The 21st century is expressed as “the century of cities”. The rapid population growth expected in the middle-sized cities will make huge infrastructure investments inevitable.
Today around 4 billion people live in cities around the world. The United Nations (UN) estimates that this number will rise to 5.5 billion in 12 years. The largest increase in population is expected to occur in middle-sized cities with population not exceeding 5 million today.
Well, can these cities keep up with such a rapid increase in a short period of time?
Eva Dick, a sociologist and urbanism expert in the German Development Policy Institute (DIE), answers this question: No! Dick says that for this, city infrastructures need to be prepared for the future, with well-designed master plans and sustainable infrastructure investments.
These investments will open up a large number of new employment areas. On the other hand, more and more people will flock to the cities that will be attracted and the population will increase even more. Yes, but how will all of this be financed?
Side effect of privatization: monopolization
According to a report in Deutsche Welle, Wolfgang Scholz, a city planning expert at the Technical University of Dortmund, says “Capital is the only thing that needs to be a long-term profitable project for investors.” Wolf points out in this statement: “A city water network system the company that runs and operates does not worry that it will come out as a competitor later on. In this way, we will also open up monopolization. We have seen this clearly in the water projects supported by the World Bank in 1990 and especially in Africa and Asia. The liberalization of water supply caused the situation to worsen. Similar experiences have been experienced in Europe during the industrialization era. ”
In other words, it is not a solution to merge capital and infrastructure projects and leave the rest to the functioning of the free market economy. The key word here is “sustainability.” Sociologist and urbanism expert Eva Dick said, “A sustainable city can meet all sorts of social, economic and ecological requirements. Because in such a city, efficiency and environmental protection are strict. ”
Today, about 75 percent of the atmospheric emissions of harmful gas are recruited cities, nearly 80 percent of the country’s gross domestic product is still available in cities. On the other hand, the consumption of natural resources in cities is also high. For the sake of making cities sustainable, no country is willing to ignore the use of modern technology in infrastructure.
Eva Dick argues that sustainability and technology are not the opposite: “Information and communication technologies can well contribute to the creation of sustainable cities.”