UN-Habitat in partnership with the
UN-Habitat, the United Nations city agency has been engaged with the Arab States region orover 30 years, and over this period UN-Habitat has expanded its operation to more than 10countries in the region.Home to some the world’s oldest cities, the Arab region is also one o the most urbanized. As o2010, the Arab countries are home to 357 million residents, 56 per cent o whom live in cities; by2050, these countries will be home to 646 million people, 68 per cent o whom will live in cities.With projections showing that most o this urbanisation expected to take place in secondarycities, their urban management capacities have to be strengthened. So do some o region’s maincities, several o which have become extended metropolitan regions and some even mega urbanregions. These emerging regional urban patterns tend to raise complex region-wide holisticmanagement aspects, authority conicts and governance voids.UN-Habitat’s commitment to the region continues to be strengthened. This year, with thefnancial support o the Kuwait Ministry o Foreign Aairs, the agency reached a major milestonewith the publication o
The State o the Arab Cities 2012
which gives due recognition to theurban challenges in the region, and provides a discussion on urban trends between the countries,in the context o the larger Arab region. This is reiterated by the United Nations Secretary-GeneralMr. Ban Ki-moon in his oreword to the report which states:
“Through the centuries, Arab cities have generated many ohumankind’s most enduring achievements and legacies. Today, wemust ensure that these cities are sustainable and inclusive – able tomaintain their cultural and spiritual heritage while advancing well-being or generations to come.”
This brochure presents an overview o UN-Habitat’s engagement in the region, reecting onwhat was achieved, how it was made possible, and what lies ahead – especially in these times ochange.