Latin American cities are currently facing steady population growth. According to the United Nations Population Fund three years ago, 74 percent of the Latin American and Caribbean populations live in urban areas. People continue to migrate to the urban centers in search of employment, education and a higher standard of living.
Urbanization usually goes hand in hand with social and economic development, but rapid urban growth strains the capacity of local and national governments to provide basic services such as water, electricity and a sewage system. The influx of migrant populations also raises issues of cultural identity and community integration. Can public policy respond to these changes? Can governments and the private sector formulate policies and actions that take these trends into account?
The Americas Project 2008 will serve as a forum for the analysis and discussion of urban migration and its challenges for the future. It will focus on three overarching topics: affordable housing, public education and public policy, and sustainability.