Over the years, we at UNDP have seen how urbanization has influenced development in countries around the world. The progressive movement of populations to cities and towns represents a fundamental change in global development. Two aspects in particular are directly relevant to UNDP’s work and mandate. First, as the majority of developing country populations move to urban areas, poverty in the developing world has become increasingly urbanized. Relative and multidimensional poverty will increasingly be concentrated in urban areas, and the drivers and characteristics of poverty determined by urban conditions. Second, many of the other development challenges that UNDP addresses have increasingly been found in urban areas – energy use, GHG emissions, climate change impacts and disasters, diseases outbreaks, myriad forms of pollution, gender and social, economic and political exclusion and lack of access to basic services including justice and security. UNDP recognizes that, to help countries implement the 2030 Agenda, we need to support governments, businesses and communities to respond to these aspects of urbanization using an integrated approach to promote sustainability, inclusiveness and resilience.
The event will officially launch UNDP’s strategy to promote sustainable urbanization and sustainable communities to support countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It will focus on community empowerment, gender equality and inclusion. To achieve the SDGs, we need to support governments, businesses and communities to respond to challenges and opportunities of urbanization by promoting sustainability, inclusiveness and resilience.