Urbanization poses both "challenge and opportunity": UN

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A view of the New York city skyline. [1993] UN Photo/Andrea Brizzi

Urban areas are at the heart of many great challenges, opportunities and promise, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a gathering of high-level representatives in New York on Tuesday.

The three day Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Integration Segment will focus on the topic of sustainable urbanization.

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

But too many cities face challenges, ranging from weak infrastructure, to unemployment and pollution, Mr. Ban Ki-moon noted.

"Climate change is increasing risks in all cities, where the poorest people are hit the hardest. We are seeing daily disasters at unexpected times and places. Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia and Croatia just had their worst floods in more than a century. Jobs, businesses and economies in a number of cities across the region, including in Croatia, have suffered."  (31″)

Mr. Ban said there was a need for a "generation of global citizens who use science and technology to develop green technologies that will further sustainable urbanization."

The capacity of governments to plan, construct and manage urban areas needed to be strengthened too, he added.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″



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