BRICS Cities: Facts & Analysis 2016

Harrison, Philip
Yang, Yan
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South African Cities Network
BRICS Cities: Facts & Analysis is a compendium of research produced through a partnership between the South African Cities Network (SACN) and the South African Research Chair in Spatial Analysis and City Planning (SA&CP) in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of the Witwatersrand. It presents key general and thematic descriptive and comparative information about urban growth and development in the five BRICS states: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The comparative analysis includes a section relating to cities in Africa, while the detailed Factsheets cover thirty-one of the largest BRICS cities. BRICS Cities provides a first-of-its-kind research base to inform ongoing sub-national BRICS research and policy consideration. Recent reports on urbanization point out that over the next 20-30 years, almost all of the expected growth in the world population will be concentrated in the urban areas of the less developed countries of which a significant 42% will occur in cities in BRICS countries. Despite the fact that the distribution of the urbanization figures will be highly unequal between the different countries, considering the currently high levels of urbanization in Russia and Brazil and the extremely low levels (just over 35%) in India, the realities of large scale urbanization can and no doubt will have substantial impacts on the material conditions of urban life, governance, service provision, social relations and the environment. There has also been, and will continue to be, the expansion of networks of all kinds far beyond designated urban boundaries. In some cases, these challenges and the expanding boundaries have been met with additional layers of government, innovations in policy-making, and the reconfiguring of relationships between urban actors. However little is known in a comparative sense around some of the most important sites and cities in the BRICS countries , and insufficient research has been undertaken to learn from the differences that have been identified. The SACN and SA&CP, in line with our mutual interest around the nature and shape of urbanization and urban processes in South Africa and in BRICS countries, have developed a compendium of comparable information around key cities in the BRICS countries. BRICS Cities will serve as a useful reference of important base line information but also offers comment on the state of key areas of shared concern: innovation-driven economies, transport and mobility, and green energy. Furthermore, the publication provides a careful analysis of these factors in a comparative and relational framing.
BRICS, Comparative urbanism, BRICS Cities