[Recently we learned that]…a critical threshold has now been reached in the 10,000-year history of urban civilization. On Thursday, the United Nations declared for the first time that more than half of the people on the planet live in cities. Only 70 years ago, less than a third did. And by 2050, two-thirds of people will be living in cities.
The rapid pace in urbanization has many causes, such as better transportation and a rise in manufacturing. China, for example, has seen the world’s largest migration as more than 150 million rural people have moved to cities in recent decades for factory jobs and better education after the country embraced a market economy.
But a deeper cause likely drives people to live in close proximity to each other and put up with noise, traffic, pollution, and high prices….Cities are escalators to the good life. They are dream factories. Urban migrants put up with squalor in order to lift their families out of generations of rural stagnation.