Today, an estimated 55 per cent of the world’s population lives in cities. The number of urban residents worldwide is expected to grow by 2.5 billion to reach almost 7 billion by 2050.  Cities shape the way people move and interact, serving as facilitators for economic growth, social cohesion and environmental progress. The dynamic structure of a city can promote or hinder the wellbeing of its inhabitants, and the urban population is a decisive determinant of a city’s health. The healthiest cities are those where the urban setting and resident community assume symbiotic roles to achieve an inclusive and sustainable environment. Active participation, intersectoral cooperation and societal equality all contribute to an integrated social space, which is the ultimate incubator for sustainable development.

Author Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia