Urban habitats are uniquely human with unique human challenges.
Cities have existed for thousands of years and can be traced back to the river valley civilizations of Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), Egypt, India, and China. At first, these settlements depended largely on agriculture and domestic cattle, but as they grew in size they became centers for merchants and traders.
Urban growth, also known as urbanization, accelerated dramatically with the advent of industrialization some 200 years ago. At that time, large numbers of people moved to cities in search of jobs, mostly in factories. But the most rapid growth has taken place over the past 50 years. While less than one-third of the world's population lived in cities in 1950, about two thirds of humanity is expected to live in urban