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Why Location Matters This chapter explores the ways in which urban environments can influence demo- graphic behavior. Although we refer to empirical findings, our main purpose is to provide a map of concepts, with emphasis on the features that give the urban socioeconomic landscape its distinctive character. The discussion begins at the micro level, examining how neighborhoods might affect individual and family de- mographic decisions. It then moves to successively higher levels of aggregation, surveying the linkages that cross neighborhoods, taking in the broader urban econ- omy, exploring connections among cities, and finally examining the structures of government that are overlaid upon this varied terrain. The themes developed here have international extensions, but this chapter remains within national boundaries. In closing, the concepts that have entered the discussion are reviewed, and a few of the major features that distinguish urban from rural landscapes are identified. Although the discussion in this chapter traverses a great range of contexts, it is guided by a mere handful of concepts: diversity, proximity, externality, network, and centrality. As they are assembled in different configurations, these concepts present a series of urban frameworks through which demographic behavior can be viewed. Urban frames do not always offer novel views of demographic phenom- ena, but they often provide a fresh perspective. At the center of our argument is a proposition so unexceptionable as to be banal: individuals and families demographic decision makers are located or embedded in social contexts that determine what information is available to them and influence the decisions based upon that information. Health, fertility, and human capital investment decisions are influenced by multiple social contexts; so, too, are decisions about job search, migration, and labor force participation. The panel regards these demographic decisions as being inherently multilevel in nature, and in considering the individual-to-group links, emphasizes the roles of urban social interaction, feedback, and diffusion. 29
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30 CITIES TRANSFORMED Had demographers but taken their cue from the Taichung experiment, we might now be in a position to summarize 30 years of intraurban multilevel re- search. That randomized intervention its elements were described by Freedman and Takeshita (1969: 109 48) began in 1963, when Taichung was a smallish Taiwanese city of some 325,000 inhabitants. The experimental design exploited the city's neighborhood structure, allocating 2,400 small neighborhoods, or fin, to treatment and control groups. The treatment took the form of provision of in- formation about the intrauterine device (IUD), which was then a relatively new method of family planning. A key question in the analysis was whether such fam- ily planning information "spilled across" the boundaries of the treatment lin to benefit women in adjacent control lin. Remarkably strong evidence of such informational spillovers emerged, and women's social networks were identified as the main mechanism by which news of the IUD was conveyed from the treatment women to those who had not heard of this method firsthand. A number of women outside Taichung proper were found to have learned of the IUD through their social network ties to city residents. These network contacts evidently had the effect of amplifying the program ef- forts undertaken in the treatment fin, acting as "social multipliers" through which information could be diffused across space and socioeconomic strata. The Taichung case introduces several themes that figure prominently in this report. Informational externalities are one such theme. Neighborhood effects are another, as are the conceptual distinctions between neighborhood and social net- work. The Taichung experiment revealed urban/rural linkages that were stronger than expected, thus calling into question the sociological meaning of the city boundaries. It also showed how programs that must operate in specific neighbor- hoods small fin, in this instance can exert influence beyond those local spaces. Had research only continued along these lines, a new "Chicago School" tradi- tion of detailed spatial and social analyses of developing-country cities might well have developed, with demographic behavior as one focus. But as it happened, the urban themes of the Taichung experiment were left dangling, and the demographic literature took up entirely different lines of inquiry. By the late 1970s and 1980s, this literature had come to be dominated by individualistic models of behavior. In- terest in contextual effects did not disappear, of course, and multilevel methods of analysis continue to be refined) In developing countries, however, such methods have seldom been matched to data on urban neighborhoods and local contexts. A continuing difficulty to which we return in Chapter 5 is that in these countries, census data are rarely processed at the level of local areal units. Lacking census data, researchers interested in multilevel approaches have often found themselves iSee, among others, Rosenzweig and Schultz (1982), Casterline (1985a,b), Tsui (1985), Entwisle, Casterline, and Sayed (1989), Entwisle, Rindfuss, Guilkey, Chamratrithirong, Curran, and Sawangdee (1996), Bilsborrow and Anker (1993), Pebley, Goldman, and Rodriguez (1996), Sastry (1996), Degraff, Bilsborrow, and Guilkey (1997), Axinn, Barber, and Ghimire (1997), Axinn and Yabiku (2001), and Mroz, Bollen, Speizer, and Mancini (1999).
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 31 restricted to rural sites, where sample surveys can be used to inventory the local environment. For these reasons, the demographic literature on developing-country cities has never achieved the sophistication and keen appreciation of context that is seen in studies of Chicago (Sampson and Raudenbush, 1999), Oakland (Fischer, 1982), or Glasgow (Garner and Raudenbush, 1991~. As we take up the issue of why location matters in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, we are therefore uncomfort- ably dependent on concepts and findings developed with other settings in mind. We shall, nevertheless, borrow wholesale from these developed-country studies, hoping to bring conceptual parallels and partial analogies to light. PLACES, NETWORKS, NEIGHBORHOODS Urban neighborhoods can be viewed as spatial units that might or might not have significant effects on demographic behavior. To clarify what form neigh- borhood effects could take, we must first separate the concept of place from that of community. As used here, place is a spatial concept, whereas community is a social concept, having to do with individual and group identities, senses of belong- ing, and the presumption of mutual interests and shared values.2 A neighborhood might be defined as a type of community composed of spatially proximate indi- viduals. When the discussion focuses on social capital, social learning, and other mechanisms through which neighborhood effects can be expressed, this commu- nity aspect of neighborhoods comes to the fore. But there may well be effects at- tributable to the local social-spatial environment that are due to the very lack of place-based community ties. In settings where local residents mistrust one another and recognize few shared interests and common values, they may see elements of social and physical risk in the local environment and behave accordingly. Hence, the concept of neighborhood effects encompasses two rather different influences on individual behavior those stemming from local social ties and those due to their absence. The identification of neighborhood with community has gone in and out of fashion in urban sociological research. In the early literature, it was argued that cities had once been home to coherent, functional "natural neighborhoods," or "ur- ban villages," which were ethnic communities akin to rural villages. The forces of modernization were said to have swept away many of these local, place-based social relationships and dispersed their functions among a variety of urban institu- tions. Wirth (1938: 20-21) famously depicted the process as entailing a "substitu- tion of secondary for primary contacts, the weakening of bonds of kinship, and the declining social significance of the family, the disappearance of the neighborhood, 2 Different disciplines attach quite different meanings to the term "place." To geographers (e.g., Committee on Identifying Data Needs for Place-Based Decision Making, 2002: 55), place is an "en- semble concept" that encompasses both spatial and social elements and processes. See also Harvey (1973), Gregory and Urry (1985), Wolch and Dear (1989), and Golledge and Stimson (1997).
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32 CITIES TRANSFORMED and the undermining of the traditional basis of social solidarity." In the urban way of life or so it then appeared place-based social ties were replaced by aspatial social relationships or by no relationships at all. When empirical methods were brought to bear on such views, they were found to be simplistic and even misleading. As Chaskin (1994: 12) notes in reference to the bygone era of functional, natural urban neighborhoods, "There is no evidence that such a golden age ever existed." Sociologists began to examine broader con- ceptions of community and to conceive of individuals as participating in several sorts of communities at once, some of which are spatially grounded and others not. Social networks including both personal social networks and those formed through formal and informal associations began to be recognized as a key link- ing mechanism. Through such networks, any given person might have ties to spa- tially proximate and spatially distant partners. The idea of "communities without propinquity" (a phrase due to Webber, 1963) emerged, and sociologists began to think of individuals as being attached to each of their communities on a voluntary and contingent basis (Chaskin,1994~. Empirical studies in the United States showed that urban residence is not nec- essarily associated with weakened personal ties and attenuated senses of commu- nity; rather, it affects the types of ties and communities in which people participate. Sampson and Morenoff (2000: 374) summarize the empirical record in this way: . . . contrary to the popular belief that metropolitan life has led inex- orably to the decline of personal ties, sociological research has shown that while urbanites may be exposed to more unconventionality and diversity, they retain a set of personal support networks just like their suburban and rural counterparts (see e.g., Fischer 1982~. Fischer (1982: 264) puts it succinctly: "Urbanism does not seem to weaken com- munity, but it does seem to help sustain a plurality of communities." If the social networks of urban residents contain sufficient links to other spa- tially proximate individuals, a basis exists for thinking of geographic neighbor- hoods as communities. Some social network researchers question whether mod- ern urban networks are indeed this localized.3 As Wellman and Leighton (1979: 365-67) argue in a memorable passage: To sociologists, unlike geographers, spatial distributions are not in- herently important variables, but assume importance only as they af- fect such social structural questions as the formation of interpersonal networks and the flow of resources through such networks ... the 3Social network researchers maintain that their methods provide excellent tools for assessing the relative frequency and strength of place-based ties. For instance, Wellman and Leighton (1979: 365- 67) write: "By leaving the matter of spatial distributions initially open, [the network perspective] makes it equally as possible to discover an 'urban village' (Gans, 1962) as it is to discover a 'commu- nity without propinquity' (Webber, 1963).... With this approach we are then better able to assess the position of neighborhood ties within the context of overall structures of social relationships."
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS identification of a neighborhood as a container for communal ties assumes the a priori organizing power of space. This is spatial determinism. 33 The empirical record confirms that U.S. urban residents are connected to a variety of networks extending outside their neighborhoods. But it also shows that they continue to value their neighborhood ties, making use of them for day-to-day so- cializing and drawing upon them for social support. Evidently, some strong and intimate ties not all, to be sure remain grounded in neighborhoods.4 If neighborhoods are subsets of networks, how are their spatial boundaries to be delineated? Residents of poor U.S. communities often disagree as to the dimen- sions of the neighborhood even residents of the same household can see things differently (Furstenberg and Hughes, 1997: 34~. The perspectives of adults and youth can diverge, as can the views of younger and older children. For adoles- cents, "neighborhoods of sociability" may be at least as important as those de- fined according to residence (Burton, Price-Spratlen, and Spencer, 1997: 135~. In a study of Los Angeles, Sastry, Pebley, and Zonta (2002) find that better-educated respondents conceive of their neighborhoods in broader spatial terms than do those who are less educated. Recent immigrants to Los Angeles hold spatially con- stricted views of their neighborhoods. Hence, even where local space is acknowl- edged to matter, the perceived perimeters of that space can be expected to vary (Committee on Identifying Data Needs for Place-Based Decision Making, 2002~. This social construction of neighborhood is not a merely a subjective matter it may well have an influence on the use of public services and, through ser- vices, on demographic behavior. For instance, neighborhood residents may view a nearby health or family planning clinic as being inaccessible if it happens to be situated beyond a socially defined neighborhood boundary. Or, where privacy is deemed essential as it is often thought to be for adolescents such services may deliberately be sought outside the bounds of the neighborhood. Is there any reason to question the social significance of neighborhood in the cities of poor countries? To the extent that city residents face higher costs of transport and information exchange than their counterparts in rich countries, local social space would be expected to assume greater importance. For instance, in a study of two poor neighborhoods in Santiago, Espinoza (1999) finds that nearly three-quarters of residents' personal network partners live within walking 4 acknowledging this, Wellman and Leighton (1979: 385) nevertheless express skepticism about the relative importance of the local ties: "Neighborhood relationships persist but only as specialized components of the overall primary networks.... if we broaden our field of view to include other primary relations, then the apparent neighborhood solidarities may now be seen as clusters in the rather sparse, loosely bounded structures of urbanites' total networks." Geographers (see Committee on Identifying Data Needs for Place-Based Decision Making, 2002) argue that people can inhabit multiple "places" at the same time, some of these at local spatial scales, such as neighborhoods, and others at larger scales. The spatially distant connections found in social networks serve to define some of the larger-scale places.
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34 CITIES TRANSFORMED distance. For these poor Chileans, distance is a constraining factor because of the high cost of transport in relation to their resources. For the United States, Fischer (1982: 251) shows that the social networks of the poorly educated are more spa- tially concentrated than the networks of the better educated. Also, the social net- works of women are believed to be more localized than those of men, containing higher proportions of neighbors and kin (see Moore, 1990, and Stoloff, Glanville, and Bienenstock, 1999, as well as the extensive references cited therein). The panel is not aware of comparable social network research in the cities of low- income countries, but would expect that in these settings, too, the networks of women and the poor would tend to be disproportionately local. Because so much of family demographic behavior depends on the information and resources held by women, differences in the composition of their personal networks can have important demographic implications. Many activities undertaken by governments and nongovernmental organiza- tions (NGOs) are spatially organized and will surely remain so. These activi- ties confer additional social meaning upon local space. Public services water supply, electricity, sanitation are of course spatially grounded. However hazy the boundaries of neighborhoods in the eyes of local residents, city planners are obliged to delineate them to arrange for the delivery of such services (White, 1987: 1-6~. Politics and political access likewise have their territorial aspects. For these reasons, neighborhoods are often taken to be the natural units for program interventions, whether on the part of NGOs, governments, or interna- tional agencies. The popularity of neighborhood-based programs testifies to a widespread belief in the organizing potential of spatial proximity. Chaskin (1994: 32-44) identifies four strands of thinking that have tended to orient program inter- ventions to neighborhoods: the increasing value being placed on the concepts of local empowerment, control, and responsiveness; the need to operate pilot projects and experimental interventions on a manageable scale; the recognition that effec- tive interventions must often have a comprehensive character, which is difficult to achieve without some spatial concentration of effort; and the expectation that important target populations are themselves spatially concentrated. The grow- ing influence of these ideas is evident in many developing countries, and is being expressed in the decentralization of government functions and the Revolution of governmental authority. The twin processes of decentralization and devolution- discussed later in this chapter and in full detail in Chapter 9 are causing govern- ments to be resealed into spatial units that can approximate clusters of neighbor- hoods. All this suggests that urban neighborhoods are likely to retain a good deal of social meaning in low-income countries. Neighborhoods and Demographic Behavior: Theory This section explores the implications of neighborhood contexts for two types of demographic behavior: first, investments in "child quality," which have to do with
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 35 children's schooling and the adoption of time-intensive modes of child care on the part of parents; and second, household knowledge of health care and the nature of health outcomes. For well over a century, specialists in public health have understood that the spatial proximity and intermixing of diverse city populations must amplify the risks of contagious disease. The resources shared within neighborhoods aneigh- borhood well in the famous health puzzle solved by John Snow (1855) present opportunities for social interaction that can have profound epidemiological con- sequences. An appreciation for the neighborhood aspects of child quality invest- ments, however, is comparatively recent. Some of the theories reviewed below stress the acquisition of information about the labor market and the economic returns to children's schooling; others address the time and opportunity costs of child rearing; and still others consider the location of services and institutions. To the panel's knowledge, none of these theories has been properly tested in low-income countries, but we comment on the features that would appear most salient.5 Social learning via social networks Theories of social learning draw attention to the information that is exchanged through peer groups and personal social networks. Such individual-to-group link- ages are a prominent feature of models in many social science disciplines, includ- ing anthropology, sociology, economics, cognitive psychology, and the communi- cation sciences. The common thread is this: In situations of flux and uncertainty, when new choices and strategies are being debated, people naturally look to their reference groups and role models to understand the benefits, costs, and uncertain- ties of these new choices. In the demographic realm, social learning can prompt a rethinking of broad family strategies, or it can be narrowly focused on new tools and behavioral options.6 Social learning about education provides one example of the transformation of family strategies. If left to their own perceptual devices, adolescents and their parents would probably have only the haziest sense of the economic returns to schooling. In diverse urban settings, however, they can gain a keener appreci- ation of these returns by observing local adult role models and reference groups (Wilson, 1987; Borjas, 1995~. Professional and middle-class adults exemplify dis- tinctive life-course strategies; in so doing, they help others understand the implica- tions of educational investments and decision points. If social learning enhances 5This review closely follows the presentation of Gephart (1997: 6-7), who draws in turn from Jencks and Mayer (1990). 6A large literature in sociology, geography, and economics focuses on diffusion and social learning processes see Montgomery and Casterline (1993, 1996) and National Research Council (2001) for extensive reviews with attention to demographic implications. Although the behavioral mechanisms suggested are often plausible, this literature presents few rigorous empirical tests of their significance. We revisit this point later in the chapter.
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36 CITIES TRANSFORMED the perceived returns to schooling (it can also raise concerns about educational costs and risks), urban families can be led to make deeper investments in their children's schooling and to forego traditional strategies of high fertility. Social learning about the tools of fertility control modern contraceptives- was central to the success of the Taichung family planning experiment discussed above (Palmore and Freedman, 1969~. The learning mechanisms uncovered in that early experiment are being revisited in models of social networks and the diffusion of modern contraceptive use in sub-Saharan Africa. Montgomery and Casterline (1993, 1996) develop the theory with reference to contraceptive use, and strong confirmation is found in empirical estimates made by Behrman, Kohler, and Watkins (2001) for Kenya and Casterline, Montgomery, Agyeman, Aglobitse, and Kiros (2001) for Ghana. These findings based on longitudinal designs with repeated measures of networks show how contraceptive use (and knowledge of AIDS) can be spread within localized social networks, diffusing as if by force of example. Although these empirical studies have focused on diffusion in either rural (Behrman, Kohler, and Watkins, 2001) or rural and periurban (Casterline, Montgomery, Agyeman, Aglobitse, and Kiros, 2001) networks, there is no reason to expect the effects to be limited to these contexts. Indeed, as the Taichung exper- iment strongly suggests, the socioeconomic diversity of cities and the heterogene- ity of the information that circulates within them probably enhance the prospects for informational spillovers. But surprisingly little is known about urban/rural differences in the composition and function of social networks. Beggs, Haines, and Hurlbert (1996) find that in the United States, rural social network ties are "stronger" in the sense of involving greater intimacy, more frequent contact, and longer duration; that rural networks are more homogeneous (especially in terms of religion) and smaller than urban networks; and that they are more dominated by kin. We know of no comparisons of this sort for developing countries.7 Clustering, common resources, and contagion In describing social learning, some researchers refer to the "contagiousness" of ideas and social examples, and make use of mathematical models drawn from epi- demiology to trace out the implications (e.g., Rosero-Bixby and Casterline,1993~. If models of social contagion are still relatively new and untested, models of bio- logical contagion are by now well established. In epidemiology it is understood that, with other things being equal, the risks of disease transmission among spa- tially proximate urban populations must be higher than the risks facing dispersed rural populations. Clustering obviously affects the likelihood of person-to-person 7 Mitchell (1969) offers many clues as to the nature of urban social networks in southern Africa in the 1950s, but the studies collected here are on such a small scale that they might almost be regarded as anecdotal. More recent evidence on urban social networks in Africa can be found in Tostensen, Tvedten, and Vaa (2001).
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 37 contagion, whether due to airborne or sexually transmitted disease. Also, because concentrated urban populations share certain resources (notably water), the san- itary practices of one group can generate externalities that affect the health of another. As a result, urban populations start from a position of health disadvantage relative to rural populations. Where this disadvantage is erased or reversed, one looks for the cause in several areas: in the investments and regulation undertaken by governments to improve water supply and sanitation, in the provision of both public- and private-sector health services, and in the economic factors that supply urban residents with the means to purchase better health care in private markets (see, among others, Preston and van de Walle, 1978; Ewbank and Preston, 1990; Preston and Haines, 1991; van Poppel and van der Heijden, 1997~. As discussed below and in Chapter 7, neighborhood health externalities are not wholly a local affair they also reflect actions taken by the public and private institutions that transcend neighborhoods. Collective and institutional socialization Theories of collective socialization also highlight the linkages from individuals to groups, but these theories emphasize a form of group influence that is dis- tinct from social learning and contagion. The mechanisms of collective social- ization are powerfully described by Wilson (1987) and Coleman (1988), whose work generated a resurgence of interest in neighborhood effects in the cities of the United States. Their research focuses attention on the role of adults residing in the neighborhood, who can supplement the child-rearing efforts of parents by acting as extraparental sources of authority and social control. Directly and by exam- ple, these neighborhood adults can teach the young the boundaries of acceptable behavior. What if city neighborhoods lack such trusted adults? As will be seen in Chapter 6, parents in developing-country cities often complain of the need for extra vigilance in child rearing, describing this as one of the costs of family life that is decidedly higher in cities. This is, perhaps, the other side of the notion that "it takes a village to raise a child": in city neighborhoods where neighbors are distrusted, the burden of child rearing can fall heavily on parents' own shoul- ders. Furstenberg (1993) describes how in poor U.S. neighborhoods, apprehen- sive parents take pains to isolate their children from the surrounding population and thereby shield them from social risk. Girls in such high-risk settings may be especially closely supervised (Furstenberg and Hughes, 1997: 28~. If simi- lar views prevail in the cities of poor countries we strongly suspect that they do the costs entailed in close parental supervision could strongly discourage high fertility. Institutional socialization refers to the nonresident adults who are figures of influence in a neighborhood because they hold positions in local schools, clinics,
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38 CITIES TRANSFORMED police departments, or other institutions. In these roles, adults can affect the young both directly and indirectly. If schools in poor neighborhoods are staffed by inferior teachers, the direct effects may be seen in delayed child develop- ment and discouraged human capital investment. Indirect influence can be ex- erted when teachers or health clinicians require the young to adhere to strict standards of comportment. In such ways, nonresident adults can wield influ- ence much like that of the resident adults envisioned in collective socialization theory. Although institutional socialization theory has generally focused on micro- level outcomes for children and adolescents, it is closely linked to the allocation of societal resources to neighborhoods (White, 2001~. Political and economic processes that deliver good schools and high-quality health clinics to some neigh- borhoods while leaving others ill served can affect the young by altering the depth and form of institutional socialization. Social comparisons and subculture conflict The focus of social comparison theory is on the perception of relative deprivation and the possibility that when young people judge their own situation to be rela- tively unfavorable, the reaction may be either to redouble efforts to improve or to abandon these efforts and drop out of the competition. The theory is described by van den Eeden and Huttner (1982: 42-6) as one of comparative reference groups. The specifically urban aspect is the relative ease with which diverse reference groups can be observed in cities as a result of the spatial proximity and socioeco- nomic heterogeneity of urban residents. When frustrated by blocked opportunities, the young may respond by forming subcultures of resistance. Their individual motivations may be the product of social comparisons, as sketched just above, but the emphasis in cultural conflict theory is on how such motivations are voiced and reinforced by groups (Jencks and Mayer, 1990: 116~. Chapter 9 examines urban gangs and violence from this perspective; see Durlauf (1999) on how disaffected urban groups may constitute a "perverse" form of local social capital. The types of social comparison addressed in these theories have not been ex- plored in much demographic research. A rather different form of social com- parison, however, has attracted a modest amount of attention. We refer to the consumption possibilities exhibited in the behavior of upper-income groups and displayed in advertisements and television soap operas. In rural areas, the social chasm between high-income families and the bulk of the population may be wide enough to render the consumption habits of the rich irrelevant to most residents. In economically diverse cities, however, a greater range of social groups may find some modern consumer durables affordable, and as these items are taken up by middle-class households, they may come to be seen as potentially within the reach of the upwardly striving poor. In this form of social comparison, individuals are
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 39 influenced by the consumption patterns exhibited in their reference groups.8 As Freedman (1979) argues, aspirations for modern consumer goods can exert a pow- erful influence on fertility decisions, particularly when the costs of consumption are understood to compete with the costs of childrearing. Services and the physical environment A prominent theme in demographic research is that the services available in local neighborhoods can either complement or act as substitutes for individual and fam- ily resources.9 In the area of health, for instance, it is thought that mothers who are educated are equipped with information of direct relevance to health care, and that education also helps mothers process the information provided by the media and government, and supplies them with the social confidence needed to seek care for themselves and their children (Caldwell, 1979~. Local health services might therefore complement and enhance the positive effects of maternal education, and in this way could increase the health differentials associated with education. But it is also possible that well-functioning services could supply information to women of low education that they might not have been able to acquire by other means. If so, local services could act as substitutes for maternal education, and the presence of services in the community might then reduce the health differentials associated with education. Examining child mortality rates in Brazil, Sastry (1996) conducts an unusually thorough examination of substitution and complementarily between community measures, on the one hand, and mothers' education, on the other. He finds evi- dence of substitution between mothers' education and community sanitation and water supply in Northeast Brazil. In this region, community infrastructure appears to be more beneficial for the survival of children of less-educated mothers than for that of children of the better educated. But as Sastry notes, even for Brazil the lit- erature offers mixed results, and there is reason to think that the substitution and complementarily effects must be highly context-specific, depending on policies, prices, and levels of development. The theories outlined above are concerned with social interactions and or- dering, but the ways in which local space is physically ordered may also have demographic implications. Highways, waterways, and other physical features of neighborhoods can establish barriers, corridors, and niches that shape social inter- actions and distribute risks across space. As Sampson and Morenoff (2000: 379) observe for the United States, ... the ecological placement of bars, liquor stores, strip-mall shop- ping outlets, subway stops, and unsupervised nlav spaces nlav a Thor economic explorations of consumption reference groups, see Alessie and Kapteyn (1991) and Kapteyn, van de Geer, van de Stadt, and Wansbeek (1997). 9Sastry (1996) provides an excellent review of the salient concepts and literature, touching on earlier studies by Rosenzweig and Schultz (1982), Thomas, Strauss, and Henriques (1991), and others.
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64 CITIES TRANSFORMED To sum up, with cities having grown and projected their influence across space, the "city-region" now deserves consideration as a unit of analysis for governance and policy. Although difficult to define with precision, a city-region is identifiable by the extent and nature of economic activity in an economic zone surrounding a large city. Many such regions have grown enormously over recent decades. The Extended Bangkok Region, for example, now contains more than 17 million peo- ple; by 2010 it is expected to extend some 200 kilometers from its current center (Kaothien and Webster, 20014. Such new regional forms, with their highly diverse populations, will require innovative approaches to planning and administration. FROM GOVERNMENT TO GOVERNANCE Governments provide the legal and regulatory structures within which social and economic interactions take place; they arrange for the delivery of public services; and they attempt to manage the externalities and conflicts that inevitably accom- pany social interaction. For these reasons, governments are inescapable presences in local urban spaces. As we have just seen, however, cities are assuming com- plex spatial forms, often extending into terrain where the lines of governmental authority are muddled and casting influence across regions that include substan- tial rural populations. These developments are presenting governments with new needs to mediate among diverse demands (Simmonds and Hack, 2000; Scott, 2001). The forms in which governments project themselves into these spaces have also been rapidly changing. In many developing countries, local and regional governments are taking on greater prominence, while national governments are stepping back into indirect and seemingly less intrusive roles. As described in Chapter 9, a process of decentralization is under way, whereby national govern- ments are devolving to lower-level governments many political, fiscal, and admin- istrative powers. Across the developing world, new local governmental forms and units are proliferating at a rate that is little short of astonishing. This phenomenon is in part the result of growing agreement that effective urban management re- quires new formal structures of government (Sivaramakrishanan, 1996~. It also owes a great deal to the introduction of democratic principles in many countries, and to the increased importance being accorded to citizen and community voice (UNCHS, 1996~. These are welcome developments in many quarters; yet they imply that for some time to come, the levers of local policy will be manipulated by new and inexperienced governmental actors. As governments are resealed into smaller spatial units, they are engaging more directly with private-sector actors and NGOs. The term governance describes this engagement. It refers to a set of relationships: between the state and civil society, between rulers and the ruled, and between governments proper and those who are governed. Good governance is, in part, the outcome of government processes that are transparent, as executed by bureaucracies instilled with a professional ethos and accountable for their actions. In a healthy system of governance, these
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 65 structures of government are engaged with a civil society that for its part takes an active role in public affairs; in such a system, all parties adhere to the rule of law (Sivaramakrishanan, 1996~. The reciprocity and mutual engagement entailed in good governance should build trust and lend support to the development of local and national social capital (World Bank, 2000a). As Stren (2002) observes, there is a certain romantic quality to some discus- sions of governance, which imply that moving governments closer to the peo- ple (the "grass roots") must heighten sensitivity to local needs and bring more democracy and transparency to the processes by which these needs are addressed. The current wave of decentralization is far more widespread than its historical predecessors Stren notes two comparable "moments" of decentralization in Africa and Asia, the first in the period surrounding independence and the second in the 1970s but many of the warnings sounded earlier about limits and risks still warrant attention. It is exceedingly difficult to measure the efficiency and responsiveness of lo- cal governments, and empirical evidence on their performance is thus far mixed (World Bank, 2000a). Theories of public finance point to several potential ad- vantages of small, localized governmental units. In decentralized systems, local governments acquire a stake in local economic prosperity. They can arrange the menu of local public goods to suit local preferences, although the quantities sup- plied will still be constrained by local revenue-raising capacities and transfers from other levels of government. In such systems, local consumers can express their preferences for bundles of public goods by voting or by moving to other juris- dictions (Tiebout, 1956~. Under ideal conditions, local politics can then achieve something of the efficiency of markets. The increasingly globalized nature of economic relations is another factor to be considered. Local firms working with nimble, entrepreneurial local governments can collaborate to attract foreign direct investment, sometimes by sidestepping central government authorities or involv- ing them only minimally (UNCHS, 2001~. At the same time, however, small governmental units can suffer from signif- icant disadvantages. Some aspects of governance and regulation may lie well beyond their technical and revenue-raising capacities. Unless transfers from higher-level governments are well designed (see Box 2.5), local governments in have-not regions will rarely be able to marshal the resources available to those in wealthier regions, and if such tendencies are left unchecked, the result can be pronounced regional inequities.24 In decentralized systems, higher-level govern- ments need to devise ways of managing the externalities that spill across local gov- ernmental boundaries.25 In addition, when the national government cedes power 24Discussing how systems of intergovernmental transfers can be designed to promote efficiency and equity, Bird and Smart (2002) note that adverse selection and related behavior on the part of local governments can defeat the good intentions of the system designers. 25Some observers blame weak national states and porous national safety nets for the growth of megacities and the expansion of slums in developing countries, whose cities simply lack the tools to manage national-level demographic and economic flows (Tulchin, 1998).
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66 CITIES TRANSFORMED BOX 2.5 Intergovernmental Transfers and Targeted Social Assistance Alderman (2001) describes the case of intergovernmental transfers from the national to the local (commune) level of government in Albania, where a social assistance program is in place to help the poor. The Albanian national government lacks all but the most rudimen- tary data on poverty at the local level. To allocate its transfers among local governments, the national government employs ad hoc criteria that appear to be very weakly related to local poverty rates. Although funds are evidently well distributed once they reach the local level, the system as a whole fails to make the best use of resources. Alderman (2001: 50) concludes that "to take advantage of local governments' assumed access to local informa- tion, there must be a corresponding flow of information to the center as well as an incentive to use this information." For instance, census data can be used to generate poverty rankings at the level of local governments, and such spatially disaggregated data can provide the national government with tools to improve its resource allocation. to local governments, representation is not guaranteed to all local interest groups. In some cases, the Revolution appears to do little more than transfer power from national to local elites. Partnerships of local firms and local governments can in- vite corruption and render local political processes opaque where transparency is the ideal. Finally, decentralization can threaten macroeconomic stability if central governments lose control over total public outlays. The phenomenon of decentralization with all its attendant risks and ben- efits, often heatedly debated in the countries involved does not yet appear to have engaged the attention of the international demographic research community. Perhaps in many countries, health and family planning services are still being delivered through vertically organized ministries of health, much as they have been for decades. But in many other countries, the decentralization of these ser- vices is being actively contemplated, and in some it is already well under way. A recent analysis by Schwartz, Guilkey, and Racelis (2002) in the Philippines employed rare before-and-after data on local governmental units to determine whether decentralization has affected rates of child immunization and the use of family planning. In this case, it appears that the transfer of resources from national to local authorities has increased local resources overall. The additional resources have evidently encouraged the use of family planning, although they do not appear to have had the same impact on immunization. Until researchers can assemble more case studies such as this, the implications of decentralization for reproductive health will remain highly uncertain. When de- centralization confers greater authority over health and family planning services on municipal governments, which have long lacked professional staff and man- agerial expertise, on what basis will these governments make their decisions about resources and policies? Will they possess the requisite technical abilities, and the revenue-rasing capacities, to wield their newly assumed powers effectively? What role should national-level professional associations play, along with the national
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 67 ministries, in seeing that technical expertise is made available to small govern- ments? Perhaps the only certain element in all of this is that the international policy dialogue in reproductive health, which has in the past been a matter of dis- cussion with national ministries and NGOs, will soon have to engage on a broader front with the many new units of government and local NGOs that populate de- centralized settings. WHAT REMAINS OF THE URBAN/RURAL DIVIDE? In concluding, we survey the broad concepts that have entered this discussion and ask whether they point to specific features that distinguish urban from ru- ral landscapes. The urban/rural distinction is one that has been contemplated by generations of thoughtful scholars, few of whom have failed to note its many in- tricacies. The urban concept is an abstraction that involves multiple distinct but interrelated social, economic, political, and ecological factors (McGee and Grif- fiths, 1998; Frey and Zimmer, 20014. Furthermore, when carefully considered, the differences between urban and rural populations are almost always seen to be differences in degree rather than in kind. In almost any aspect that might be con- sidered, urban and rural populations have something in common, and they often overlap substantially. The conceptual challenge, then, is to identify the central tendencies without denying the commonalities. At the outset we referred to five concepts that tap distinctive aspects of ur- ban social and economic relations proximity, diversity, externality, network, and centrality. While giving attention to the first four of these, we have not commented much on the fifth. Centrality is a summarizing concept: in our usage it refers to the multiple strands of economic and social interchange that are knit together in cities (Sassen, 20024. These strands also reach to rural areas, and they have links that extend to the international arena. But they intertwine in cities, and from the many knots and nodes there emanates a quality that might be described as urban- ness. In employing this sort of language abstract and rather tentative we are of course signaling the many difficulties that would be involved in moving from summary concepts to their empirical measures. This report takes the position that urbanness is best conceived in terms of a continuum, or gradient, along which individual populations are arrayed. The dis- cussion earlier in this chapter referred to city-regions and desakota zones, phrases that are suggestive of a blurring between urban and rural populations. Are urban and rural areas now so thoroughly intermixed that the urban/rural distinction has lost its analytic value? We think not. As will be seen repeatedly in the chapters to come, even very crude indicators of position on the urban/rural continuum the definitions of urban and rural that are adopted by national statistical agencies- are empirically powerful in explaining demographic behavior. Whatever these conventional measures may mean, they somehow succeed in capturing impor- tant locational differences. But the empirical performance of crude indicators
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68 CITIES TRANSFORMED notwithstanding, the concept of an urban/rural divide appears to be losing what- ever intellectual appeal it may once have had. The difficulty is how to devise satisfactory measures of the alternative concept of an urban/rural continuum- with attention to the many ways in which rural residents are now partaking of urban life. To appreciate the empirical challenge, consider the case of Real Montecasino, a settlement of about a thousand residents located just south of Mexico City, wedged between the Federal District and the Metropolitan Zone of Cuernavaca. The 2000 Mexican census classified Real Montecasino as rural. Yet only 1.8 per- cent of the its labor force is engaged in the primary sector; 83 percent of its houses have electricity, piped water, and waste disposal; 70 percent of its households own telephones; 66 percent own cars; and 92 percent have televisions (Garza, 2002~. Despite its small population size, Real Montecasino is arguably an outpost of Mexico City. To distinguish such fine gradations in the urban/rural continuum, criteria such as the degree to which cities are accessible from rural areas (or remote from them) will need to be explored in some detail, making use of all available census and survey data on commuting times and spells of short-term city residence (Coombes and Raybould, 2001; Hugo, Champion, and Lattes, 2001~. Appendix A gives an account of recent efforts in the United States to rethink urban measurement, and very similar issues face the national statistical services of many developing coun- tries. Advances in geocoding may enable researchers to link many different sorts of data, thus permitting more sophisticated measurement (Hugo, Champion, and Lattes, 2001~. A glimpse of the possibilities is given in Box 2.6 for Cairo, where a combination of remotely sensed and census data permits a gradient of urbanness to be distinguished within the Greater Cairo metropolitan area. But to measure the micro-level aspects of social and economic interaction will surely require en- tirely new forms of data collection; it is doubtful that data gathered routinely by censuses or satellites will suffice. Although the concept of an urban/rural divide should perhaps be readied for the scrap heap, much more research will be required for the concept of a continuum to be put into a useful and operational form. Table 2-1 summarizes the main urban/rural differences as seen from a de- mographic perspective. This chapter has emphasized the social embeddedness of information and behavior (Granovetter, 1985), drawing attention to the ways in which individuals and families are linked to their social networks, neighbor- hoods, and local associations; how they are connected to the larger structures of government; and how they may be engaged as groups in relations of governance. Although a multilevel perspective can be highly informative about rural societies, we would maintain that such that a perspective is essential to an understanding of urban demography. As our review of the U.S. sociological literature shows, this is hardly a novel or controversial perspective, but its insights have yet to be developed in the contexts of developing-country cities.
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 69 BOX 2.6 Using Multiple Data Sources to Define Urbanness: The Case of Cairo ~ ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ..,., .... ............ . ~. I,:......... ................ ............................. i ~ ........ , ., A .. ...... ~ . . ...... . ~ A is, , ............. `, . ~ ~, , ~ ., . t ~ ., \, I ~ ~. Am. ............ - ~ ...... air - . . ........ , ., ~ .............. .b . ?:::::::: ;; At,. ~ . I . ~ s.~ ............ ....... .......... ) ,P,- ,., . .,.-, ,~ ,:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:;:.s:; . ~. ............ ...... ,. i.......... I x This figure, adapted from ongoing research by Weeks (2002), depicts a composite index of urbanness derived from an unusual blend of remotely sensed data on land cover (indicators of vegetation, impervious surfaces, bare soil, and the shade cast by buildings) and census data on population density and the proportion of the labor force in nonagricultural occupa- tions. The spatial units represented are shiakhas, of which there are some 300 in Greater Cairo. The map shows a gradient with the highest values of urbanness (portrayed in dark shading) in the center of the city straddling the banks of the Nile. Urbanness declines as one moves toward the newer urban areas to the west of the Nile (in Giza governorate). Weeks has found that the composite urbanness index is correlated with several demographic measures at the shiakhas level: the areas classified as more urban have lower fertility, later ages at marriage, and greater education.
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70 TABLE 2-1 Dimensions in Which Urban Environments Differ from Rural Social: (1) The spatial proximity of social and economic diversity; (2) the range and weak ties of social networks; CITIES TRANSFORMED (6) higher urban incomes on aver- age, possibly with greater income disparities. (3) a social delineation of neighbor- Health <1y Greater inherent risks of com- municable disease, including those that are sexually transmitted; (2) pos- sibly lower unit costs for provision of clean water; (3) a different range of occupational health and safety risks; (4) greater numbers of urban poor at risk from some natural disasters because of population concentration; (5) possible economies of proximity in health media campaigns, and infor- mational spillovers from the educated to the less-educated and through so- cial networks; (6) greater access to health services through private mar- kets and mixed public-private provi- sion; (7) quicker access to emergency services, of great importance to ma- ternal mortality; and (8) composition of disease within the population al- tered by higher incomes and better public provision of services. hoods, with neighborhood ties be- ing subsets of wider network ties; (4) informational spillovers and other externalities; (5) spatial segregation; and (6) distinct forms taken by urban social capital (including gangs and "perverse" forms), and the possibility of "bridges" to government and fund- ing resources. Economic: (1) Scale, spillover, and di- versity effects; (2) far greater special- ization and diversity in private mar- kets, such as in health services; and (3) greater utilization of physical cap- ital and infrastructure. Human Capital: (1) Easier access to middle and secondary schooling; (2) greater visibility of educated ref- erence groups and role models; and (3) greater social risks attending child rearing, implying higher costs in parental time. Prices and Consumption: (1) Costs of living and incomes more monetized; (2) greater exposure to variation in wages and prices, hence greater sub- jective sensitivity to their levels; (3) a greater range of goods and services available; and (4) greater visibil- ity of diverse consumption reference groups. Livelihoods: (1) Nonagricultural occupa- tions far more prevalent; (2) fewer possibilities for own production and consumption of food; (3) possibly greater returns to human capital; (4) for urban households, nothing quite comparable to Green Revolu- tion agricultural technology in rais- ing productivity; (5) greater eco- nomic value of urban housing; and Basic Services: (1) Greater percentage of households with water supply, waste disposal, and electricity; (2) differ- ent dimensions of access, with qual- ity, reliability, and adequacy of ser- vice taking on greater importance, and time costs often of lesser impor- tance; and (3) a greater reliance on il- legal forms of access to basic services and housing. Government: (1) Greater dependence on government implied by urban pop- ulation concentration and diversity; (2) greater exposure to a multiplicity of laws and regulations; (3) possibly greater vulnerability to "bad" govern- ment; (4) especially in large cities, multiple layers and units of gov- ernment; and (5) possibly (in some cities) greater ability of local govern- ments to raise their own revenues.
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 71 Many of the points mentioned in Table 2-1 have already been described at length or are taken up in more detail in later chapters. Our comments here can be brief. A number of the distinctively urban social features stem from one source: spatial proximity brings socioeconomic diversity into focus. Proximity allows in- formation to flow more easily among social network members; it highlights social reference groups and role models; and it puts diverse consumption possibilities on view. As mentioned earlier, spatial segregation is likely to have profound de- mographic implications because it suppresses diversity in the local environs. In the economic realm, proximity enables firms and entrepreneurs to learn from the experiments, successes, and failures of their competitors. The spatial dispersion of rural populations and the greater homogeneity of much agricultural production generally raise the costs of such social and economic exchange. In advancing such broad and general claims, we are mindful of important counterexamples. It was in the context of agriculture, after all, that the early theories of information diffusion and adoption of new technology were formu- lated (Griliches, 1957; Hagerstrand, 1952), and recent data drawn mainly from rural sites provide the most convincing demographic demonstration of diffusion operating through social networks (Behrman, Kohler, and Watkins, 2001; Caster- line, Montgomery, Agyeman, Aglobitse, and Kiros, 2001~. Moreover, some may object to giving urban diversity greater emphasis than city size. Large cities do tend to exhibit greater diversity than small ones (Henderson, 2002), and in the economic arena, scale is something of a precondition for specialization and diver- sity. Nevertheless, scale and diversity are conceptually and empirically separable features of urban environments. As Henderson has shown for high-technology industries in the United States and Korea, it is diversity rather than city size as such that generates productivity advantages for these industries. Where social capital is concerned, there are likely to be many differences between its urban and rural expressions; to our knowledge there has been no sys- tematic study of those differences. Residential mobility and migration are thought to weaken the basis for cooperation in city neighborhoods. Yet it is difficult to know whether urban areas are, in general, sites of high residential mobility. In the panel's own research experience, many city neighborhoods have proven to be residentially stable (see UNCHS, 1996: 206 for confirmation). Certainly urban environments do not prevent the mobilization of social capital. The literature offers numerous examples of strong, effective, and inclusive urban community organizations; recall Box 2.2 on the alliance of SPARC, Mahila Milan, and the National Slum Dwellers Federation in Mumbai. Indeed, urban settings would often appear to provide more opportunities for community organizations to negotiate with government agencies (Appadurai, 2001; Boonyabancha, 2001; Baumann, Bolnick, and Mitlin, 2001; Tostensen, Tvedten, and Vaa, 2001~. The urban engagement between government and civil society is especially apparent in countries with democratic systems, where there are political and legal restraints on the power of government to suppress community mobilization.
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72 CITIES TRANSFORMED The differences in human capital are explored further in Chapters 5 and 8. As is shown there, urban residents are more educated on average than rural resi- dents, and would appear to enjoy easier access to middle and secondary levels of education for their children. Less often appreciated, however, is the diversity of educational opportunities for urban adults and children. What matters in cities, we would argue, is not only the higher average levels of educational attainment, but also the greater diversity of educational experiences. As discussed in Chap- ters 5 and 6, in addition to the demands on parental time associated with children's schooling, time costs arise from the distinctive social risks of urban child rearing. Of course, these urban/rural differences should not be exaggerated. Urban returns to schooling vary across economic sector and by city size and diversity; education is known to help rural farmers exploit new agricultural technologies. As is shown in Chapter 5, school enrollment rates among the children of the urban poor often are hardly greater than those among rural children. In both rural and urban settings, the need for child labor can keep children from attending school regularly or at all. It is a commonplace that urban populations rely more heavily than rural pop- ulations on cash income for access to necessities including food, fuel, fresh wa- ter, housing (which is more commercialized in cities), transport, and waste dis- posal. Monetization reduces transactions costs and raises real standards of liv- ing, but with these benefits comes a greater vulnerability to changes in money wages and prices. The fact that most urban goods and services are monetized may also induce in urban populations a keener appreciation of relative costs in general, and may draw special attention to the relative costs of child rearing. To be sure, monetization is probably more characteristic of larger than smaller cities. In many countries, a significant proportion of rural dwellers are also de- pendent on cash income, and they, too, can face variable prices for some goods and services. As discussed in Chapter 5, it is difficult to know just how much the prices of essentials differ between urban and rural populations. The costs no doubt vary enormously among rural areas themselves, among cities, and among dif- ferent neighborhoods within cities. In rich countries, advances in transport and communications, together with sophisticated systems of wholesale and retail trade, have suppressed much spatial variation in prices. These factors operate with far less force in most poor countries. In many of their cities, the urban poor face particularly high costs for such essentials as water and health care because public services are not reliably provided to poor neighborhoods, and the private markets offering substitutes can be highly imperfect or exploitative. Still, rural populations may face high money costs for some goods as well. As recent economic studies have shown at the national level (Limao and Venables, 2001), the costs of transporting goods to rural areas are reflected in two sorts of penalties: higher prices and severe limits on the range of goods available. Much like landlocked countries, rural populations often suffer both of these penalties.
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WHY LOCATION MATTERS 73 For many rural dwellers, access is limited by the inconvenience and relatively high cost of transport, which for a given physical distance renders less accessible schools, health centers, emergency services, courts, banks, politicians, and the institutions meant to enforce the rule of law. For the urban poor, it is not so much distance to services and institutions that matters, but rather exclusion from them for economic, social, or political reasons. A squatter household living 200 yards from a hospital, secondary school, or bank can be as effectively excluded as a rural dweller living 20 miles away. Proximity may ease access, but does not guarantee it. Discussions of urbanness often begin by noting the prevalence of nonagri- cultural occupations, and it is certainly true that urban livelihoods are less di- rectly dependent than rural on access to land, water, and other natural resources. Urban residents cannot easily turn to subsistence production to cope with ris- ing prices or declining incomes. However, urban agriculture is more important to low-income residents than is commonly realized. Also, as discussed earlier, many urban dwellers maintain some claims on rural assets. In the same way, rural households can depend on nonfarm income, whether from wages, nonagricultural production, or urban remittances. Housing is a key economic resource for low-income urban residents: it can supply income (from the renting out of rooms or as space for household-based enterprises); it has value as collateral; and it reflects trade-offs made in access to employment, as when the poor accept low-quality or dangerous locations to save on transport costs. Rural housing can also play an economic role (as with food processing and crafts), but generally this role is of lesser importance to household economic strategies. Earlier in this chapter, we described the greater risks of communicable dis- ease faced by city populations in the absence of adequate infrastructure and good governance. Higher levels of health risk are very much to be expected in ur- ban areas lacking provisions for infrastructure, services, and waste management. Dispersed rural populations enjoy a measure of natural protection from much communicable disease. (Some large rural villages can also suffer from urban- like concentrations of population and pollution due, for instance, to livestock and agroprocessing.) Massive public-sector investments are required to convert an in- herent urban health disadvantage to the urban advantage that is often taken as a given in modern populations. Cities exhibit a different range of occupational health and safety risks than is seen in rural areas as a result of differences in the kinds of work undertaken (involving industrial chemicals and wastes, dust, heat, or dangerous machinery). Particular groups (such as waste pickers) face especially high occupational risks. But rural occupational health and safety risks should not be understated. There are high levels of health risk in many rural areas due to poorly managed irriga- tion (schistosomiasis, malaria), agricultural chemicals, dangerous machinery, and excessive physical demands. Finally, the spatially concentrated urban poor are
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74 CITIES TRANSFORMED vulnerable to natural disasters because they live on land at high risk from floods, landslides, or earthquakes. Rural populations are also vulnerable to natural disas- ters in many countries. A central theme in this discussion is the pervasive influence of governments. Cities are marked by a multiplicity of laws, official norms, rules, and regula- tions that can be applied to land use, construction, economic enterprises, and production. To many observers, it appears that a regrettably common use of these regulations is to render illegal many of the means by which the urban poor gain access to their housing and livelihoods (Hardoy and Satterthwaite, 1989~. Because access to services is less a matter of distance than of ability to pay and political clout, one finds in cities a greater reliance on illegal solutions for access to services such as illegal taps of piped water and electricity and this carries over to illegally occupied or subdivided land. Illegal or informal settlements are often concentrated on land sites subject to flooding or at risk from landslides or other natural hazards, especially where these sites offer low-income settlers the best chance of establishing a home or avoiding eviction. Often these sites also prove to be difficult to equip with basic infrastructure (Hardoy, Mitlin, and Sat- terthwaite, 2001~. The spatial concentration and visibility of urban populations may well leave them at the mercy of bureaucracies and powerful vested interests. On occasion, however, spatial concentration can also confer on the poor a certain political mass and even a measure of power. Stren (2002) notes that in Latin America, a common strategy among poor groups was to stage mass "land invasions" in an effort to secure access to urban land. Although not always immediately successful, this strategy enabled some poor groups to voice effectively their claim to a share of public resources. In summary, Table 2-1 shows the main elements the panel believes lend ur- ban landscapes their distinctive character. In considering each of these elements and in highlighting exceptions and counterexamples, we have endeavored to show how along each dimension, the urban/rural distinction is mainly a question of degree. The quality of urbanness which eludes definition, but is somehow easy to sense emanates less from any single dimension listed than from their combination.
Representative terms from entire chapter: