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Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1407; doi:10.3390/su9081407

The Rapid Urban Growth Triad: A New Conceptual Framework for Examining the Urban Transition in Developing Countries

Urban and Regional Studies, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Drottning Kristinas Väg 30, 10044 Stockholm, Sweden
Received: 30 June 2017 / Revised: 28 July 2017 / Accepted: 3 August 2017 / Published: 9 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Urban and Rural Development)
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Abstract

Although the urban transition is a universal event that unfolds in all countries, the determinants, patterns, and outcomes do not necessarily follow a uniform process. With the urban transition being basically completed in developed countries around the turn of the 21st century, the growth of cities today is almost entirely confined to developing countries. Still, much of our conceptual understanding of this process is derived from earlier accounts, with definitions rooted in a historical context. This has resulted in common misconceptions such as a tendency to view the growth of cities primarily as an outcome of rural to urban migration, neglecting the growing contributions of urban natural population increase and reclassification of rural areas. A tendency to treat the components of urban growth in isolation has created a rift within the urban studies discourse, preventing any real theorization of their combined impacts and the interplay among them. Applying a systems thinking approach, this paper introduces a multidisciplinary framework for conceptualizing rapid urban growth in developing countries. The framework offers explanatory power to previously neglected components of urban growth and serves as a diagnostic for examining the urban transition—ultimately revealing new policy levers for managing it in a sustainable way. View Full-Text
Keywords: rapid urban growth; developing countries; components of urban growth; internal migration; urban natural population increase; reclassification rapid urban growth; developing countries; components of urban growth; internal migration; urban natural population increase; reclassification
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Farrell, K. The Rapid Urban Growth Triad: A New Conceptual Framework for Examining the Urban Transition in Developing Countries. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1407.

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