Across the globe, ever since 2014, every year on the 31st of October, World Cities Day is celebrated. To mark this event, UN-Habitat has released its World Cities Report 2020 on the value of sustainable urbanization, focusing on the most up-to-date and pressing topics. Analyzing the intrinsic value of cities in generating economic prosperity, mitigating environmental degradation, reducing social inequality, and building stronger institutions, the report highlights how together these can drive transformative change. Cities, at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak with 95 percent of cases found in urban areas particularly in unplanned and informal settlements, are critical for the global recovery, according to the UN-Habitat flagship report. In fact, this pandemic has drawn “the world’s attention to the urgent need to prioritize sustainable urban planning and development of our cities and towns”. The World Cities Report 2020 “affirms that well-planned, managed, and financed cities and towns create economic, social, environmental, and other unquantifiable value that can vastly improve the quality of life of all”, according to Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN-Habitat Executive Director.
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