Sanitation ﬁnancing models for the urban poor
Today, the world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth ever. In 2008, for the first time in
history, more than half of the world’s population lived in towns and cities. By 2030, the urban
population will be almost five billion, with urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. Contrary to common perception, most of the growth occurs in smaller cities and towns. In principle, urban areas offer a more favourable setting for the resolution of social and environmental problems than rural areas. Urban development generates jobs and income, and presents opportunities for social
mobilisation and emancipation of disadvantaged groups. With good governance, more densely
settled areas can deliver basic services more efficiently than sparsely populated areas simply because of their advantages of scale and proximity. However, in today’s world, the idea of growth is based on the perception of a Western model of growth that cannot be universally applied. Smaller cities and towns have fewer resources to respond to the magnitude of the change in terms of people, money and knowledge (UNFPA, 2011).