Well-planned and sustainable urbanization offers opportunities for economic development, the social inclusion and mitigation of ecological consequences. The United Nations Human Settlement Program for Human Settlements is dedicated to these tasks.

To begin with a historical outline of the development of cities, UN Basic Information 53 “United Nations and Urban Development” describes the problems and difficulties that cities face today: megacities with a particular challenge in terms of infrastructure, supply of the population and mobility are about shrinking cities across Europe. However, most of the world’s urban growth will happen in smaller cities in developing countries.

Opportunities for sustainable urban planning are also shown. The basic information provides an outlook with a reference to the Habitat III conference in Quito / Ecuador, where the member states of the United Nations will decide in October 2016 on global guidelines for urban development in the future.