Global challenges are increasingly finding expression in the world’s cities. Whether considering poverty alleviation, health risks, climate change, the global financial crisis, or social, political, and economic exclusion, or global risk stemming from natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis or risk from conflict including warfare and international terrorism, cities are sites where these global challenges are most symptomatic, where the greatest concentrations of individual citizens and communities are affected, and where informed responses can be most strategic.
The world is passing through a dramatic demographic transition whereby urbanization is a defining phenomenon of the twenty-first century. While 10% of the world’s population lived in cities in 1900, 50%, or 3.3 billion people, live in cities today.
The world is said to have crossed the so-called rural-urban divide in 2007. We are living at the center of what we might now recognize as a “Demographic Reversal” – the...
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