So far, two broad avenues are emerging for the positive transformation of cities in the developing world:
1) Development related to better legal systems and economic policy that more effectively align incentives, usually implemented in a top-down manner by elites. These initiatives are much more visible and more likely to reach mainstream notice, more likely to be discussed and applauded by the establishment in developed nations.
2) Grass-roots activism that goes far beyond street protests, along with the broadest sweep of civil society organizing, associations, and commercial activity that are underground in some sense. (Much of this ‘subversive’ activity is in sector D or grey zones, the unofficial economy widely condemned by oppressive states, DAESH/ISIS among them!)