“Grow now, pay later” no longer an option for world’s ballooning cities — experts

By Gregory Scruggs
Thomson Reuters Foundation
Friday, 9 February 2018

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Only about half of 150 countries surveyed have adopted laws governing urban development despite growing pressure for governments to embed cities into national strategies, experts said on Friday.

A report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found only 76 out of 150 countries have dedicated laws despite evidence that cities are key for sustainable economic growth.

What happens in urban areas is critical to national economic, social and environmental performance as cities generate more than 80 percent of global economic output, according to the World Bank.

They are also among the biggest polluters, struggling to balance growth with tackling environmental challenges as the proportion of people living in urban areas is forecast to grow to 66 percent by 2050 from just over half today....

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