QUITO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Latin America is one of the most urbanized parts of the world, with around 80 percent of people living in and around cities, according to the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF).
Speaking at the UN's Habitat III conference in Quito on Tuesday, the CAF's executive president Enrique Garcia explained that the topic of urbanism is crucial "as Latin America has transitioned in the last 25 to 30 years, when it had a more rural composition, to be one of the most urbanized regions of the world."
Inaugurating a day of conferences entitled "Inclusive and Productive Cities", Garcia was quoted by local daily El Comercio as saying that the CAF now had a commitment to finding an integral development model, allowing cities to see sustainable and stable economic development.
In order for this to happen, Garcia explained that all sectors of society had to be empowered to participate and called for coordination between "central governments, mayors, the private sector and civil society."
"In many countries, we observe that...there are different policies which...end up persecuting people. The objective...is to find cities which are inclusive and improve people's quality of life," he said.
In the last five years, the CAF has directly invested over 7 billion U.S. dollars across 25 cities in Latin America. "These are the resources of CAF, to which must be added, the catalyzing role we have to attract resources from other sources," outlined Garcia.
Finally, the executive president stated that an important element of inclusive cities is to foster a gender equality perspective, in order to improve quality of life for all and to ensure equal access to opportunities.