"Runaway urban growth" should be at top of world's priorities: UN

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Port Moresby © UN-Habitat

Governments, local authorities and international institutions should place urban challenges of the 21st century at the top of their priorities.

That's according to Joan Clos, the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

He was speaking at the opening of this year's UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development also referred to as Habitat III.

Fifteen years from now, the UN predicts that 1 billion people will be added to the world's cities.

Mr Clos says the rapid urban growth is an "unprecedented challenge of humanity".

"In 40 years, four of every 5 people will live in towns and cities, and ours will be the urban planner. In comparison it was not until 1960 that the first billion people were urbanized. We have since then seen a runaway urban growth and the 15 years between 2003 and 2018, one billion more are in the process of urbanizing and becoming citizens of urban and human settlements."

Most of this urban growth will occur in the developing regions of the world.

Seven out of 10 urban dwellers will be from Africa or Asia in 2030.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’24″

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