Why are People Friendly Cities important? Cities are the future. The United Nations estimates that over 70% of the world’s population will be living in towns and cities by 2050. With so many people destined to live in urban areas, the notion of “people-friendly” cities matters more than ever. It is important that cities be efficient, economically robust, environmentally sound and pleasant to live in. If city living is the future, then that future must be liveable, healthy, safe, and sustainable. Shakespeare wrote in Coriolanus: “What is the city but the people?” Cities are more than infrastructure; they are communities of individuals and families with different backgrounds, needs and aspirations. Cities need to focus on quality of life and the quality of amenities, places, governance, and neighbourhoods they have to offer. Meeting the desires of communities can only happen when citizens are engaged in the shaping of their cities. Rather than perceiving inhabitants as the unquantifiable, ‘messy’ element that interferes with a clear planning process or public policies, their participation needs to be integrated in the design and implementation processes. This means that urban planners should be asking for / listening to people’s wants & needs; educating them about options and innovation; communicating developments effectively and seeking citizen input and feedback; and finding methods of incorporating this understanding into solutions. The concept of people-friendly cities places these interactions at the heart of the relationship between planners and the citizenry.