Rapid urbanization reflects the attractiveness of the city for people who aspire to take up work and better living conditions. Some African and Asian cities will double in size in less than 15 years in a transformation that is unplanned and messy. Mistakes are being repeated.
Cities should play an essential role in contributing to economic development and reducing poverty. The concentration of economic, social and cultural activities enables more exchanges, productivity and innovation. Urbanisation is a harbinger of social transformation. Yet, this reality has not been recognised by most governments in urbanising countries and in development cooperation policies.
Civil society, the private sector, local and national authorities have a major role to play. This requires working on urban rules and regulations, urban design and the financial dimension of sustainable urban development. Time is short - decisions taken now will define cities for the next 50 years.
- Dr Joan Clos
- Ivy Langat Future Leader, youth panellist from Kenya
- Clara Doe Mvogo, Mayor of Monrovia, Liberia
- Sheela Patel, Chair of the Board, Shack / Slum Dwellers International (SDI)
- Anne Paugam, Chief Executive Officer, Agence française de Développement (AFD)
- Jean-Pierre Elong-Mbassi, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLGA)