UN-HABITAT launched its report State of the World Cities 2010/2011: Bridging the Urban Divide in the run up to the World Urban Forum 5 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka launched the report at press conferences in London, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. The report investigates the challenges facing our rapidly urbanizing population and how the urban advantage, the economic and social benefit of living in a city, can be exploited and enjoyed by all.
“With over half the world’s population now living in cities, and cities making a disproportionate contribution to climate change, urbanization is one of the “crucial agendas” of our time, UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon said in a preface to the publication.
According to Mrs. Tibaijuka, to new estimates presented in this report showed that between the year 2000 and 2010 over 200 million people in the developing world will have been lifted out of slum conditions. In other words, she said, governments have collectively exceeded the Millennium Target by at least a multiple of two.
“However, this achievement is not uniformly distributed across regions. Success is highly skewed towards the more advanced emerging economies, while poorer countries have not done as well. For this reason, there is no room for complacency, because in the course of the same years the number of slum dwellers increased by six million every year,” she said.
This year’s Fifth Session of the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro will explore the right to the city and will feature open debates and key dialogues addressing; sustainable urbanization, governance and participation, the urban divide, cultural diversity, equal access to shelter and finally, taking forward the right to the city.
This year, for the first time, State of Urban Youth 2010/2011: Leveling the Playing Field, a report focused specifically on the youth in our cities, will also accompany this important research.