The effects of change are, as ever, felt most strongly in cities and urban areas. This was underlined by COVID-19 which laid bare the economic and social vulnerability of our urban way of life.
Sustainable urban development has therefore never been more difficult and with two thirds of the world’s population expected to live in urban areas by 2050, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, that challenge will only grow more formidable.
There is therefore a growing commitment to focus on urban issues across the public sector, private sector, civil society and the United Nations System. In Our Common Agenda, the United Nations Secretary-General urges Member States to take broader and more decisive action to tackle the threats of climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and escalating inequalities and conflicts. In urban areas, the response to these threats requires strong leadership and guidance from UN-Habitat, with its knowledge and knowhow drawn from decades of experience of working with local and national governments, communities and all urban stakeholders.