Cities are key to sustainable development

Cities are crucial for sustainable development worldwide during the next decade, according to UN chief António Guterres. Speaking at the World Urban Forum, he highlighted that sustainable urbanization will help address climate change.   

Urbanization is one of the megatrends of our times, but the growth of our cities has come at the cost of a warming world. Cities and towns are now key to sustainable development, according to UN chief António Guterres.

At the opening of the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi, he said: “As we embark on a Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals, the world’s cities, towns and communities will be at the heart of this work.”

The UN chief added that the United Nations counts on local and national leaders, businesses, civil society and other partners to help provide solutions to global threats, including the climate emergency.

According to the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, who attended the ceremony, “we have the tools and repertoire of techniques to solve the problem”. He continued that the world needs a state-level change of culture, as well as a fresh approach to the culture of global organizations.

Another dignitary at the ceremony, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Frank Bainimarama, highlighted that living standards in cities have grown remarkably, but that progress has come at the cost of a warming world. “The old model of development is untenable; if we continue to urbanise on carbon-intensive industries, the world’s cities will crumble into hotbeds of inequality and extreme vulnerability,” he warned.

Image credit: Andreas Komodromos via Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

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