Several major changes that occurred in the global economy in the 1980s and 1990s have affected the pattern of growth of cities in developing countries. Such changes include (1) the rapid growth in international trade, and a shift away from trade in goods to trade in business and financial services, (2) the transformation of production processes, leading to localized production systems coupled to centralized control, (3) advances in telecommunications, and (4) the global mobility of capital flows and increased foreign direct investment in certain developing countries. At the same time, structural adjustment programs in the 1980s reduced levels of investment by governments in urban infrastructure, housing, and services despite the rapid growth of urban areas ( unchs, 1996). Developments in the world economy have been accompanied by major shifts of populations from rural to urbanized areas. This is related to demographic, economic, and political changes, which have led to changing roles for urban areas ( unchs, 1996).