At a time when urbananisation is on an increase across the globe, the world leaders have said that planned urbanization will lead to positive development outcomes and can be leveraged for improved quality of life and overall prosperity.
In its latest report “The Value of Sustainable Urbanization, World Cities Report 2020”, the UN Habitat said all groups should have the opportunity to reap the benefits of urbanisation. The report said that urban regions are heterogeneous places where diverse groups such as Indigenous people, migrants, refugees and people with different identity and orientation coexist. As such the report said that the value of urbanization should respond to the specific of each of these groups.
It also said that people migrate to urban regions as these places are full of opportunity where they think their aspirations can materialise.
Urbanization not an intrinsic threat to natural environment:
The UN Habitat report argues that greater resource efficiency meant less energy use. It said that cities can themselves promote biodiversity through urban greening. Stating that urban areas covered just two per cent of global land area, the report said that majority of the people living here could have light planetary footprint, which allows for wildlife conservation and for undisturbed biodiversity.
Urban areas enhance social inclusion and reduce poverty:
People have left the rural areas to the cities to pursue their dreams and aspirations. The report states that economic growth of a city will not reduce poverty if the growth does not allow low-income or disadvantaged groups to benefit from such growth.
Strong civic and cultural institutions;
The UN Habitat report stated that strong civic and cultural institutions were essentially crucial for realization of sustainable urbanization. It said that constitution; regulations, laws, customs, norms and traditions provide the structure for the value of urbanization to be fully realized. It can also lead to inclusive prosperity and improved quality of life.
Urbanization to be driving force for global growth:
The report points out that the value of urbanization can be fully realized only through effective planning, management and governance. And only then a transformative process will happen, the report added.
Urban economic prosperity to provide basis to achieving the SDGs and recovering from COVID-19 induced recession:
The UN Habitat said that the goals of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development will not be achieved in the absence of healthy urban economies and pro-poor economic development policies. It said that appropriate macroeconomic policies and well planned urbanization will help countries to attain economic growth.
Enhancing social value of urbanization by protecting rights of vulnerable groups:
Empowering marginalised groups like homeless, slum dwellers, indigenous people, youth and LGBTQ2+ will make cities equitable for all, the report said.