Cities must unite — Masunda

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Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda, who doubles as the co-president of a global body, United Cities and Local Government (UCLG), says there is need for cities to unite in creating a better urban world by 2030.

Masunda was speaking at the 23rd UN Habitat Council in Nairobi recently.

“We share many common goals as well as problems, and are united in a common determination to make our urban world a better, more inclusive world,” he said.

“We have a moral obligation to create conditions for a better future for all. Our future is not only globally intertwined, but increasingly urban. In the next 20 years Africa and Asia will see by far the fastest growth in urban settlements. In Africa alone, the growth in population will equal the current entire population of the USA.”

Masunda added: “It is the world’s medium and smaller towns and cities, far more than the larger cities, which will be responsible for receiving and looking after these millions of new urban dwellers.”

He said the ideal city was democratic and self-governing, inclusive, gender-sensitive, with a vision for its future, liveable, creative, should be a city of culture, secure, peaceful, mobile and a city which takes immense pride in its public services.

He said the ideal City 2030 will be a city without slums, cleaner, greener, and more compact city.
“The future of the city is primarily the responsibility of the city government,” Masunda said.

“But cities are not islands existing on their own and in isolation. They are strengthened through co-operation with not only neighbouring municipalities, but also regional, continental and international cities.

“The cities, towns and regions of 2030 should have, a strong presence and role in the new global governance.”

He added: “ This is already the task of our global organisation the UCLG.”