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New UNESCO Book Highlights Cities Responding to Water Crises

By 2030, over a billion people will live in approximately 100 very large cities and 60 % of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Sustainable water management is particularly challenging in these large urban centres, or megacities*, which are exposed to extreme risks in terms of the negative impacts of climate change on water and sanitation infrastructure and services. A new publication, launched during the Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, draws portrait of 15 emblematic megacities, their unique circumstances and how they are addressing shared water governance challenges. The publication “Water, Megacities and Global Change”, co-edited by UNESCO and ARCEAU-IdF, is simultaneously the result of concrete scientific presentations and a call for general mobilization to devise the sustainable urban policies the world needs**.

In 1970, the United Nations identified three megacities. This number rose to 10 in 1990 and 28 in 2014. According to projections, there will be 41 by 2030, many located in the world’s least developed countries. Throughout history, these cities have often lacked both the time and the means to develop their urban services, including those relating to access to water, sanitation and rainwater drainage. This situation creates profound vulnerabilities and complex challenges. It is crucial that megacities share their experiences, so as to develop services capable of meeting the expectations of their inhabitants.

Pedro & Aiste

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