Global Leaders Discuss the Mutual Challenges of Urbanization

The recent World Urban Forum in Brazil attracted media from around the world, but surprisingly few from the U.S. But as Neal Peirce writes, that doesn't mean the U.S. government wasn't involved.

The U.S. sent a large delegation to the meetings in Rio de Janeiro, and officials met with leaders from other international cities to discuss the mutual problems and challenges they face as urbanization increases.

"Running as a constant theme in Rio was the idea of according all peoples - even the poorest - a fundamental 'right to the city' including basic services from clean water to education to transportation along with secure land tenure, even in favela-like settlements.

One can imagine supercilious journalists, or advocates of hard American military power, dismissing such city-to-city, nation-to-nation learning efforts as social frills, irrelevant to maintaining the United States' global ascendancy.

But worldwide exchanges and learning of the best city practices could be the best national security steps imaginable. They start with the cooperative promise of building constructive relationships as a less arrogant America."

Full Story: Obama Crew ‘Gets’ World Urban Ties — But Not Our Media

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