2007 marked the first year that fully half the world’s population was living in urban regions, a number which is projected to increase to 75 percent by 2050. (Only one in every ten people lived in urban areas a century ago.) And one out of three people living in cities lives in a slum, a problem that will only be exacerbated by the current global financial crisis. Pentagram has designed Century of the City: No Time To Lose, a book from the Rockefeller Foundation that looks at the global shift towards urbanization and the challenges it creates.
One of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world, the Rockefeller Foundation has the broad aim of ending the root causes of human suffering. Over the past century it has played a vital role in many areas of human development, including being one of the world’s largest benefactors of medicine and medical research. For the 21st century, the organization's work will revolve around globalization and its effect on quality of life. Century of the City is based on a month long conference, The Global Urban Summit, organized by the Rockefeller Foundation and held at its Bellagio Center in July 2007, that brought together prominent public and private urban planners, policy makers, finance specialists and aid organization professionals from around the world to discuss public health, shelter, water, sanitation, urban planning and adaptation to climate change in relation to the world’s increasing urbanization. The book shares their diverse perspectives and, in addition to looking at the problems, considers the opportunities that urbanization presents for the greater good.
The design of the book reflects the conference’s aim to address the complex issues of urbanization in a fashion that helps to facilitate action, in that it coalesces a huge amount of information into an accessible, easy to navigate book, with strong photojournalism and copious data graphics. The book will be distributed to policy makers and government agencies worldwide, as well as all conference participants and is also available through the Rockefeller Foundation website upon request.