Mohamed Halfani – The notion of prosperity



my name is Mohammed alfani I'm head of the research unit in the research and capacity development branch of un-habitat in the next five minutes I'm going to share with you some brief remarks on the notion of prosperity and its implication for current development both in cities and in the world at large at this time of the new century the 21st century and even the new millennium cities have become dynamic vectors of growth and development current estimates indicate that out of the almost 60 trillion dollar nominal GDP eighty percent is generated in cities and urban centers of various sizes this indicates that the overall global wealth is generated from cities and when this is taken into account with the fact that over fifty percent of the global population now resides in cities it makes cities to be very important vectors centers of development globally the aspect of the dominance of cities becoming centers of prosperity of generating wealth has influenced even the analysis of understanding development in itself for a long time in much of the world the emphasis has been on addressing how do we overcome difficulties how do we overcome challenges how do we overcome poverty but of late because of these dynamism of cities the emphasis has been on how do we harness the power the energy that is generated from cities essentially there is almost a shift in everyday language from concentrating on problems adversities challenges poverty if you like to looking at assets energy and looking at prosperity in this respect the aspect of prosperity implies the generation of wealth the increasing capacity for the human species to act in is as I've said it has influenced analysis it has influenced development policy at the same time we do notice that over the last couple of years they have been a number of protests they have been a number of riots in different parts of the world in Europe in Latin America in the Middle East in Africa these are riots and protests raising concern that that prosperity that is generated is not shared by everybody a large percentage of the urban population of the general global population is not sharing that advancement that is taking place in the current century the new millennium no wonder that the slogan of we are the 99 percent has become very popular that the generation of prosperity is on enjoy bar fu it is also reckoned that much of the environmental damage a particularly manager of greenhouse gases eighty percent of it is generated from our cities at the same time un-habitat studies have indicated almost a third of the urban population almost a million people are now living in squalid conditions called slums so there is a paradox here on the one hand cities are dynamic centers of change innovation generating wealth and prosperity or the other hand cities are also generating all those adversities and diseconomies so what is this prosperity what is this wealth that we are talking about we do propose that the issue there is not the generation of prosperity itself which cannot be denied rather it is how we conceive we conceptualize the notion of prosperity it is high time that we move away from the uniden emotional aspect of prosperity to taking into account a number of other variables that constitute organic integrated prosperity it is in that respect that un-habitat has come up with this very interesting proposition of looking at a wheel of prosperity a wheel of prosperity that looks at various dimensions which in their language they refer to as the spokes of prosperity which move around the rim which influences in a number of cities in the in different parts of the world can have different shapes of that ream of that wheel of prosperity some are more advanced in some dimensions like material generations but weak on issues of equity some are more than advanced in issues of infrastructure but weak on issues of environmental production it is now high time indeed weary conceived the notion of prosperity I thank you

1 thought on “Mohamed Halfani – The notion of prosperity

  • an important perspective to take into account.. perhaps would work well with Eduardo Lopez Moreno's City Prosperity Initiative..

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