but are also the areas where problems can be solved and increasingly are being solved. ”  In other words, since the problems are concentrated in urban areas, a targeted solution is possible.   Worldwatch recently published a report, “State of the World 2007:  Our Urban Future” (available for $18.95 at


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