Rapid urbanization (together with climate change) is emerging as the most challenging issue of the twenty-first century. As the region with the highest percentage increase in urban population over the last two decades, Asia faces fundamental economic, social and environmental challenges to its continued development.
The report throws new light on current issues and challenges which national and local governments, the business sector and organised civil society are facing. On top of putting forward a number of recommendations, this report testifies to the wealth of good, innovative practice that countries of all sizes and development stages have accumulated across the region. It shows us that sustainable human settlements are within reach, and that cooperation between public authorities, the private and the voluntary sectors is the key to success.
The diversity of Asia provides unique opportunities for examining the effectiveness of different policies and instruments. The Asian financial crisis reveals our ignorance of market operations and makes us to rethink the Asian economic environment in which the markets operate and the performance of particular sectoral markets. Housing markets are very important areas.