The world is currently experiencing the biggest surge in urban development in history. More people have been living in cities than in the countryside for easily ten years now. By 2050, up to three-quarters of the world’s population will be living in urban environments. That opens up major opportunities: access to safe living space, greater prosperity, a broad range of cultural opportunities, and growing mobility. It creates problems too: after all, actually making all of these amenities available equally to all of the people moving to cities from the countryside often means headaches for urban planners, architects, and civil engineers.
In designating World Habitat Day as the first Monday in October each year and World Cities Day as the last day in October, the United Nations has created two international days that turn our attention to urban conditions and remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities.
“We all want the city of the future to be a place where people can live comfortably, in safety, and sustainably,” says Claus Rettig, the head of Evonik’s Resource Efficiency Segment. “Our innovations are already helping connect the dots between issues such as quality infrastructure, careful use of resources, and a high quality of life.”