Metropolis in turmoil: Examining dangerous issues faced by some of the world’s most important cities

Metropolis in turmoil: Examining dangerous issues faced by some of the world’s most important cities


Whilst some cities are booming and transforming into Megacities, and others generate huge portions of their countries wealth, they are also, where the biggest social, economic and environmental problems are worst. Some of the biggest issues in the modern world are so dangerous they could cause a city to become failed and many issues are relatively new with no immediately obvious solution. From economic woes, population booms, rising sea levels, crime and corruption and political instability, the issues affecting some major cities around the world are legion.

Key Highlights

  • Rio de Janeiro is suffering under the strain of bankruptcy, corruption which inflated the costs of the Olympic Games and police brutality. All of these are hampering efforts to recover economically and encourage the growth of business.
  • Miami encapsulates the worst problems faced by many cities in the US today. Poor governance, dramatic inequality and endemic crime have created social and economic difficulties which are going to be extremely tough to rectify.
  • Greece is suffering through a worse recession than the US great depression with over a quarter of its economic output wiped off the books, and Athens is the epicenter. Political instability, extreme cuts to state spending and high unemployment makes Athens a prime example of rapid decline.
  • Looks at the challenges London faces outside of the European Union.
  • Analyzes how Delhi is straining under the pressures of rapid population growth.
  • Examines the problems caused to Miami by seemingly endemic gang crime issues.
  • Assesses the post-Olympic future of Rio de Janeiro.
  • Examines the economic plight of Athens amid the Euro crises, crippling debt and social discontent.
Reasons to buy
  • What are the main problems Rio faces in reversing economic decline?
  • What are the risks to London maintaining a leading position in the world after Brexit?
  • What is the impact rampant overpopulation on Delhi?
  • What are the economic impacts of the various crises which are occurring in Athens?
  • How does the social and economic problems Miami faces inhibit the prospects of the city?

Executive summary
Miami: The US city that encapsulates America’s urban problems
Post-Olympics Rio is suffering from critical problems
London: City faces challenges to keep leading global position
Delhi: The megacity gone out of control
Athens: City with big economic woes and refugees to feed
Miami: The US city that encapsulates America’s urban problems
Miami is typical of a modern wealthy city with vast poverty
Absurdly high incarceration rate has locked away a generation
Miami is significantly worse than the rest of the country
Sentencing in Florida displays signs of institutional racism
Miami ranks as the worst place to live in the US
Solutions for Miami’s problems are not easy, but there are options
Miami has a huge environmental problem looming
Post-Olympics Rio is suffering from critical problems
Much has been done to alleviate poverty in Rio, but extensive problems remain - solving them is not going to be easy
Corruption is rife, harming the ability of society and the economy to function
Rio de Janeiro is bankrupt, stymying growth and harming the city
Police brutality is not curbing crime and harms economic prosperity
Improving sanitation is improving the lives of many poor people in Rio but greater emphasis on infrastructure is needed
London: City faces challenges to keep leading global position
UK capital has been criticized as being a money laundering safe haven
Many unknowns remain for the City following referendum on membership of the European Union
London needs greater infrastructure investment to maintain position
Property prices and availability within London pose social and economic problems for the capital
Air pollution now poses a serious threat to the future of London
Delhi: the megacity out of control
Delhi is the world’s second most populous city with 24 million
Staggering rates of growth mean that services cannot keep up
The health care system is completely inadequate in Delhi
The local government's definition of poverty is misguided
Pollution in Delhi is dangerous and miserable for inhabitants
Population density is completely out of control
Crime and corruption are intrinsic in the city’s culture
Megacities need to be actively prevented from forming
Athens: City with big economic woes and refugees to feed
The debt crisis began in 2010 and there is still no end in sight
Greece has been unable to use the loans for its benefit
Austerity and cuts have been indiscriminate and deep
Greece took a new bailout in May 2017 and new austerity plan
Debt cannot be paid because the economy is not growing
Refugee crisis continues and Athens cannot afford to help
Athens received vast international aid which was squandered
Young people are being hit hardest and are leaving on mass
Points of interest
Further Reading
Ask the analyst
About MarketLine
List of Tables
Table 1: Miami, Florida and US national crime rate averages compared 10
Table 2: 2016 worst cities to live in rankings 12
Table 3: Scale of rail networks in London 25
List of Figures
Figure 1: Miami wealth and poverty 8
Figure 2: Crime types of prison offenders 2016 Florida state 9
Figure 3: 2016 community supervised offenders & 2007 incarceration by ethnicity 11
Figure 4: Unemployment in the US by race and unemployment in Miami 12
Figure 5: US city and nationwide average house price, income & violent crime , US 13
Figure 6: Assets at risk globally 14
Figure 7: Number of families benefiting from Bolsa Familia in 2010 15
Figure 8: Maracana Stadium during 2016 Olympic Games 17
Figure 9: Value ($bn) of Brazilian exports 2007-2016 18
Figure 10: Homicides in Rio De Janeiro per 100,000 19
Figure 11: Poor water treatment in Rio De Janeiro, 2016 20
Figure 12: Properties purchased by overseas companies per local authority in London 2010-2015 23
Figure 13: UK exports to EU ($bn) 24
Figure 14: London Metropolitan Region - Arrivals by country of residence 2014 (000’s) 25
Figure 15: London Metropolitan Region - GDP Per Capita £000’s (2000-2016) 27
Figure 16: London Nitrogen Dioxide Emissions Daily Average (ug m-3), 2010-2016 28
Figure 17: Delhi city streets 29
Figure 18: Economic growth index of Indian cities, 2000-2025, 2010=100 30
Figure 19: Rate of respiratory problems in Delhi versus rural India 31
Figure 20: Rate of respiratory problems in Delhi versus rural India 32
Figure 21: Worst polluted cities in 2015 PM25 (micrograms per cubic meter) 33
Figure 22: Crime rates in major Indian cities per 100,000 people 34
Figure 23: Athens riots 2016 36
Figure 24: Athens metropolitan region - real GDP and real GDP growth, 2000-25 37
Figure 25: Unemployment in Greece 2005-2020 in % of population 38
Figure 26: Number of building permits issued Greece 39
Figure 27: Possible outcomes for Greece through 2017 40
Figure 28: Refugee arrivals 2015-2016 40
Figure 29: Port of Piraeus refugee squat 41
Figure 30: Protest signs Athens 42
Figure 31: Attitudes in Europe toward the EU 43

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