More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will have risen to 6.5 billion people – two-thirds of all humanity. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.
The rapid growth of cities in the developing world, coupled with increasing rural to urban migration, has led to a boom in mega-cities. In 1990, there were ten mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. In 2014, there are 28 mega-cities, home to a total 453 million people.
Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces, and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.
Goals in action
Throughout Africa and beyond, millions of poor people from rural areas have been moving to the suburbs of big cities, areas with little or no infrastructure. While government and UNDP are working together to improve infrastructure, climate change is threatening to undo all this good work. MORE >
One of the biggest obstacles to improving the living conditions of the Congolese people is access to financial services. UNDP and UNCDF have set up a programme to support inclusive finance. The project supports the creation of solidarity groups to provide better access to finance for the poor through loans that are guaranteed collectively. MORE >