By Seyyada A Burney
From New York to Kuala Lumpur, cities are sites of rapid economic growth and mass consumption. Despite this, governments and NGOs around the world are increasingly concerned about whether cities, by their sheer size and the economic and social relations they foster, and urban growth are sustainable.
High property values and unemployment have led to rapid slum development in many cities. (Photo credit: Cityform Network)
The Ford Foundation, a private New York-based foundation that supports programs encouraging democratic values, education, and economic and social progress, is working to promote a vision of inclusive, equitable, and sustainable development in cities. On June 17 and 18 it will host side events, entitled ‘The Just City’, at the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development where leaders and innovators such as Luis Ubiñas, President of the Ford Foundation, Joan Clos, Director of UN-Habitat, and Jeb Brugmann, founder of ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability, will gather to discuss the opportunities and challenges afforded by sustainable and inclusive urban development.
Discussions will focus on individuals, areas, or programs contributing to equality and integration in cities, such as public transport or participatory urban planning, and will also identify some of the common barriers they face when trying to expand, or scale up, such initiatives.
Click here to read more about the Ford Foundation’s work on sustainable cities.
Seyyada Burney is a Research Intern with Nourishing the Planet.