As the process of globalization took off, the planners and mayors of many cities were left wanting of ideas and resources to cater to the ever increasing city dwelling population. The inadequacy and lack of foresight among both government agencies and business corporations to address this situation has created urban overpopulation in both the developed and developing world. According to World’s Cities, the developed countries attract majority of the international migrants (more than 77 million), followed by countries whose economies are in transition – such as in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics – account for 33 million. The Asia-Pacific region saw an urban immigration of 23 millions whereas the Middle East and North Africa combined saw 21 millions (Passas, 2000, p.17). It is important to note that
“In many cities, lack of affordable housing and discriminatory practices force newcomers to live spatially segregated lives in ghettos, where they suffer labor exploitation, social exclusion and violence. This is unfortunate, says the report, because immigrants make important economic contributions not only to the urban economies of the host countries but also to the countries they leave behind. Remittances back home are second only to oil in terms of international monetary flows, providing an important and reliable source of foreign exchange finance. In 2003, for example, Indian Diaspora sent back $15 billion, exceeding the revenues generated by the country’s software industry”. (Osanjo & Warah, 2004, p.57)
A few other studies point out that globalization has increased the levels of corruption in the developing world. For example, the prominent cities in Southeast Asian nations of Indonesia, Thailand; Asian nations of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, and several East European countries such as Belarus, Georgia, Croatia and to a lesser extent in China, the levels of corruption have increased since the opening up of their economies. In other words, “as foreign firms entered and new firms were born within developing and transition economies, scholars and social commentators grew more aware of the magnitude of corruption and the need to understand and address it. Research on corruption over the past decade poses some fundamental questions and highlights the importance of checking this trend. In the context of globalization, corruption is the misuse of public power for private gain.” (Aguirre & Reese, 2004, p.2)
Hence, while cities in the developing world increasingly resemble those in the developed world, they have given rise to numerous social, economic and cultural problems. In cities across the world, irrespective of the economic prosperity of a select minority, the “inequalities between the richest and poorest people in the world as well as inequality within and between nations is growing – this is true in the rich countries of the United States and the European Union, most (but not all) of the transition economies of the old Soviet bloc, China and India – or persisting at very high levels, as in Latin America and Africa” (Weissman, 2003, p.9). The process of corporate globalization is largely to be blamed for this crisis. So unless powerful institutions such as the WTO, World Bank, the IMF act to regulate the global markets and thereby create a just and equitable global economic system, the unstable equilibrium seen in many cities today will give way to violence, rioting and chaos.