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In 2013, the United Nations designated 31 October as annual World Cities Day. The day is intended to promote interest in urbanisation and cooperation in meeting the challenges it brings. In 2019, the theme of the day is how innovation and technological progress can be used to promote sustainable development in cities.

This briefing first provides background on the growth of cities and the challenges and opportunities this presents. It then considers what the UN means by sustainable development, and the framework which the UN has adopted to promote it. The briefing next looks at the possible impact of new technologies. Finally, it summarises the UK approach to promoting sustainable global urban development.


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