“Sustainable cities may not be the most popular topic in the post-2015 debate but it is essential to global development. Anyone who has experienced rush-hour traffic in São Paulo, Mexico City, or Nairobi can attest to the importance of managing urbanization. Member states that met last week at the seventh session of the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals (OWG) are already planning for shorter commutes as well as a host of other measures aimed at making the world’s cities more efficient, productive, and inclusive places to live.
That’s a good thing. Currently half of the global population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to grow to 70 percent by 2050. With more and more people living in cities, we need collectively to ensure they can continue to provide for our needs well into the future. As the presenter, Executive Director of UN Habitat John Clos, argued during the OWG Session 7 debate, “the only way to avoid urbanization is to avoid development.””
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