Venue: S2

The world is moving towards a “metropolitan age” characterized by large, growing urban agglomerations, with a complexity and diversity that are unprecedented for our civilizations. An emerging and more integrated global system of cities, megacities, urban regions and corridors is changing and re-shaping the global urban landscape and the future of our societies. There were just five mega-cities of more than 10 million inhabitants at the time of Habitat I in 1976. Today there are 31, three quarters of them in the global South. Many metropolitan areas host massive concentrations of wealth and offer promising opportunities for growth while, at the same time, denying or failing to ensure a number of fundamental rights, like decent housing and access to quality basic services. Many large cities aim to compete for growth and investment in a globalized world but, at the same time, are unable to effectively address their own inequalities, which entrench exclusion and marginality. Many areas that ​bear the promise of an improved quality of life are at risk by the irreversible depletion of their natural resources and life-support systems. However, if adequately empowered and managed, metropolitan areas are where many of the world’s most pressing challenges can be addressed and solved. (source UCLG)

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