Planning for balance

TRACK 2: Besides the megacity and other cities

congress team:  Tathagata Chatterji, India & Fedor Kudryavtsev, Russia190501 tracks small 04


 Role & future of cities that aim for balance rather than limitless scale in the global race towards agglomeration advantage,

Alternatives to the megacity through regional networked urban clusters.

The megacity backside: shrinking settlements, disappearing villages and other similar externalities.

Planning for spatial balance: rural-agrarian productivity, wildlife and urbanisation equilibrium of metropolitan areas.

Neither urban nor rural: emerging lifestyles, urban forms and economics beyond megacities.


This track explores alternatives themes beside and beyond the megacity: one explores the paths of cities that aspire to being influential, but also aim for balance and perhaps containment (to provide an alternative model where there is less pressure and life is more balanced). 

The other looks at aspects of the regions around megacities: the hinterland and its rural towns, which play an essential role supporting and providing resources to the megacity, sometimes being left them behind by the economics and policies of large urbanisation, and sometimes reaping the benefits of nearby growth, prosperity and innovation. 

Are megacities the only option? What would be the future role of secondary or non-global cities? Can they only be subservient or irrelevant? How to strengthen economic roles of smaller cities as counter magnets – to generate more job opportunities closer to home and reduce population pressure on megacities? How does megacity expansion transform the countryside and their own hinterlands? How can megacities and peri-urban areas develop a synergetic and maybe positive relationship? How is rural development providing spaces and resources for city dwellers? Does it make sense to invest and modernise agriculture around a megacity and reinvent the rural into a new model?