“Urban” means cities, and “rural” means countryside. When we say the world is heading towards “Urbanisation”, it means that as the earth’s population grows, more and more people are moving from rural areas to urban areas, and cities are becoming larger, and more densely populated. All over the world, many people are moving from rural areas to cities in search of better jobs, education and a better quality of life. By 2050, more than half of the world's population will live in cities.
Issue 1: Ever-increasing Urban Population
The population of cities continues to increase, but the development necessary for people to live in those cities cannot keep up with the pace. This results in a shortage of houses to live in, environmental problems such as garbage and pollution, and poverty.
Issue 2: Lack of basic social services
There are still houses that do not have access to tap water or well water, or do not have toilets due to insufficient public sewage systems. There are people around the world who do not have access to basic social services.
Issue 3: Environmental problems in cities
There are people who live in unsanitary environments due to improper waste disposal. The rapid concentration of population in cities has a lot to do with this. This can lead to the spread of diseases, poor health, and contamination of water and air.
Issue 4: Housing problems in cities
In cities that are in the middle of development, there are not enough houses for the poor, and more and more people are living in areas called slums or “informal settlements”, places that are not suitable for people to live in.
UN-Habitat (United Nations Human Settlements Programme) is an agency of the United Nations. UN-Habitat's main mission is to help build better cities so that people around the world can live their daily lives comfortably, and in peace. UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific - Fukuoka works together with people living in the region to build inclusive, sustainable, and livable cities.
There are many challenges to urbanisation, but gaining knowledge is the first step! Let’s start small, and think about what we can do in our community.
UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) holds various events where you can learn about global issues and Sustainable Development Goals. This is a good chance to think about what kind of world we want to live in the future. Every year, ROAP organises an annual "World Habitat Day Children’s Drawing Contest'' where you can send in your artwork! Click below for details.
What are the Sustainable Development Goals? By learning about the SDGs initiative, you learn about the important issues in the world and develop an idea of how to solve them. If we do not take action now, the earth will become uninhabitable in the near future. Let's know what we can do through the SDGs!