“In a world where already over half the population lives in urban areas, the human future is largely an urban future.  We must get urbanization right, which means reducing greenhouse emissions, strengthening resilience, ensuring basic services such as water and sanitation and designing safe public streets and spaces for all to share.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

DhakaOn the left is Karial slum, one of the urban slums in Dhaka.
One billion people-one out of three urban dwellers-are living in slum conditions.

2014: Leading Urban Transformations

On 27 December 2013, the UN General Assembly (by resolution A/RES/68/239) decided to designate 31 October, beginning in 2014, as World Cities Day. The General Assembly invites States, the United Nations system, in particular UN-Habitat, relevant international organizations, civil society and all other relevant stakeholders to observe and raise awareness of the Day, and stresses that the costs of all activities that may arise from observing the Day should be met from voluntary contributions.

The General Assembly recognizes the significance of equitable and adequate access to urban basic services as a foundation for sustainable urbanization and therefore to overall social and economic development.

The United Nations encourages Governments and Habitat Agenda partners to use planned city extension methodologies to guide the sustainable development of cities experiencing rapid urban growth, in order to prevent slum proliferation, enhance access to urban basic services, support inclusive housing, enhance job opportunities and create a safe and healthy living environment.


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