The divide between rural and urban areas is starker than ever across social, political, and economic markers. This division influences everything from the pace of economic development in China to sectarian strife in the Middle East to political pivots in the U.S.
In the 2016 U.S. election, “red” and “blue” counties each deepened their political positions for Republican and Democratic candidates, respectively, often delineated by rural, exurban, and urban geographies. Around the world, urbanization continues apace as rural populations in developing countries migrate to cities in search of better economic opportunity.
How will these demographic shifts influence the political, economic, and security prospects of growing cities and shrinking rural communities? How do policy makers and business leaders reconcile the respective resources, needs, and constraints of serving these different populations?
- How the Election Revealed the Divide Between City and Country
The 2016 election exposed a chasm between urban and non-urban America that will likely widen under a Trump administration.
- Leaving the Land: China’s Great Uprooting – Moving 250 Million into Cities
This series looks at how China's government-driven effort to push the population to towns and cities is reshaping a nation that for millenniums has been defined by its rural life.
- Why the War for Syria’s Future Will Be Fought Over the Country’s New Urban Villages
Urban conflict in Syria is a byproduct of over ten years of rural village migrations – fueled by economic necessity and a persistent drought – into the outskirts of Syria’s ancient cities.