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TESS VIGELAND: In Vancouver, British Columbia today the United Nations’ World Urban Forum kicks off. The conference looks at the effect rapid urbanization is having on cities and economies. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.
ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: The UN predicts that by next year more than half the world’s population will live in cities. And a third of those city dwellers will live in slums.
Molly Sheehan of the Worldwatch Institute says cities need to realize that rapid urbanization will only continue. She says investment in water conservation and land development is needed so migrants aren’t doomed to makeshift settlements on eroding hillsides or flood plains. But, she says, cities can’t foot the bill alone.
MOLLY SHEEHAN: One of the countries that’s had the most success with reducing the number of slums over the last few decades is Thailand. The national government has worked hard to help out the local government.
Other countries are also catching on, Sheehan says. India has announced a plan to focus investment on its 60 largest cities during the next few decades.
I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.
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