This century is one of urban transition. Almost half the world's population now lives in urban settlements and the last phase of this momentous transformation is at present taking place in the less developed countries of Asia, Oceania, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean. There has been a tendency to generalize about urbanization but there are important differences in the urban transformation across the South.The first essay in this volume discusses these divergences as well as the convergences. The second essay moves on to the urban history of Asia which is unparalleled anywhere else in the world in its time span, geographical spread, and cultural riches. The next three essays consider three regions of Asia - China, India, and Indonesia - as regions in their own right. They thus present units of analysis that can be usefully compared to the other three major Third World regions, here defined as the Arab states, Africa South of the Sahara, and Latin America, which are dealt with in the final three chapters.