From next Saturday Medellin, second-largest city in Colombia and capital of Antioquia district, will hold the 7th edition of the World Urban Forum. More than 23,000 participants representing 160 countries already registered and are expected to gather for the Forum. The World Urban Forum (WUF) is convened by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) city every two years, to examine the most pressing issues facing the world today in the area of human settlements, including rapid urbanization and its impact on cities, communities, economies, climate change and policies. It is considered the World’s Premier Conference on Cities. According to current estimations, almost two-thirds of the world's urban population live in cities where income inequality has increased since the 1980s. In many cases, this increase has been staggering. The them chosen for this edition “Urban Equity in Development - Cities for Life” will point the discussion on inequalities present in urban spaces, with cities divided by invisible borders that take the form of social, cultural and economic exclusion. Slums popping up at the border of cities in most developing countries in the world are emblematic symbols of these marginalization and the face of poverty and urban inequality continue to raise perpetuating the lack of access to basic services and political representation to the most vulnerable communities. For example 1 - Gender inequality persists, preventing women from accessing secondary education, decent employment, political representation, and reproductive health care. 2 - Youth inequalities manifest in discrimination in access to education, differentiated levels of employment and livelihood opportunities, Cities, then, being the setting for the marginalization of most of the people potentially harmed by inequality are a critical component in addressing the problem.
Urban settings can contribute from different perspectives in facing the phenomenon as their
2) Governance, and
have direct impact on the lives and opportunities of their inhabitants. The key points of discussion for the upcoming conference have been identified in a concept paper released by UN-HABITAT in July 2014.