The UNECE region houses less than one fifth of the world’s population. The region, however, is characterised by high levels of urbanisation: more than 73 per cent of its population are urban residents – compared to 50 per cent on global average.
This makes cities and towns starting points for promoting sustainable human settlement development. Numerous initiatives have already been launched in urban settlements to raise public awareness of the environmental impact of individual consumption behaviour, to promote environmentally sound goods, services and sustainable use of energy, water, raw materials and land by individuals and communities. The Rio+20 UN Sustainable Development Conference outlined the importance of a “holistic approach to urban development and human settlements [and] an integrated approach to planning and building sustainable cities and urban settlements”.
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