World Cities Day highlights critical role of urbanization

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Participatory neighbourhood planning involving women in Nepal © UN-Habitat

There is a need to address what has been described as the "deep challenges" of urbanization.

That's the message of the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Joan Clos, on World Cities Day, celebrated for the first time on 31 October.

He says the day was created to celebrate the positive impact that well-managed urbanisation can have on economic, social and environment development.

UN-Habitat estimates that more than two thirds of the world's population- nearly 5 billion- people will be living in cities by 2030.

Mr Clos says there is a need to proactively shape urban areas to avoid their negative trends.

"There's a huge need to address the deep challenges of urbanization. Of course, urbanization is a very good opportunity because it accelerates economic growth but also has challenges related to climate change, to inequality, to congestion, etcetera."

The head of UN-Habitat added that urban transformation is inevitable, and will continue, as he describes it, "for better or worse".

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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