New Delhi: With India’s urban population expected to double in the next 30 years, there is an urgent need to address urban issues, UN Under Secretary General Joan Clos said here Thursday. “The world population is getting ready to pass the 7 billion mark by the end of this October and already 50 percent of the people are living in cities. India’s urban population too will double in the next 30 years,” said Clos, who is also executive director of UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).
Talking to reporters at a press conference ahead of Word Habitat Day Oct 3, Clos expressed concern over the land crisis in urban India. “For any population, land is the first asset and there is a need for sustainable growth of cities. We require better urban planning and designing as it is crucial for the future growth of the city,” said Clos.
Describing India as a “strategic partner” for UN-HABITAT, Clos said: “India is a great country and it has a lot to offer to other cities in the world and the country should be well prepared for South-South cooperation.”
He informed reporters that India has pledged to increase its contribution to UN-HABITAT. “UN-HABITAT and the government of India can jointly work out the best models of urban planning required in the context of India,” said Clos.