Urbanization fuelling the informal sector

By | April 12, 2015

The Philippines (Photo Credit: Niti Bhan)

Most of the urban centers in these fast growing meta-cities have one very visible trait in common.

Each is ringed by dense, ever-expanding squatter communities where large portions of the city’s population—and economy—reside. Squatter communities and shantytowns are now home to 800 million people and are projected to grow by 16,000 people every day for the foreseeable future. In the cities of the future, these jury-rigged communities will become normal urban neighborhoods.

And places like Ladipo, which make up the “informal” economy, will create the jobs of the future.

Already, half the workers of the world—1.8 billion people—are working off the books, in unauthorized street markets and other businesses that are not registered, not licensed, and not counted in official employment statistics.

The number of people in these firms will grow to two-thirds of the global workforce by 2020, according to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. This new urban world will be dominated by massive do-it-yourself street markets and self-built neighborhoods. ~ Robert Neuwirth, writing on the emergence of meta cities

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