Half the world's population live in cities. The proportion is growing all the time. Many cities are economically, socially and culturally dynamic. But most also have areas of acute poverty. In developing countries half the population live in slums and lack the most basic services.
How should city governments balance the need to improve life for their poorest citizens with that of creating the infrastructure necessary to stimulate economic growth? One answer is to work together with poor people. But this means they must be willing to hand power to the poor and put them at the centre of policy making.
Written just before a meeting of 171 governments in June 2001 to assess progress made since the 1995 City Summit, this report reviews the successes and failures of such policies and the political will to find solutions.