This publication introduces readers to the dramatic and profound changes that have taken place and are taking place in the way people live and work in the Asia-Pacific region. It describes how the unprecedented speed of transforming from predominantly rural agrarian economies into predominantly urban industrial and service economies is posing enormous challenges to the peoples and the governments of the region. Drawing on the first ten years of operational experience of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP-Fukuoka) of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), the publication highlights the critical role of well-managed urbanisation in accommodating present and future generations in a secure and sustainable manner.
The publication explains how urbanisation, in fact, alleviates poverty and slows population growth, both of which are urgently needed to achieve sustainable human development in the world, especially in the world’s most populous region. However, the information provided also alerts readers to the increasing vulnerability of densely-populated and fast-growing cities and towns to environmental and natural disasters, as well as to social and political conflict and upheaval, without urgent, concerted, and continued efforts to prevent, or minimize, the potential for and impact of such events.
The ROAP-Fukuoka has undertaken diverse operations in partnership-based technical cooperation and in advocacy campaigns to promote more people-friendly and environmentally-sound policies and practices.Their activities have demonstrated a range of effective and equitable approaches to meeting these daunting challenges, now, and in the future.
This publication has been issued to mark the occasion of the ROAP-Fukuoka’s first ten years of operations in the region, since its establishment in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1997.