Recent trends in urbanization reflect economic and political changes. Within the context of the structural changes in the world economy, some regions and cities have proved more flexible than nations in adapting to changing economic conditions. Well-managed urbanization can lead to improvements in the living standards of the world's population. However, the transition to an urbanized world has profound implications for the state of the world environment.
Urbanization is an essential part of the development of most countries towards stronger and more stable economies and it has helped underpin improvements in living standards for a considerable proportion of the world's population. The countries in the South that have urbanized most rapidly in the last 10 to 20 years are generally also the ones with the most rapid economic growth. Further, most of the world's largest cities are in the world's largest economies. Cities and towns are centres of artistic, scientific and technological innovation, of culture and education.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a unique, experimental research work of the Union of International Associations. It is currently published as a searchable online platform with profiles of world problems, action strategies, and human values that are interlinked in novel and innovative ways. These connections are based on a range of relationships such as broader and narrower scope, aggravation, relatedness and more. By concentrating on these links and relationships, the Encyclopedia is uniquely positioned to bring focus to the complex and expansive sphere of global issues and their interconnected nature.
The initial content for the Encyclopedia was seeded from UIA’s Yearbook of International Organizations. UIA’s decades of collected data on the enormous variety of association life provided a broad initial perspective on the myriad problems of humanity. Recognizing that international associations are generally confronting world problems and developing action strategies based on particular values, the initial content was based on the descriptions, aims, titles and profiles of international associations.
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.