Resolver o Problema das Cidades

WASHINGTON, DC – Os países em desenvolvimento estão a atravessar um processo de rápida urbanização, esperando-se que o número de habitantes nas cidades atinja os quatro mil milhões em 2030 – o dobro do valor de 2000. Mas o desenvolvimento urbano desordenado e descoordenado é preocupante, e ameaça substituir a esperança dos migrantes por uma vida melhor por condições de vida sem higiene, desemprego e uma elevada exposição a catástrofes naturais.

Em muitos aspectos, a urbanização é racional. Apesar de tudo, as cidades são centros de prosperidade, onde se concentra mais de 80% da actividade económica global. E a sua densidade facilita o fornecimento de serviços públicos, como educação, cuidados de saúde, e serviços básicos. Na realidade, o fornecimento de água canalizada nas áreas urbanas custa entre 70 e 80 cêntimos de dólar por metro cúbico, comparativamente a 2 dólares em áreas de povoamento esparso.

Mas a grande concentração de bens e pessoas, especialmente em áreas costeiras, é um problema económico, com bens no valor de cerca de 3 biliões de dólares em risco devido a perigos naturais. A vulnerabilidade irá aumentar ainda mais nas próximas duas décadas, à medida que as cidades triplicarem a sua área construída, para 600.000 quilómetros quadrados, muitas vezes sem políticas ou infra-estruturas básicas que impeçam a construção e a implantação populacional em locais vulneráveis e sujeitos a catástrofes.

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