Gaia Vince – Slums and The Future of Cities – January 14,  2013 – by Gaia Vince

Such transformations are only possible when cities have strong independent governance with authority and finances to act. Urban planning and transport decisions are in many cases still managed at a national level. Many cities around the world often have little or no ability to tax citizens. It means that city councils and leaders have to beg national politicians for upgrades to sewerage, roads or changes to areas that once might have affected a few thousand people, but now affect millions.

Improvements are being made – some 230 million people have moved out of slum housing since 2000, for example. But whether the city of the Anthropocene will be environmentally sustainable depends on how places like Khulna evolve.

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About the author

Gaia Vince is a science writer and broadcaster who is particularly interested in how humans are transforming planet Earth and the impacts our changes are having on societies and on other species. She has visited people and places around the world in a quest to understand how we are adapting to environmental change. You can follow her adventures at and on Twitter at @WanderingGaia.