THE BLOG
06/04/2014 09:15 am ET Updated Aug 04, 2014

An Urban Agenda at the United Nations (VIDEO)

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For the first time in human history more than half the world's population is living in cities. That's more than 3 billion people with an estimated 60 million more of us moving to cities every year. By 2050, world population is projected to be 9.3 billion, of which around 70 percent -- or approximately 6.5 billion people -- are expected to live in urban areas.

This increase in population growth brings several challenges; cities must plan for increased demand for services: energy, food and water, transportation, housing, land, health, education and much more.

Equally important is the need to address increasing urban inequality. Poverty and slum growth are a well-known trademark of rapidly urbanized areas. Income inequality perpetuates an urban economic divide.

As the physical and social distance between poor and rich urban neighborhoods increases, the poorest are increasingly subject to social exclusion, marginalization, higher incidence of crime, job restrictions, unequal access to education opportunities, poor health outcomes, and unequal access to market opportunities and public services.

Richard Florida addressed the United Nations at the United Nations Economic and Social Council recently. Watch the conversation on sustainable urbanization: