"Our ability to meet the needs of the urban poor is one of the greatest humanitarian challenges of this century. It is also going to shape key global developments - from the security of those who live in nearby luxury apartments to the stability of Arctic ice sheets near the planet's poles. It is particularly ironic that the battle to save the world's remaining healthy ecosystems will be won or lost not in the tropical forests or coral reefs that are threatened but on the streets of the most unnatural landscapes on the planet." - Christopher Flavin, President, Worldwatch Institute-
Flavin makes a call for smart urban development, explaining that battles against global problems such as unemployment, HIV infections, water shortages, education, terrorism and climate change, will be largely won, or lost, in the world's cities. In turn these policies will affect smaller communities around the world. It is our policy approach both in the United States and globally that will test the ability to create inclusive and environmentally sound policies that will renew and revitalize both our ecosystems as well as our own lives.
You can read the entirety of Flavin's article here. Another great organization with similar goals is the World Resources Institute.