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Extra resources for Sustainable Cities (Regional Development and Public Policy Series)

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Whereas the richer countries can frame their concerns over maintaining the value of the environment in the long term, and over the value of a good environment for businesses URBAN DEVELOPMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT/ 21 and high quality of life for consumers, in the poorer countries the destruction of the environment creates much needed short-term economic growth (Redclift 1992). Here the tension between meeting basic survival needs and improving lifestyles is keen, and it is for this reason that social justice—or intra-generational equity—considerations are always at the forefront in the sustainability debate.

As 90% of the anticipated growth will occur in developing countries, and as these countries seek to improve the standards of living of their populations, it may well be these which will place greatest additional demands on global resources, especially agricultural resources. The current low living standards of developing countries-as well as limited internal capacity to support growing populations—may lead them to reject calls on them by international bodies to reduce their resource usage on environmental grounds.

3). The growth of very large cities is regarded as integrally related to the growing internationalisation of capital in the post-war years, involving the emergence of growing global trade in production and services, articulated around a continually changing global division of labour, the search for new markets and the continuing concentration and centralisation of capital (King 1990b). We have here an interesting and closely interconnected parallel to arguments that the growth of large cities was fuelled initially by rising rural agricultural productivity and later by the emergence of global agricultural hinterlands.

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