The economic growth of a country or a city does not always translate into reduction of poverty. Income inequality has grown sharply since 1980, despite economic growth. Rising inequality has meant that the top 1% of the world’s people receive twice the proportion of growth as the bottom 50% since 1980.

Cities absorb a migratory flow of people trying to improve their living conditions, reaching cities where the main economy is the tertiary one, with underemployment and an important spatial segregation (in favelas, slums and other informal settlements), which distributes the population in the urban space according to income level. Thus, very deteriorated suburbs have been formed where inequality and spatial segregation replicate economic inequalities and contribute to their persistence over time.

Cities and territories, as a whole, are scenarios of the violence generated by these inequalities. They are also, however, a stage where one can and must undertake initiatives that impact on opportunities to improve economic conditions, employment, equality, equity, sustainability or human rights.