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20.9.2007

Die Stadt als einzige Hoffnung

Joan Clos, ehemaliger Präsident von Metropolis und heute Industrieminister Spaniens
Textversion deutsch

Englische Textversion des Video-Interviews

We have seen a change, a very important change because 20 years ago, the city was itself considered the problem. The city was the place of political unrest. It was the place of political difficulties, and I think that 20 years later, what is now becoming quite clear is that cities are perhaps the solution and not the problem.

And now the new problem is that people go to the cities looking for a better life, for some future; and 20 years ago, the movement from the rural areas to cities was more or less controlled and driven by industrialization, and now the problem is that it is not driven by any specific economical force. It´s just a flux of people going away from the rural areas into an unknown future. The city became the only hope and this is why they are functioning as a kind of attractor, and that poses immense challenges for the management of these realities. Of course we still don´t see a proper devolution of power to cities from central government in order to cope with these immense and new problems in the new cities and the big megalopolis.

We are talking with United Nations Systems and the World Bank, and they are also thinking in creating a sub- sovereign organisation in order to have a line of credit to sub-sovereign levels of government. And this is quite relevant because it could be very important because in the 90s and in the 80s, local infrastructures were mainly financed by market money, money which came from the financial market, and then we had these huge prices of the debts in all these countries. Infrastructures are still needed, and it will be much better if those infrastructures can be not just financed but, in a way, should be conducted or cared for because if you just give the money... we have too much experience that this is not the proper way because this money usually ends up in the wrong hands.

But if we look at the most developed countries mainly the northern countries in Europe or the central countries, like Germany, we see that urbanisation can take place in a real, in a tempered way, not as big megalopolis, but producing cities of medium-size, lets say, half a million people or 200.000 or 700.000, and this provides a much better quality of life than the megalopolis of 23 millions or 30 millions, like Chongqing. And then we will probably see first a movement of megalopolis, but if there is growth, I think, that then we will see what we have seen in the most developed countries, which is a second level of decentralisation of this urbanisation process creating smaller and more liveable cities, more distributed over the territory.


Redaktion: Sonja Ernst
Kamera: Jörg Pfeiffer
Schnitt: Jörg Pfeiffer
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