To build strong communities, we need to know the number of people currently living in towns and cities around the world. We especially need to locate those who dwell in slums and understand the conditions that they face.

Rapid urbanization also requires mass resource allotment. Cities and metropolitan areas account for about 70 percent of global carbon emissions and over 60 percent of all resource use. To create livable communities for everyone, we need to know how much water is being used, the quality of infrastructure, public transportation options, and more.  

Neither cities nor places in them are unordered, unplanned; the question is only whose order, whose planning, for what purpose?

Peter Marcuse, lawyer and professor of urban planning