Author(s): World Resources Institute
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Abstract PIP: This article summarizes a new 1996-97 report from the World Resources Institute, the UN Environmental Program, the UN Development Program, and the World Bank, which describes a future with increased levels of urbanization that were reshaping the physical and social environment. Urbanization increased economic growth and environmental degradation. By the year 2000, 50\% of the world population will live in urban areas. Cities are the center of economic activity. Consumption is the highest in cities. Cities produce the most pollution and waste. Three issues are particularly crucial to survival: the water supply, sanitation, and water resource management. Neglect of these and other environmental issues is likely to have important consequences in both developing and developed countries. The greatest growth in urban areas is occurring in developing countries. Cities in developing countries have huge populations living in poverty. The poor in either rural or urban areas are confronted with lack of access to clean water, to sanitation, and to housing. There is overcrowding and exposure to industrial wastes and air pollution. There is a need for policy reform, stronger institutions, and enlightened political leadership. Cities need to improve their environment and to strengthen local government and implement poverty reduction programs. Reform of urban policies must be accompanied by effective urban governance. Community-based approaches are essential. Broad-based support is needed for changes in strategies and practices and for attainment of a more sustainable environment.
This article was published in Finance Dev
and referenced in Journal of Coastal Zone Management