If managed well, urbanization can create enormous opportunities: allowing innovation and new ideas to emerge, saving energy, land and natural resources, managing climate and the risk of disasters. Globally, almost 80 percent of GDP is generated in cities. It will be difficult for any country to reach middle-income status and beyond without getting urbanization right. Urbanization creates opportunities. But cities also consume around 70 percent of the world's energy and account for nearly 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
Today the world celebrates Pope Francis' first year. Notice I didn't say the church is celebrating, but the world. His popularity has moved beyond Catholics to Christians of all kinds, believers from other faith traditions, agnostics, and the "nones," who are very drawn to this pope who emphasizes love and simple living.