Human Settlements - The Places Where People Live and Work
One of the main purposes of the UN Conference-Exposition on Human Settlements to be held in Vancouver, Canada, in June 1976, will be to bring to the world’s attention the nature and relative importance of the problems of human settlements against a background of widespread concern for the whole of our earthly environment – natural and man-made. Two of the most critical problems of society today – made increasingly urgent by the rapid rise in the world’s population – are the shortage of adequate housing and deterioration of the conditions under which people live and work. Many cities, particularly in the poorer countries of the world, are unable to provide adequate housing, food, sanitation, work and other essential services for all the people flocking to them in search of a better life. Rural settlements are being abandoned and neglected. Urbanization is not an evil in itself. The process can be guided and converted into a positive factor in development. Economic development and an improvement in the quality of human life need not be competing alternatives. The UN Vancouver Conference will endeavour to stimulate thinking along those lines.
President of the youth club in the village of Navenchauc weaving a cloth. With help from the UN Children's Fund and the UN Development Programme, the government has launched a project aimed at improving the lives of Indians in Chiapas State. [c. 1974]