Arrival City

Doug Saunders

Arrival City

The 21st century is going to be remembered for the great, and final, shift of human populations out of rural, agricultural life into cities. The movement engages an unprecedented number of people, perhaps a third of the world's population, and will affect almost everyone in tangible ways. The last human movement of this size and scope, and the changes it will bring to family life, from large agrarian families to small urban ones, will put an end to the major theme of human history: continuous population growth.

Arrival City offers a detailed tour of the key places of the "final migration" and explores the possibilities and pitfalls inherent in the developing new world order. From villages in China, India, Bangladesh and Poland to the international cities of the world, Doug Saunders portrays a diverse group of people as they struggle to make the transition, and in telling the story of their journeys - and the history of their often multi-generational families enmeshed in the struggle of transition - gives an often surprising sense of what factors aid in the creation of a stable, productive community. (From the publisher)


Excerpt:

What will be remembered about the twenty-first century, more than anything else except perhaps the effects of a changing climate, is the great, and final, shift of human populations out of rural, agricultural life and into cities. We will end this century as a wholly urban species. This movement engages an unprecedented number of people - two or three billion humans, perhaps a third of the world's population - and will affect almost everyone in tangible ways. It will be the last human movement of this size and scope; in fact, the changes it makes to family life, from large agrarian families to small urban ones, will put an end to the major theme of human history, continuous population growth.


From Arrival City by Doug Saunders ©2011. Published by Vintage Canada.