Page:Brundtland Report.djvu/32

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A/42/427
English
Page 32

urban world. Over only 65 years. the developing world's urban population has increased tenfold. from around 100 million in 1920 to 1 billion today. In 1940. one person in 100 lived in a city of 1 million or more inhabitants; by 1980. one in 10 lived in such a city. Between 1985 and the year 2000, Third World cites could grow by another three-quarters of a billion people. This suggests that the developing world must. over the next few years, increase by 65 per cent its capacity to produce and manage its urban infrastructure, services. and shelter merely to maintain today's often extremely inadequate conditions.

72. Few city governments in the developing world have the power, resources, and trained personnel to provide their rapidly 9rowing populations with the land. services, and facilities needed for an adequate human life: clean water, sanitation. schools, and transport. The result is mushrooming illegal settlements with primitive facilities, increased overcrowding, and rampant disease linked to an unhealthy environment. Many cities in industrial countries also face problems – deteriorating infrastructure, environmental degradation, inner-city decay, and neighbourhood collapse. But with the means and resources to tackle this decline, the issue for most industrial countries is ultimately one of political and social choice. Developing countries are not in the same situation. They have a major urban crisis on their hands.

73. Governments will need to develop explicit settlements strategies to guide the process of urbanization, taking the pressure off the largest urban centres and building up smaller towns and cities. more closely integrating them with their rural hinterlands. This will mean examining and changing other policies – taxation, food pricing, transportation, health. industrialization – that work against the goals of settlements strategies.

74. Good city management requires decentralization – of funds, political power, and personnel – to local authorities. which are best placed to appreciate and manage local needs. But the sustainable development of cities will depend on closer work with the majorities of urban poor who are the true city builders, tapping the skills, energies and resources of neighbourhood groups and those in the 'informal sector'. Much can be achieved by 'site and service' schemes that provide households with basic services and help them to get on with building sounder houses around these. (See Chapter 9 for a wider discussion of these issues and recommendations.)

III. INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND INSTITUTIONAL REFORM

1. The Role of the International Economy

75. Two conditions must be satisfied before international economic exchanges can become beneficial for all involved. The sustainability of ecosystems on which the global economy depends must be guaranteed, And the economic partners must be satisfied

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