Arrival City

Arrival City

The Final Migration and Our Next World

Book - 2010
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Doug Saunders introduces us to the migrants themselves, and with the aid of their stories elucidates their essential part in the economic fabric. He makes clear that the cities and nations that provide citizenship and opportunity to migrants stand to benefit as the migrant class evolves into a middle class, and he explains why those that ignore these people will see increased social unrest, poverty, and religious fundamentalism.
Publisher: Toronto : Knopf Canada, c2010.
ISBN: 9780307396891
Branch Call Number: 304. 809 SAU
Characteristics: 356 p. : map ; 24 cm.


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Jun 06, 2018

In this book, Doug Saunders does his best to coin the term Arrival City. An Arrival City is a city designed to transition poor villagers from countrysides around the world into city people with hopes of entering the middle class, be it in their own country or on the other side of the planet. He wants people to stop seeing slums as just static, tragic places, and instead wants to acknowledge the massive global migration occurring from rural to urban life.

Although Saunders cites credible sources, it remains that he is advocating for a certain concept and perspective to be accepted. In some moment I did feel I was "taking his word for it", and that he may be cherry-picking facts to suit his argument. Nonetheless, his is an important perspective from which to see what slums and immigration are - an attempt to improve one's life and the life of their family. He also demonstrates the problem with government that mishandles the inevitable migration. Sometimes the book got hard for me to keep reading because each section is essentially the same argument applies to a new place. But at the same time, each section tells stories from different people in different corners of the world. You get to read the history of how many "Arrival Cities" around the world came to be, and each story shows how the same narratives appear in all places.

While it'll take more than his voice to coin "Arrival City", this book offers an important perspective in a way that many audiences could - and should - read.

rayhpl Mar 03, 2016

By taking the reader to various periphery communities around the world - those on the margins of urban centers - Doug Saunders challenges us to rethink of these shunned neighbourhoods as simply destitute and depraved places, but rather, as areas in a state of flux. These "arrival cities", and the predominant contingent of villagers/immigrants that inhabit them, act as gateways towards a less precarious way of life. Whether, and how quickly, this resourceful population and their jutting, makeshift settlements are able to improve and benefit the overall economy depends on government's attitude - to accept and integrate or to reject and isolate. The author makes a compelling argument in support of the emancipation of these arrival cities.

It was interesting to learn how oversight and neglect in the understanding of migrations have triggered and continue to influence revolutions and conflicts across the globe. Through unique case studies, this book also provided further insight into the dynamics of globalization, multiculturalism, civilization and by extension, human nature.

Mar 28, 2013

A truly important book that should be on everyone's reading list. It will change the way you think about immigration and urbanization.

Dec 18, 2012

a book filled with exciting premises about slum suburbs!

Apr 12, 2011

This book is well researched and filled with a variety of examples from across the globe. The premise is very interesting and well argued.

Jan 14, 2011

Great book and wonderful work by a Canadian author. It has a positive outlook towards the future and proves it by the data to show the impact of rural migration. Written a gripping way the book managed to keep me interested till the end. Politicians, right wingers or left wingers should read this before making policy decisions for all over the world.

debwalker Jan 11, 2011

Finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

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Apr 12, 2011

Nutty thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Another highly enlightening read! Saunders challenges stereotypes and misconceptions about shanty towns, urban slums, ethnic enclaves and marginal ghettos. He also counters romantic notions about farms and peasant life with a cogent and convincing defense of cities as engines of social mobility. And he takes on the misguided and ill-considered discrimination against unskilled workers. If you want to find out how and why Canada's and Australia;s immigration policies are ass-backwards, check out Arrival Cities. Filled with fascinating insights into the lives of rural refugees, I strongly recommend it.


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