Development actors need to explore a more inclusive notion of prosperity and development, finds new UN-Habitat report The State of the World’s Cities 2012/2013: The Prosperity of Cities.
According to the report, there is a need for a shift in attention around the world in favour of a MORE ROBUST NOTION OF DEVELOPMENT – one that looks beyond the narrow domain of economic growth that has dominated ill-balanced policy agendas over the last decades, and includes other vital dimensions such as quality of life, adequate infrastructures, equity and environmental sustainability.
“In this Report, UN-Habitat advocates for a new type of city – the city of the 21st century – that is a „good‟, people centred city,” said Dr Joan Clos, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat.
“The cities of the future should be ones that are capable of integrating the tangible and more intangible aspects of prosperity, in the process shedding off the inefficient, unsustainable forms and functionalities of the city of the previous century or so and becoming the engine rooms of growth and development.”
The CITY OF THE 21ST CENTURY:
· Reduces disaster risks and vulnerabilities for the poor and build resilience to adverse forces of nature.
· Creates harmony between the five dimensions of prosperity and enhances the prospects for a better future.
· Stimulates local job creation, promotes social diversity, maintains a sustainable environment and recognizes the importance of public spaces.
· Comes with a change of pace, profile and urban functions and provides the social, political and economic conditions of prosperity.
The UNISDR report "Making Cities Resilient 2012 -- My city is getting ready! A global snapshot of how local governments reduce disaster risk" complements UN-HABITAT’s findings. Margareta Wahlström, Head, UNISDR, said that several elements used by UN-HABITAT to assess city prosperity, such as equity and good governance, also bolster disaster resilience. "The findings from our own studies on cities show that low socio-economic development need not necessarily limit all resilience-building activities, especially when the central government and multilateral agencies work together to ensure the right people come together to take action," said Wahlström said