use Covid-19 to rebuild better, cities say

The United Nations has urged civilian leaders to better build more livable urban centers for public health, society and the environment

TBILISI, October 31 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – COVID-19 will not spell the end of the world cities, which will continue to grow over the next decade, the United Nations said on Saturday, urging civilian leaders to use the pandemic as a springboard to use. to build better, more livable urban centers.

About 20% of the world population is expected to live in cities by 2030, compared to 56% today, despite the coronavirus pandemic that has forced many people to seek a new home outside of crowded urban centers, the UN said in a report .

Yet the virus has done the most harm to marginalized communities and exposed inequalities that need to be addressed if cities want to manage growth fairly, according to Antonio Vuter’s secretary general.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep inequalities,” Guterres said in a preface to the report, adding that tackling the virus has proved more challenging in areas with inferior housing, unequal access to health care and awkward transport links.

“We can not go back to work as usual. Cities and communities are demanding that those with authority take the opportunity to rebuild better.”

The study said that the relative success of major metropolises such as Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo in managing outbreaks suggested overpopulation rather than density.

The high population density has indeed facilitated the provision of health care and other services, and the addition of compact urban centers is also preferable from an environmental and social perspective.

The C40 network of cities working on climate action is campaigning for a 15-minute city model, where people can reach their destination within 15 minutes of walking, cycling or using mass transit.

Cities are physically expanding much faster than their population, sucking up soil from natural and agricultural areas and contributing to climate change, according to the report by UN-Habitat, the UN settlement agency.

Extensive peripheries often do not have adequate transportation connections, which fuel traffic and pollution and reduce access to jobs and public spaces, including parks and green spaces that promote health and well-being.

Robin King, a director of the WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities think tank, said problems arise when cities are designed only with the ability of the rich and poor people are confined to slums that are not serviced.

“Designing, building and financing cities to provide quality services, including quality housing, for all the people who live in them is essential for the density to be livable,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. said.

Effective planning to build greener, more compact cities is key to improving the lives of millions, the UN report said.

“The COVID-19 pandemic does not mean the end of cities,” Maimunah Mohd Sharif, executive director of UN-Habitat, said in a statement.

“But we have the opportunity to make this merger process more inclusive, with a clear focus on our joint well-being.”

(Posted by Umberto Bacchi @ UmbertoBacchi, Editing by Ros Russell. Give credit to the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charity arm of Thomson Reuters, which covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http: // news


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