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Architects and planners aren't ready for an urbanized planet

Architects aren't ready for an urbanized planet
By Amelia Gentleman Published: August 20, 2007
NEW DELHI: The world is racing to the city, and the one group of professionals capable of housing and sheltering the massive human influx to the urban centers - the architects and the planners - freely acknowledge that they are ill-equipped to cope.
"People are dying in slums every day. It is horrible. We are lacking a sense of urgency; we are not coping with the speed of it."

The United Nations estimates that only 5 percent of the building work under way in the world's expanding cities is actually planned; in many Asian cities, 70 percent of residents are thought to be living in unplanned areas. These are usually the poorest inhabitants, who find themselves in badly built urban sprawls, with poor access to electricity, water and drainage.
"Seventy percent of architects come from the developed world but 70 percent of the work is in the developing word. There is a total mismatch," said Ga
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