Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
Smaller settlements are growing faster than megacities — and they need more protection from extreme events. In our view, the central focus of Habitat III should be on small and medium-sized cities that are vulnerable and fast-growing, especially in Africa and Asia. That is to say, cities with populations between 300,000 and 500,000, or between 500,000 and 5 million. Examples include Kampala1 in Uganda, Niamey in Niger and Chittagong in Bangladesh; these are especially vulnerable to natural hazards. They have high relative rates of population growth and poverty, and their infrastructure and governance are often poor.
Targets need to be set and global funding sought for improving planning, infrastructure, data collection, governance and disaster-preparedness. This will require a refocusing of urban risk research and policies away from large and ‘megacities’ — those with more than 10 million inhabitants.
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