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The Right to City: Key Challenges Exist In Creating More Socially-Inclusive Cities For The Twenty-First Century
Currently, cities are in a state of instability whereby they exhibit complex dynamics at the centre of sustainability challenges such as urbanization and climate change. Challenges Exist In Creating More Socially-Inclusive Cities Cities have been widely regarded as the agents of change. However, achieving socially- inclusive cities face some major challenges. Over 3 billion people migrate to urban cities weekly in the whole world. Due to globalization and technological development, this migration has improved from rural- urban to between cities in the world. This new form of urbanization has resulted to emerging of megacities such as Beijing, Hong Kong, Manila, New Delhi, and Mumbai among others. These cities are not only growing in population but are also becoming diverse and ethnically heterogeneous. As urban population increase in size and diversity, there are social injustices directed to some people especially the minority, low income earners, and the disabled. Individuals living in cities have a common right of transformation that is dependent on exercising a collective power in order to reshape the process of urbanization. Ensuring a socially- inclusive cities especially in the emerging economies is faced with severe challenges such as large inequality gap.
In Indian urban cities, there is economic inequality whereby a group of few people are very rich while another group of several people live in poverty. Over 90% of the people living in slums and other environmentally and socially degraded areas in cities are the locals and hence this is a challenge to the urban planners. Srivastava (2017) argues that socially inclusiveness in cities cannot be achieved when the largest number of the locals live in abject poverty. Cities, especially in emerging economies are indicators of development. In urban cities in countries such as India and China, urban development and growth is a challenge because majority of the people are poor who cannot afford quality social amenities such as quality water and electricity among others. Therefore, these people cannot advocate for equality especially when focusing on social inclusiveness. For instance, in India the Indians would not feel that they are treated equally with Americans or Europeans living in lavish homes while they themselves are living in slums.
The international bodies such as the UN- HABITAT and the United Nations have given directions and guidelines on what should be done to ensure that poverty is reduced in urban areas especially by improving the economic practices of all people.