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Current urban planning systems are not equipped to deal with the major urban challenges of the 21st century, including effects of climate change, resource depletion and economic instability, plus continued rapid urbanization with its negative consequences such as poverty, slums and urban informality. These planning systems have also, to a large extent, failed to meaningfully involve and accommodate the ways of life of communities and other stakeholders in the planning of urban areas, thus contributing to the problems of spatial marginalization and exclusion. It is clear that urban planning needs to be reconsidered and revitalized for a sustainable urban future.
UN-Habitat's Global Report on Human Settlements 2009, "Sustainable Urbanization: Revisiting the Role of Urban Planning," reviews the major challenges currently facing cities and towns all over the world, the emergence and spread of modern urban planning and the effectiveness of current approaches. More importantly, the report will identify innovative urban planning approaches and practices that are more responsive to current and future challenges of urbanization.The Global Report on Human Settlements is the most authoritative and up-to-date global assessment of human settlements conditions and trends. It is an essential reference for researchers, academics, public authorities and civil society organizations all over the world.
Preceding issues of the report have addressed such topics as "Cities in a Globalizing World, The Challenge of Slums, Financing Urban Shelter" and "Enhancing Urban Safety and Security."