Urbanisation is occurring at an accelerating pace. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) said five billion people will live in cities by 2030. This means about six out of 10 of the world’s population will live in cities. But urbanisation also comes with challenges such as overcrowding, rising social and income inequalities as well as pollution, and overstretched public infrastructure.
Over the past month or so I have attended a number of meetings or conferences where the forthcoming World Conference on Sustainable Development (dubbed Rio+20) in June 2012 has been a high priority item on the agenda. To some, it is an opportunity to reflect on the various successes and failures since the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972 (hence Stockholm+40)—and yes there are still some people actively engaged who remember this event. To others, it