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State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009 – Harmonious Cities

March 26, 2009 Leave a comment

State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009 – Harmonious Cities. (pdf, 25MB). UN-HABITAT, 2008.

“…….Half of humanity now lives in cities, and within two decades, nearly 60 per cent of the world’s people will be urban dwellers. Urban growth is most rapid in the developing world, where cities gain an average of 5 million residents every month. As cities grow in size and population, harmony among the spatial, social and environmental aspects of a city and between their inhabitants becomes of paramount importance. This harmony hinges on two key pillars: equity and sustainability. “

“……Cities embody some of society’s most pressing challenges, from pollution and disease to unemployment and lack of adequate shelter. But cities are also venues where rapid, dramatic change is not just possible but expected. Thus they present real opportunities for increasing energy efficiency, reducing disparities in development and improving living conditions in general. National and local governments can promote harmonious urbanization by supporting pro-poor, inclusive and equitable urban development and by strengthening urban governance structures and processes. History demonstrates that integrated urban policy can be a solid path towards development.”

The data and analysis contained in this report are intended to improve our understanding of how cities function and what we, as a global community, can do to increase their liveability and unity. In that spirit, I commend this report to policymakers, mayors, citizens’ groups and all those concerned with the welfare of our urbanizing world………..”…. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

Contents

Part 1: SPATIAL HARMONY

1.1. The Spatial Distribution of the World’s Cities.

1.2. Urban Growth Patterns

1.3. Which Cities are Growing and Why

1.4. Shrinking Cities.

Part 2: SOCIAL HARMONY

2.1. Why Urban Inequality Matters

2.2. Urban Inequalities: Regional Trends .

2.3. Education, Employment and City Size .

2.4. Slums: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

2.5. Slum Cities and Cities with Slums. .

Part 3: ENVIRONMENTAL HARMONY

3.1. Urban Environmental Risks and Burdens

3.2. Cities and Climate Change

3.3. Cities at Risk from Rising Sea Levels .

3.4. Energy Consumption in Cities

3.5. Urban Energy Consumption at the Household Level

3.6. Urban Mobility. . 174

Part 4: PLANNING FOR HARMONIOUS CITIES

4.1. Inclusive Urban Planning for Harmonious Urban Development.

4.2. Building Bridges: Social Capital and Urban Harmony

4.3. Unifying the Divided City.

4.4. Addressing Rural-Urban Disparities for Harmonious Regional Development

4.5. Metropolitan Governance: Governing in a City of Cities.

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HABITAT – State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009: Harmonious Cities

October 28, 2008 1 comment

Half of humanity is now living in cities, but this dramatic transition is far from over, according to the new UN-Habitat report “State of the World’s Cities 2008/9: Harmonious Cities”, which finds that urbanization levels globally will rise dramatically in the next 40 years to reach 70 per cent by 2050.

Anna Tibaijuka, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and Eduardo Lopez Moreno, Director of UN-Habitat’s City Monitoring Branch and principal author of the report, launched the report at a Headquarters press conference in New York today.

Ms. Tibaijuka cited the report as stating that, although more than 70 per cent of the populations of Europe, North America and Latin America were already urban, Asia and Africa, which were predominantly rural, with 41 per cent and 39 per cent of their populations, respectively, living in urban areas, were in for a major demographic shift.

By the middle of the twenty-first century, the total urban population of the developing world would more than double, increasing from 2.3 billion in 2005 to 5.3 billion in 2050. In the last two decades alone, the urban population of the developing world had grown by an average of 3 million people per week. She said that, given such an enormous demographic shift and transformation taking place so rapidly, the trend was sometimes overwhelming the available resources to address the situation. Further, one out of every three people living in the cities of the developing world lived in slum and squatter settlements.

A slum was defined by the report as any dwelling that had no access to water or sanitation and was either made of not durable building materials, was overcrowded or had insecurity of tenure. However, she explained, the report found that not all slum-dwellers suffered the same degree or magnitude of deprivation, nor were all slums homogenous. Some, in fact, provided better living conditions than others, and the degree of deprivation depended on how many of the five “shelter deprivations” used to measure slums defined above were associated with a particular slum household.

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