This volume has been extensively revised and updated for the Habitat II Conference. The foreword sets out the main focus of the conference: how can we provide adequate shelter and livelihoods for the world's every-growing numbers of urban citizens; and how can we achieve sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world? In the last 100 years, global urban populations have expanded from 15 to 50 per cent. Urban growth patterns are changing the face of the Earth and the condition of humanity. This book addresses these key issues, analyzing the problems of expanding city populations and exploring the possibility of healing cities, making them self-sustaining, responsible for themselves and their immediate surroundings. In Part One, the author examines the ecology of settlements, city dynamics and the global shift from settlement to city. Part Two explains how a sick city makes for a sick world, and how expanding cities become parasites on their surroundings. Part Three takes a realistic look at people and cities, and how they work together, and identifies ways of healing cities.
Finally, the conclusion explains just how close Earth is to her carrying capacity, and why there is a need to act now to prevent a system overload. Herbert Girardet is the co-author of "Blueprint For a Green Planet" and has produced TV documentaries on tropical forests, including "Jungle Pharmacy", "The Altamira Gathering", and "Halting the Fires". He is also the author of a report called "Getting London Into Shape for the Year 2000".
The author's documentary, "Metropolis", was shown on Channel 4 Television in 1994.