Cities in Asia, 2012: Demographics, economics, poverty, environment and governance


The paper “Cities in Asia 2012” is a summary and update of the United Nations first-ever report on The State of Asian Cities 2010/11.

With 42% of its population in cities in 2010, Asia is urbanising rapidly; its cities are highly productive and generate an estimated 80% of the region’s GDP. Despite the sustained economic growth of Asian economies in the recent decades, urban poverty, inequality, slums, poor urban environmental quality and liveability, worsening disaster risks and effects of climate change pose major development challenges. While decentralization has helped widen the scope of urban governance, greater attention is needed to enhancing transparency and accountability in decision-making, planning and governance of smaller cities and towns, infrastructure investments, and city-to-city learning.