According to the World Population Clock, the human population reached 8 billion on November 15th. According to the UN, this milestone represents a celebration of human longevity due to improvements in public health and medicine, but it also comes with warnings about inequality, limited access to food and resources, and environmental damage. Despite the impressive number, the annual World Population Prospect report shows that the global population is growing at the slowest rate since 1950, and it predicts a continued deceleration in the second half of this century.
As more than half of the world population lives in cities, an estimated 55.7%, according to UN-Habitat’s latest reports, the urban challenges are growing exponentially. The UN expects this number to increase to 68% by 2050, with close to 90% of this increase taking place in Asia and Africa. Accelerated urbanization can pose significant risks, such as increasing inequality, poverty, sectorized development, social exclusion, and pollution. In this context, a well-balanced urban agenda becomes crucially important in achieving inclusive, safe, and sustainable cities.