Arrival City: How the Largest Migration in History Is Reshaping Our World
A powerfully argued work that combines reporting, sociology, economics, and urban studies to show how the migration of workers from villages to urban centers has become one of the most significant forces in the world today.
For the first time in history, there are now more people in the world living in cities than in rural areas, and many of them are clustering on the urban outskirts. Arrival City argues that this incredible movement of peoples, unfolding before our eyes, will be one of the most important trends in the twenty-first century. From Istanbul to Los Angeles, from Warsaw to Shenzhen, China, Doug Saunders shows how the success or failure of the immense communities forming on the fringes of traditional cities is having a profound effect on local, national, and international development.
Glebe, “Housing and Segregation of Turks in Germany,” in Turks in European Cities: Housing and Urban Segregation, eds. Özüekren and van Kempen, 124. 21 Kogan, “Labour Market Careers of Immigrants in Germany and the United Kingdom,” 440. 22 An excellent analysis of these problems is found in Ruth Mandel, Cosmopolitan Anxieties: Turkish Challenges to Citizenship and Belonging in Germany (Durham: Duke University Press, 2008), 141–54. 23 Glebe, “Housing and Segregation of Turks in Germany,” 125.
failures, the human fallout of industrial society. But this is to disregard what the residents believe is the temporary nature of the filth and disorder, the investments they are making and the dynamics of a community that envisions itself becoming crisp, paved, lighted, legal, sanitary, and fully linked to the city as soon as possible. The 20,000 people in this corner of Dhaka, and most of the five million slum dwellers who make up 40 percent of the city’s population, have fought and saved for
incandescent bulbs. Ten hours a day, and often on weekends, they sew garments at work tables in an adjoining concrete room, its walls coated in a shag of lint, equally barren except for a color TV showing a constant stream of Chinese soap operas. The factory, with 30 sewing tables, is owned by a man who moved from a distant village to Liu Gong Li in 1996, initially as a garment worker himself, and who pays his workers by the piece; they earn between $200 and $400 a month. The dormitory room is
shantytown housing, of the sort that dominates Liu Gong Li, because none exists in the planned city of Shenzhen. And they had no chance of seeing their beloved daughter, except once a year during Chinese New Year. There was, in short, no future. They moved north, in a painful bargain: they would have a family nearby, and maybe a future for their daughter and their parents in the city, in exchange for working most of the rest of their lives in a pit of lonely darkness. Like so many people here,
the age of 30—work outside of Les Pyramides and its surrounding city of Evry, commuting long distances, often to industrial suburbs on the opposite side of Paris, on what the city’s mayor calls “embarrassingly substandard” public transit. On this particular Tuesday evening, Aziz locked his shop and walked across the darkened square, offering nods of greeting to the uneasy clusters of young men, most of them kids of his customers, who hung out here until their parents got home each night. He