I.Metshin: “Cities with a high standard of living, comfortable housing, convenient infrastructure and good ecology are what we committed to”
UCLG can play an important role in attracting financial
resources to the cities. For example, from the largest world unions, including
BRICS, SCO, EurAsEC and many others. This was stated today by the President of
UCLG - Eurasia, mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin at the Assembly on Resilience, Urbanization
and Heritage, which was held in the framework of the VI UCLG Congress in
Durban, South Africa. More than 70 participants represent the Eurasian branch
of UCLG at the Congress. Among them are representatives of the Russian
cities-Moscow, Kazan, Kaliningrad and others, as well as cities of Kyrgyzstan,
Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Moldova, Abkhazia.
63 years – from 1926 to 1989 – the population of the capitals grew 10 times
As Ilsur Metshin noted in his report, today more
than half of humanity lives in cities. “It is expected that by 2050 two thirds
of the world's population will live in the cities. In total, the Eurasian
region consists of 2182 cities, half of them are in Russia. The urban
population of Eurasia is approximately 192 million 650 thousand people. According
to the 2018 urban population index of the UN Department of Economic and Social
Affairs, high level of urbanization is observed in Russia and Belarus. An
average level of urbanization is in Armenia, Ukraine, Mongolia, Georgia,
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. And only one
country – Tajikistan shows a low level of urbanization,” I. Metshin said.
Highlighting the change in the population of the
capitals of the Eurasian region over the last century, he noted the growth that
occurred in the period from 1926 to 1989. Thus, in Dushanbe during these 63
years, the population has grown 105 times, and in other capitals – on average
of 10 times. Later, the pace of urbanization decreased, and the population of
the capitals grew by an average of one and a half times. At the same time, the
lowest rate of population growth is in Baku and Tbilisi, and the highest – in
Ulaanbaatar and Ashgabat. The same situation has been observed in Kazan – from
1926 to 1989 the population grew 6 times, and over the past 30 years-only 14%.
However, as the speaker stressed, despite the
individual peculiarities of the countries, it is possible to identify common
problems of urbanization. Thus, the main reason for it in Eurasia is the job
shortage and low wages in rural areas. This leads to the problem of poor
quality of services in rural areas, and even to the point that residents have
to cover a long distance for the medical care.
development of small towns will improve the quality of life and create jobs
“Another problem of urbanization is uneven
population growth in different cities. If in the whole country the urban
population is growing, then, as a rule, this indicates the growth of the
population in large cities. For example, in Kazakhstan the population moves
from Karaganda to the capital city– Nur-Sultan. In this situation, he considers
to develop small towns, improve their quality of life and create jobs. Ilsur
Metshin used as an example Budyonnovsk, a city of the Stavropol territory of
Russia. To solve the problem of population flow to the cities, a large gas
chemical complex for processing gas from the fields of the Northern Caspian Sea
was established. “There is a solution to the problem, and it is individual for
each city – one city needs to develop tourism, the other can become an
important transport hub or industrial center,” the speaker said.
Ilsur Metshin stressed that all these problems can
be solved with a serious attitude to the sustainable development goal № 11 –
“Sustainable cities and settlements”. “Cities with a high standard of living,
comfortable housing, convenient infrastructure and good ecology are what we
committed to. The cities of Eurasia are implementing many projects on the way
to sustainable development,” he said.
preserve and create a legacy for the future generations”
To improve the environmental situation, we make a
landscaping of cities, develop parks, cities buy a new eco-system transport
with a low level of emission, a separate waste collection is implemented. Special
economic zones are being created to promote small business and the development
of small towns. This makes possible to redistribute urbanization towards small
towns and increase their economic importance.
“We preserve and create a legacy for the future
generations. We save our cities from the threat of climate canary. We bring
peace and security to people. We are cities and we work for the well-being of
people!”- said the mayor of Kazan.
can play an important role in attracting financial resources to the cities”
Urbanization causes many problems, all of them are
different in Eurasia and the Asia-Pacific region, Ilsur Metshin noted. However,
in both regions, new challenges require new investments. “UCLG can play an
important role in attracting financial resources to the cities. For example,
from the largest world unions, which include BRICS, SCO, EurAsEC and many
others,” I. Metshin said.
The Eurasian and Asia-Pacific regions have
good-neighborly relations with a centuries-old history, cooperation is growing
today, including municipal cooperation, noted the President of the Eurasian branch.
He recalled that a cooperation agreement was signed between the offices, joint
activities are carried out in its framework. “Our regions are part of a single Great
Eurasia and support each other in the international arena. And our friendship
and solidarity should continue for many years and bring prosperity to people,”
the speaker concluded.
The VI UCLG Congress takes place in Durban, South
Africa, on November 11-15.