Cities have always been constellations of contradictory flows and forces – of wealth and poverty, growth and stagnation, diversity and division, power and constraint, peace and conflict. Exponential population growth and unplanned urban sprawl, along with operational and financial limits risk exacerbating tensions such as rising inequalities, poverty, marginalisation and ecological stress. With these challenges in mind, how can we guarantee that cities are ‘inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ in the way headlined in the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?
Urban planning, whilst capable of affecting real positive change, also has many caveats. One in three urban residents in the developing world lives in unplanned slums and the majority of future urban growth is expected to take place in the poorest regions of the world. How can urban planning include society’s most marginalised? What currently works and why? What approaches might be required in an urban future in which equality is uncertain?
The British Academy