Global Monitoring Report 2013: Rural-Urban Dynamics and the Millennium Development Goals provides an in-depth analysis on urbanization as a force for poverty reduction and progress towards the MDGs in the developing world. With less than 1,000 days to go before the MDGs expire, the report highlights the need to accelerate efforts to improve the lives of the poor in both rural and urban areas.
Special Focus: Rural-Urban Dynamics
Urbanization matters. In the past two decades, developing countries have urbanized on a massive scale and this trend will continue in the future, with 96 percent of the developing world’s additional 1.4 billion people, by 2030, expected to live in urban areas. Urbanization has helped speed progress towards the MDGs, including the reduction of poverty. However, urbanization is a not a cure-all. If unregulated and poorly planned, it leads to growth of slums, and increase in pollution and crime.
GMR 2013 also highlights that poverty is located along a continuous rural-urban spectrum, with the vast majority of the world’s 1.2 billion poor living in rural areas with less favorable access to basic amenities than people living in urban centers. The report, thus, calls for complementary rural-urban development policies and actions by governments to facilitate a healthy move toward cities without short-changing rural areas.