"Population and the Urban Future" -- World Population Awareness Week 2001

Vienna, 27 July 2001/P/RE/17244c-is

The International Progress Organization has joined the group of sponsoring organizations of the "World Population Awareness Week" to be held from 21 to 27 October 2001 under the theme Population and the Urban Future.

By 2010, two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities. By 2015, of the 26 mega-cities with populations of more than 10 million people, 22 will be in developing countries. These 26 cities would be inhabited by 418 million inhabitants. More than half of the urban population in these developing countries lives in poverty, subsisting on less than $2 a day. Six of every ten children in the developing world are projected to live in cities by 2025, and more than half of them will be poor. All the programmes at social and economic development will fail if this process of impoverishment of the urban populations will not be stopped. There is undoubtedly a connection between uncontrolled population growth in urban centers and mass poverty. 

Cities provide many cultural and educational advantages and amenities, as well as greater employment opportunities, but rapid urban growth poses myriad problems. While cities occupy only 2% of the world's land surface, they have a disproportionate impact on the environment. Cities export their wastes and pollutants, disrupting environmental and health conditions far outside the urban limits.

These are figures that we all need to heed. While the attractions of urban migration are obvious -- hopes for better employment opportunities and access to better education, health care, and social services --, the burgeoning growth of today's cities has led to substantial pressures on urban infrastructures, manifested especially in sanitary, health, and crime related problems. To address these issues, The Population Institute (Washington, DC) is dedicating this year's World Population Awareness Week (WPAW) to 'Population and the Urban Future'.

This year will be the 17th annual observance of WPAW. The Population Institute encourages all community leaders and organizations to participate in this year's World Population Awareness Week by urging mayors, governors, and other elected officials to proclaim the week. The WPAW is an intense educational campaign designed to create public awareness of the startling trends in world population growth, its impact on our planet and its inhabitants, and the urgent action to remedy the situation. Last year, 231 organizations from 63 countries co-sponsored the World Population Awareness Week.

For more information visit http://www.populationinstitute.org.

END/World Population Awareness Week/27-07-01/P/RE/17244c-is