Sample of world cities shows risky lack of planning: UN experts | Land Portal

By: Ellen Wulfhorst

Date: June 10th 2016

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Dangerously weak planning is leading to unchecked urban sprawl, leaving new city dwellers far from transportation and services, United Nations experts said.

A lack of solid urban planning affects two-thirds of the world population that will live in cities by 2050, said the head of UN-Habitat and other experts introducing a U.N. Sample of Cities, a study of 200 cities with populations of more than 100,000.

The sample is intended as a research tool tracking trends from air and water quality to commuting times, housing affordability and access to public space, they said.

So far, the sample shows an increase in average land use per capita over the last 25 years, said Joan Clos, executive director of UN-Habitat, a U.N. agency. The most recent figure is 277 square meters per capita compared with 203 meters in 1990, he said.

"What is happening ... is an increase of sprawling urbanization," Clos said on Thursday. "Informality is gaining share in the growth of cities."



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