EN | ES [LONDON] Growing urbanisation does not have to spell disaster for either human health or the environment, and both research and underused technologies can help mitigate its negative effects, a conference has heard.
Developing nations must accept that urbanisation is inevitable, and invest in research and infrastructure to support their growing populations, Cecilia Tacoli, a researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), told delegates at the Population Footprints conference in London last week (25–26 May).
The conference, organised by University College London and the Leverhulme Trust, both based in United Kingdom, looked at the effects of population growth and dynamics on health and climate change.
Much of the world’s population growth will be in cities in Asia and Africa, whose urban populations are set to double between 2000–2030 to 3.4 billion, according to the 2007 UN Population Fund’s report ‘State of World Population: Unleashing the Potential of Urban Growth’.
Yet developing countries refuse to engage with the process of urbanisation and keep passing policies that hamper migration to cities, Tacoli told SciDev.Net. Their urban infrastructure is therefore poorly equipped to provide basic services such as healthcare, food, water and fuel.