UN calls for inclusive urban development

United Nations, Oct 31 (IANS) UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa Friday called for an inclusive and sustainable approach for urban development that considers the needs of marginalised groups.

Commemorating the first-ever “World Cities Day,” Kutesa made the remarks at a UN high-level event themed “People-Centred Urbanisation” which highlights involvement of citizens to solve problems in urban planning, Xinhua reported.
Kutesa pointed out marginalised groups, like migrants, slum dwellers and youth, must be engaged and empowered to ensure that their needs are addressed.
“Urbanisation can be a driving force for social and cultural transformation by allowing peoples with diverse backgrounds, experience and knowledge to coexist and interact,” he said.
He also said that access to adequate health and education systems, decent jobs, basic infrastructure, and leisure activities will ensure urban settlements and the people living within them reach their full potential.
“With adequate planning and inclusion, the challenges of urbanization can be translated into opportunities for growth,” he said.
Noting the world is rapidly urbanizing with shifting dynamics, Kutesa said “the need to create inclusive, sustainable and resilient cities is both imperative and urgent.”
The idea of World Cities Day was proposed by the Shanghai Declaration issued at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010, to advocate the idea of better city, better life.