As Peter Herrmann reminds us in the fourth article of this issue, we currently face societal abundance versus increasing inequality of access. Referring to different studies, he concludes that the following trend is indisputable: in 2015, just 62 individuals had the same wealth as 3.6 billion people. The wealth of these 62 people has risen by 45 percent in the five years since 2010. The wealth of the bottom half fell by just over $1 trillion in the same period, amounting to 38 percent. Finally, since the turn of the century, the poorest half of the world’s population has received just 1 percent of the total increase in global wealth. This trend will not only determine the chances for processes resulting in sustainable urban development all over the globe, but also the main challenge of the development toward overall sustainability of human existence on earth. For example, the shielded and armed residential areas of the super-rich in Rio de Janeiro pave the way for unsustainable societal relations in this megacity.

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The International Journal of Social Quality

(formerly The European Journal of Social Quality)