Given the opportunities for accomodation, employment,
education, enterprise and interaction that they offer, cities have hitherto
served as attractive habitats for humanity. The appeal of cities only grew, in
leaps and bounds, with the necessities and opportunities presented by the
industrial revolution. Information technologies, coupled with the developments
in the means of transportation and communications, boosted served to further
boost the attraction of cities. We are now in an age that can aptly be referred
to as the ‘Age of Cities’. As a phenomenon, urbanization continues to occupy a
more and more significant position in terms of determining the quality of life
for humanity as a whole.
ratio of city-dwellers over the wider population grew from 46.7 percent in the
early 2000’s, to 55 percent by the year 2018. According to the reports by the
UN, the ratio will continue to rise to 65 percent by the year 2050, effectively
providing living space for two thirds of the World population worldwide.
Compared to developed societies, the developing ones see much faster rates of
urbanization. Even though Europe and America currently stand out with their
high rates of urbanization, by 2050, Africa and Asia are expected to lead the
statistics, with urbanization rates approaching 90 percent.
The rise of urbanization, meanwhile, reinforces discrepancies in income distribution, which is masked to an extent by the advantages of living in the cities. The “Urban Paradox” report published by UNICEF in 2018 draws attention to the higher levels of certain risks poor children in cities face when compared to their peers in rural areas. In parallel to these developments, the goal of “Happy City” rises to prominence for the city and the urban dwellers, as well as the humanity as a whole.
growth in the cities appears in conjunction with parallel trends in supply and
demand as well. Accommodation, transportation, employment, environment,
sanitation, social services, culture-arts, healthcare... On all the issues
crucial for life, cities have witnessed unprecedented growth in demand. The
opportunities provided by the cities, in turn, have yet to catch up with this
demand. Traffic, pollution, urban crimes, and disasters associated with global
warming are all on the rise. Problems regarding community health, social
activity settings, social institutions, administrative arrangements, social
services, security and so on draw attention. Solving the problems associated
with urbanization have become a priority in the pursuit of the goal of a
sustainable and pleasant world.
Summit 2019, will be seeking answers to the question ‘how to make city-dwellers
happier’ against the background of the ever-growing prominence of the cities in
the wider quality-of-life assessments, and is thus organized around the main
theme of “Urbanization and Happy Cities”, with a view to contributing to
the wider debate, from Turkey.
The summit will provide a venue for invited scientists, researchers, decision-makers, policy-makers, as well as members of non-governmental organizations and the media to present their views and opinions, to propose to propose solutions for the problems identified, and culminating in an interdisciplinary shared wisdom shaping the Kartepe Summit 2019 Declaration.