Monday, February 23, 2009

Journey Into the Urban Jungle

Last year the UN released a report that by the end of 2008 more than half of the world's population would live in cities.  For the first time in history most humans will be urban dwellers.  The UN projects that by 2050 more than 70% of the population will live in urban areas even though cities cover just 3% of the Earth's land surface.  Urban growth is being driven by the developing world where Asian and African cities are growing by a million people a week.

Right now I am struck by the idea of the urban jungle and how it is actually denser and more impenentrable than the real jungle.  The truly remote places of the next century won't be in the rural wilderness but in the urban underbelly.

Here is a link to a National Geographic article about the UN's report.

About the photo:  I took this photo in the spring of 2005 in the back alleys of Islamic Cairo near Khan al Khalili.  Click on the photo to enlarge and you can really see a lot of things going on in this street scene.  This photo is especially timely as last night a bomb went off in Cairo not too far away from where this photo was taken.

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