Urbanization, if planned, can benefit the people: Kagame

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H.E. Mr. Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda. UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras

Planned urbanization can help reduce poverty sustainably Rwandan President Paul Kagame has told participants at a UN gathering on the future of cities.

With 6.3 billion people expected to live in urban areas by 2050, the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is holding three days of discussion on sustainable urbanization.

The choice is not whether to urbanize or not, President Paul Kagame said, but whether it's managed in such a way that citizens obtain the maximum benefits possible.

"Urbanization is naturally taking place. It takes place whether you are prepared for it, you plan for it or not. So it is better to be ready for it and therefore it is important that people go ahead of urbanization and try to prepare for it and plan for it so that it happens in a planned manner and, in a sustainable way to benefit the people from the rural areas to urban areas."

More than 50 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas today.

By 2050, about 70 per cent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas, and more than 60 per cent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 is yet to be developed.

Ninety-five per cent of urban expansion will take place in developing countries.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’3’3”

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