Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
The original reasons for the explosive rise of cities had to do with the need for labor to be need the factories. These tended to be near sources of water, both for transport and for power.

People went where the work was.

We now live in an environment where many people do jobs that require little in the way of expensive machinery. Indeed people frequently comment on how they can telecommute when the situation demands (say bad weather), so it is strange that the rural areas aren't seeing some growth.

Here in the US people are migrating to newly built exurbs mainly in the South and West while they are leaving towns in the midwest and northeast. The rationals given for this migration don't ring true. Many say things about the weather, but why is being locked inside with the air conditioning for four months a year better than being stuck inside during a snow storm?

I think it reflects a desire to start with a clean slate. There has always been a trend in the US to be pioneers and escape the past. Mechanized agriculture doesn't require many people. The situation for third world countries with subsistence agriculture is different. Here globalization and the shift to a money-based economy (needed to buy the accoutrements of modern civilization) are forcing peasants off the land.

The effect can be seen in the collapse of the Mexican rural farming sector as the country has been opened up to imports of corn from the US. This has caused a movement to the cities in Mexico as well as the surge in immigrants to the US. Everything is connected.

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape

by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sat Sep 29th, 2007 at 02:16:46 PM EST
In the past, I think the flight from the northeast may have been started by capital flight.  Labor and big-government liberalism was strongest in the northeast and upper midwest, so companies fled those areas for the labor-hostile, ultra-conservative south.  As jobs moved, so did everything else.

Regulatory competition between states is a major issue in the US, something that causes everyone headaches but which can't be solved given the nature of federalism.

by Zwackus on Sat Sep 29th, 2007 at 09:07:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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