Rented accommodation, whether from private landlords or public housing agencies, works against the natural processes which allow people to form stable, self-healing communities. Rental areas are always the first to turn into slums: residents have no incentive to maintain and repair the homes since the improvements add to the wealth of the landlord, and even justify higher rent; landlords try to build rental properties which are immune to neglect; gardens are replaced with green asphalt or concrete, and trees give way to flowerbeds, as the landlord tries to keep his maintenance and repair costs as low as possible; and every attempt is made to make new units maintenance-free. Yet the sterile decor and industrial appearance of such dwellings encourages neglect or overt abuse, particularly by alienated youth, so the typical piece of rental property degenerates over the years.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.