The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, has opened a photography exhibition showing life on the ground in five of the world’s emerging cities.
The exhibition, featuring the work of renowned photographer Alessandro Scotti, a United Nations Goodwill Ambassadoe, is unveiled this week in the United Nations Pavilion at the World Expo in Shanghai, where UN-HABITAT kicks off a week of special events, starting with the Global Observance of World Habitat Day on Monday 4 October.
Entitled “Urban Edge” the photographs aim to show the gritty reality of some of the world’s fastest growing cities and give the predominantly Chinese audience a taste of life in: Johor Bahru, Malaysia; Tetouan, Morocco; Uberlândia, Brazil; Onitsha, Nigeria; and Hunchun, China.
“Cities have enormous potential to improve the world around them”, reads the introduction panel as visitors enter the exhibition hall. “Density, diversity and opportunity -- covering, respectively, physical, social, and economic realms -- are cities’ quintessential urban traits.”
As the only UN agency whose mandate concerns the city itself, UN-HABITAT looks at all aspects of city life. The potential urban advantage is most evident in the world’s fastest growing cities but is not always accessible to all their inhabitants.
As well as presenting the Scroll of Honour awards at this year’s World Habitat Day, UN-HABITAT will announce a special recognition to the Shanghai Coordination Bureau of the World Expo for “promoting our urban future to millions of people”, through its Expo theme Better City, Better Life. It is the first time the World Expo has tackled the important issue of urban growth and development.