An ethnographer I know who worked among peasant communities in the Amazon found that many of the people he met were obsessed by the idea of moving to the cities. In view of the hellish nature of many Brazilian favelas – especially in the booming Amazonian towns – he wanted to know why. “You have a wonderful life here: the rivers are teeming with fish, your gardens are crammed with food, you work an hour or two a day to meet your needs. You can’t read or write: if you move to the city, you’ll have to beg or steal or sell your body to survive,” he pointed out. “What you say is probably true,” they answered, “but in the city you can dream.” – George Monbiot
Sadly for a great number of urban migrants, the dream remains to be — just a dream. With increasing problems due to mushrooming urban population, cities like Sydney have began to lure families away from the city by paying them to leave. Monbiot writes that these problems are the result of catastrophic planning failures. Read more from his article Sustainable Cities Must be Compact and High Density .