Islam K. S.
CHALLENGES OF URBAN PLANNING AT THE FACE OF COUNTER-URBANIZATION
T h e o r e t i c a l a n d E m p i r i c a l R e s e a r c h e s i n U r b a n M a n a g e m e n t N u m b e r 2 ( 1 1 ) / M a y 2 0 0 9
very close to an urban environment. However, the end of the urban transition does not necessarilysignal the end of urban evolution (Chang-Hee, Richardson, and Bae, 2004). Evolutionary processesinclude patterns of sub-urbanization, ex-urbanization, peri-urbanization (the shift of urban populationsfrom more dense to less dense regions), multi-nucleation (the clustering of population around severalcenters, rather than just one, within the same region) and even counter-urbanization (a return of somepeople back to more urban places) (Weeks, Larson, and Fugate, 2005). The decline of once urbanpowerhouses such as Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland, and Philadelphia is an outstanding feature of theevolution of American cities in the latter half of the 20th century. In addition, the American story is notunique, as the shift of manufacturing employment away from urban areas also was foreboding for thedecline of European cities such as Glasgow, Liverpool, Rotterdam, and Turin.Globalization, exclusion, multiculturalism and ethnicity, governance, ecology, science and technology,are driving social transformations at work in cities (in various forms and degrees of intensity), presentinga series of continuing challenges to people and to decision-makers (Sachs-Jeantet, 1995). In severalcountries, the discussion about the new urban form in which we live started in the early eighties from theconcept of
with loose talk about the “death of cities” and even on what has been called“neo-ruralization” (l). The idea that the city is dying is not new and it has surfaced periodically ever sincethe urban form made its appearance. However speculation on the social effects of the explosivediffusion of information technology, gave empirical body to the most recent version of this recurrentidea. In fact, the city, and even the large city, is far from disappearing. Trends observed so far, in urbansystems in most of the advanced economies (2), indicate that cities are not declining but are undergoinga profound transformation, the full consequences of which are still to be completely fathomed(Martinotti, 1996; Sachs-Jeantet, 1995).
3. Dimensions of Counter-Urbanization
The severity of the problem remains not only at the global level but also at the local level. Counter-urbanization from the population’s viewpoint can occur in two ways- firstly, people would prefer to leavecities because of congestion, high cost of living etc. and secondly, urban population would decreasenaturally.Until now, the objective of decentralizing services and facilities in are not yet achieved all over the world,and these are concentrated at the urban areas; people will keep continuing to come to the urban areas.However, this is not always true. For example, in Sweden Counter-urban migration from the large citiesto the urban periphery is the major issue. The reason behind this counter urbanization remains in the