CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION
National economic growth is being determined by what happens in urban areas. Globalization is strengthening competition among cities as private investment seeks to maximize returns within highly competitive markets. Decentralization has meant additional power and resources to cities and their populations, but many urban areas are not well managed and their economies remain uncompetitive. Throughout the world, two scenarios are emerging: one of cities characterized by increasing poverty, social exclusion, and decline amid pockets of splendor and wealth; the other of more inclusive cities characterized by equitable and sustainable growth, with small but decreasing pockets of poverty.
Economic growth can effectively reduce poverty only when accompanied by a comprehensive program of social development. In order to be most effective, a poverty reduction strategy should include human capital development, a population policy, removal of gender discrimination, social capital development, and social protection.
The urbanization trend started in the developed world and was largely a result of increased industrialization. At present about three quarters of the population in developed countries is urban. In developing countries, the percentage of the total population living in urban areas rose from around 30% in 1985 to 40% in 2000. More than 1.5 billion people in developing countries currently live in urban areas. By 2020, it is estimated that more than half the population of developing countries will be urban. In Asia about 38% of the population is now urban. This will increase to more than 50% by 2015, and there will be a doubling of urban population before 2025. The University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture
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rapid growth of the urban population is due both to natural increase and to the influx of migrants from rural areas. The Philippines has one of the highest urbanization rates in the developing world. Between 1960 and 1995, the country‘s urban population growth averaged more than 5% per year and increased from just 8 million to 34 million. By 2000, the population of the Philippines had risen to around 78 million, more than half of whom lived in urban areas. With an annual average urban population growth rate of more than 3%, urban areas are expanding by more than 1 million people every year. Estimates are that by 2010, the urban population will be 60% of the total, and by 2050, 127 million, or more than 80% of all Filipinos. In 2002, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) emphasized that the rate of urban population growth is one of the most important factors affecting economic development, employment creation, and the coverage and quality of social services. All of these are essential components of any pro - poor initiative. Rapidly increasing concentrations of urban population represent large markets that are likely to attract new investments. The continued population growth and expansion of Metro Manila, which has already the largest concentration of consumers in Southeast Asia, has the potential to attract considerable investment. However, if the deteriorating environmental and social conditions that now characterize Metro Manila are not quickly and effectively dealt with, they will act as a disincentive to potential investors. The Philippine Government and ADB have agreed that an effective strategy to reduce poverty in the country must be able to address the following leading causes of poverty: the slow creation of employment opportunities on account of the anemic record of growth; inequality in the distribution of wealth and access to resources; the inadequate provision of basic social services; and the lack of effective political participation by the citizenry, which encourages stopgap University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture
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measures rather than...