World Bank, USC hold workshop on megacities

A workshop on “Megacities: Challenges and Opportunities” was held at the World Bank headquarters in Washington, DC February 4.

The workshop was organised in connection with the launch of a new knowledge partnership between the World Bank’s East Asia Region and the University of Southern California (USC).
The partnership aims to increase joint research, knowledge sharing, outreach, and exchange of expertise between the two organisations.
At the workshop, a range of panels discussed issues related to megacities, including urban growth, different types of megacities, climate change, disaster risk reduction, and metropolitan governance.
Some key points that emerged from the panels were:
  • Megacities are not entirely negative. While there are challenges related to dealing with them – including pollution, vulnerability to disaster, transportation, crime and poverty – they play a positive role by driving economic growth.
  • Any slum upgrading effort needs the active support of the slum dwellers in question. Cities cannot simply impose solutions to slums from the top down.
  • Cities, which produce nearly 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, must take a leading role in preventing climate change catastrophe. Now is the time for cities to implement innovative policy measures and enhance their resilience.
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