Over half of the world’s population now live in cities, with numbers expected to double by 2050, but while urbanization poses serious challenges, cities can also be powerhouses for sustainable development; something the UN is spotlighting on World Cities Day, marked 31 October.
The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will host a celebration at its Paris Headquarters on Thursday, convening representatives from all corners of the world for discussions on how cities can combat the climate crisis, create more inclusive urban spaces, and contribute to technical innovation.
Cities provide a wealth of opportunities, jobs included, and generate over 80 percent of gross national product across the globe, according to UN estimates. Urban areas also account for between 60 and 80 percent of all energy consumption, despite only occupying three percent of the planet’s surface and are responsible for three-quarters of all greenhouse gas emissions.
In addressing these pros and cons, the Organisation has advocated for a “people-centered” development model and aims to “re-humanize cities” in the face of trends impacting them, from population growth, demographic shifts, and increasing the risk of disasters induced by climate change.
UN chief calls cities a battleground for the climate crisis
This post was originally published by the UN News Centre. Click here to read.