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LABCITIES
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LABCITIES
By Joan Torres

Soon, one third of humanity will live in a slum. Our cities are at breaking point. Over 90% of urbanisation this century will be due to the growth of slums. By the end of this century, the top megacities will no longer be London and Tokyo; they will almost all be in Asia and Africa, and they will be far bigger than the metropolises of today. Lagos is projected to have a population of 88 million. Dhaka: 76 million. Kinshasa: 63 million. The world is fundamentally restructuring itself.

What if there were a new type of city that is a better fit for this century? One that is more lightweight, light touch and adaptive than we’ve seen before. What if the future of our cities could come from the rethinking of slums?

Sustainable. Walkable. Livable. These terms are often used to paint visions of our preferred urban future. Yet the formal notion of a city is quite calcified; it’s heavy and clunky and inflexible. Cities today lack the flexibility to absorb emerging radical possibilities. Wh...

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