For Media

Hotels for Press
Accommodation levels in Rio de Janeiro are anticipated to be at full occupancy during the conference. While it is not the responsibility of the United Nations to procure accommodation for the media, it should be noted that the Brazilian national organizing committee for Rio+20 has committed to blocking a minimum of 500 hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro for media covering the conference. Costs must be covered by the media. For more details, visit: http://www.rio20.gov.br For information regarding room availability please contact: Terramar Travel Agency

Emails: reservas2@terramar.tur.br or reservas4@terramar.tur.br or reservas8@terramar.tur.br

Tel: (+55+21) 35120067 or (+55+11) 30142042 or (+55+19) 35145600

Media representatives must present their approval letter and copy rio20.hoteis@itamaraty.gov.br when requesting their accommodations.

Information

Significant Slice Of GDP Being Lost Through Poor Urban Planning
Improved planning and more intelligent management of cities across the world can play a key role in growing economies, boosting social improvements and reducing humanity's environmental footprint, according to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

Findings from the agency's Green Economy report indicate that current patterns of urban development could be costing countries over 3 percent of GDP as a result of congestion to welfare costs.

The cities chapter of the report, released at the on-going Gwangju Summit of the Urban Environmental Accords here, cited Buenos Aires and Dakar as two cities where current patterns of urban development are reducing GDP by 3.4 percent.

Current models of urban development in a city such as Mexico City may be undermining the economy by over 2 percent of GDP; in cities of the European Union, the reduction is lower but still a significant 0.75 percent of GDP.

Without cities, a transition to a low-carbon, resource-efficient Green Economy as a way and means for implementing sustainable development will always remain an aspiration rather than a reality, said Achim Steiner, UN Under Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director.

"The overwhelming evidence is that the decoupling of economic growth from the consumption of natural resources will happen only if cities are committed and on board," he said.

"The evidence from around the globe, and the case studies from city delegates in Gwangju, shows that this realization and action to re-define the urban environment as a catalyst for transformational change is understood and underway," he said.

"Rio+20 in Brazil next June is an opportunity to scale up and to accelerate these transformations through innovative policy switches, creative and available technologies and by capitalizing and adopting the legion of lessons and experiences that clearly illuminate a path towards a sustainable future," he added.

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place in Rio de Janeiro from June 4 to 6 next year. It is also referred to as the Rio+20 or the Earth Summit 2012, because of the initial conference held in Rio in 1992.

According to the UNEP report, cities are facing mounting pressure to meet the demands of bourgeoning population -- "from unsustainable resource use and energy consumption to insufficient infrastructure and health hazards."

While urbanization has helped reduce absolute poverty, the number of people classified as urban poor is on the rise.

Between 1993 and 2000, there was an additional 50 million poor in urban areas while the number of rural poor declined by 150 million.
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