With half of humanity living in cities today, urbanization is a critical issue for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, which will take place from 20 to 22 June in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the United Nations said today.
Cities are where the pressures of migration, globalization, economic development, social inequality, environmental pollution and climate change are most directly felt, according to DESA. Yet, at the same time, they are the engines of the world economy and centres of innovation where many solutions to global problems are being piloted.
"The launch of the World Urbanization Prospects is timely because world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, civil society organizations and other groups, will come together to shape how we can reduce poverty, advance social equity and ensure environmental protection on an ever more crowded planet," stated the Secretary-General of Rio+20, Sha Zukang, in a news release.
"We expect world leaders to come up with concrete action plans to realize sustainable cities for the future we want," he added.