Pushing Forward a World Urban Campaign

City and government officials from around the world are in Rio de Janeiro to make the argument that urban hold the key to sustainability. Neal Peirce reports.

Peirce looks at a new effort to pool stakeholders to work on and invest in sustainable city initiatives.

"[A] new World Urban Campaign, nurtured into existence by UN-Habitat senior official Nicholas You and enthusiastically backed by UN-Habitat Executive Director Anna Tibaijuka, gets officially launched Friday. City governments and their regional and global alliances are included but so are multiple new types of partners - media groups, development banks, academics, trade unions and such corporations as Siemens, Arcadis, CEMEX and Veolia Environment.

The World Urban Campaign doesn't reject the ongoing need of cities to capture the attention and support of central governments. But its focus is different: to unite a broad range of interested stakeholders to invest in sustainable cities, share knowledge of what works, and set benchmarks to help cities - and the world - monitor urban progress."

Full Story: Eyes On Rio As It Hosts The World Urban Forum



Careful regarding implications

What this initiative shouldn't translate into is moving more and more rural residents to the cities. Particularly in "third world" countries, economic policies have simply removed people from their small farms and placed them in slums in cities - there's nothing sustainable about that.

However, we do need our existing cities to be as sustainable as possible, environmentally, economically and socially.

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