Sourced from the UN:
Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically. With the number of people living within cities projected to rise to 5 billion people by 2030, it’s important that efficient urban planning and management practices are in place to deal with the challenges brought by urbanization.
Many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity without straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing, declining infrastructure and rising air pollution within cities.
Rapid urbanization challenges, such as the safe removal and management of solid waste within cities, can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. One such example is an increase in municipal waste collection. There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
Facts and Figures
- Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today and 5 billion people are projected to live in cities by 2030.
- 95 percent of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in developing world.
- 883 million people live in slums today and most them are found in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia.
- The world’s cities occupy just 3 percent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 percent of energy consumption and 75 percent of carbon emissions.
- Rapid urbanization is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment, and public health.
- As of 2016, 90% of urban dwellers have been breathing unsafe air, resulting in 4.2 million deaths due to ambient air pollution. More than half of the global urban population were exposed to air pollution levels at least 2.5 times higher than the safety standard.
Resources & References
- UN Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 11
- The Global Goals – Goal 11
- The World’s Largest Lesson – Goal 11
- More Resources