“Use COVID-19 To Build Back Better, Cities Told”

“The United Nations urged civic leaders to build more liveable urban centres better for public health, society and the environment”

“TBILISI¬† –¬† COVID-19 will not spell the end of world cities, which are set to grow further over the next decade, the United Nations said on Saturday, urging civic leaders to use the pandemic as a springboard to build better, more liveable urban centres.

About 60% of the global population is expected to live in cities by 2030, up from 56% today, despite the coronavirus pandemic pushing many to look for a new home outside congested urban centres, the U.N. said in a report.

Yet the virus has inflicted the most harm on marginalised communities and laid bare inequalities that must be addressed if cities are to manage growth fairly, according to U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed deep inequalities,” Guterres said in a foreword to the report, adding that tackling the virus has proven more challenging in areas with substandard housing, uneven access to healthcare and patchy transport links.”

Umberto Bacchi reports for the Thomson Reuters Foundation October 31, 2020.