At the core of the strategic direction of UN-Habitat’s work is an increasingly accepted new vision of the role of urbanization in sustainable development. The rapidly increasing dominance of cities as the habitat of humankind places the process of urbanization among the most significant global trends of the twenty- first century. But urbanization is not simply a demographic phenomenon. The New Urban Agenda must therefore address all three pillars of sustainable development by firstly, promoting the economic role of cities in national development and recognizing the economic opportunities that they offer; secondly, paying attention to the basic needs of the millions of people living in poverty within towns and cities, including in the urban slums; and finally, addressing global environmental challenges such as climate change, unsustainable energy consumption, and the risk of disaster.
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