By: Dela Ahiawor
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in a video message to a packed audience at the ongoing first UN-Habitat Assembly in Nairobi has underscored the importance of sustainable urbanization.
“Well planned and managed cities can steer us towards inclusive growth and sustainable low emission development. T he gathering comes at an important juncture, 60per cent of urban infrastructure needed by 2030 is yet to be built. That creates great opportunities,” he said.
Over the next five days the UN-Habitat Assembly taking place at the United Nations Office in Nairobi, Kenya will to adopt global norms and policies that will guide how cities and communities are planned, managed and governed.
The UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif said: “No one here needs convincing that sustainable urbanization is the key issue of the moment. The assembly’s theme of innovation for better lives in cities and communities clearly spells it out. If we don’t innovate and if we continue do business as usual we will have little hope of progress.”
Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta also highlighted the importance of sustainable urbanization and the need for innovative solutions to the challenges faced by cities in his opening address.
Rapid urbanization is the development trend in recent times. As a result, ensuring that urbanization in the developing world happens sustainably is an urgent priority as cities’ populations and areas are growing faster than the ability of national and local governments to plan for, build and manage these changes.