Interview "Urban peripheries as a development engine", COMPROMISO EMPRESARIAL, 01/12/2012

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Commentary

My presentation focussed on how deprived areas can act as a driver of development for the whole society, private companies and government and how we can encourage investments in Brazilian slums (favelas).

Inequality is highly concentrated in world's most deprived areas. Where currently (in 2011) one billion people are living according to the UN, by 2030 there will be two billion. With this expected 100% increase in population,  deprived areas are a leverage point for the improvement of global equality and poverty reduction - the very first of the Millennium Development Goals.

We are experiencing the biggest human migration movement in all history with one in three of us migrating to the cities. According to the UN, 75% of world population will be living in cities by 2050, while, according to ECLAC(*)  80% of Latin America's population is already urban in 2012. 

The majority of the people who move to cities end up living in deprived areas, where inequality is concentrated. This process, if not managed, can have very serious social, economical and political consequences, such as the conflicts/riots in Latin American slums, London/UK (2011), Clichy/Fr. (2005), Los Angeles/USA (1992), Miami/USA (1980) and elsewhere.

I know from my own experience living in Rio during the 80's and 90's: There's no bullet proof car against high inequality. It affects every single person, directly or inderectly.

I would like to thank Nuria Garcia and Compromiso RSE for this feature and their interest in my work. We talked passionately late into the night as the ESADE building was being closed. It's very inspiring!

(*) ECLAC - Economic Commission for the Latino America and the Caribbean