It is expected that by the year 2025 half of the global population, anticipated at some three billion people, will be living in cities (UNCHS, 1996). Thus the city and the urban environment will become extremely important in the daily lives of increasing numbers of people across the world. The quality of that urban environment will have an impact on a wide range of elements of daily life including housing, education, health, crime, employment and leisure, both for individuals and communities or populations as a whole. In different countries of the world the quality of life in cities will be determined by factors affecting each individual country as human needs and physical and economic conditions vary. A framework of needs-physiological, safety, affiliation, esteem, actualisation and cognitive and aesthetic-has been suggested by Maslow (1954). The former needs in this framework, physiological, safety and affiliation, are suggested as being the strongest and therefore more basic needs, while the latter, cognitive and aesthetic, are the weakest. Thus it is likely that in different parts of the world different communities will exist at different levels of this framework. For instance, in developing countries effort is more likely to be concentrated on achieving the strongest needs, while in many developed countries the luxury of the weaker needs can be expressed in ways such as the appreciation of beauty in

the external environment This is of course a somewhat simplistic analysis of the situation, but it is possible to imagine that someone without food and shelter is unlikely to concentrate on the finer things of life, Having said this, if some of the detrimental impacts of industrialisation and increasing populations are not addressed in the more developed countries, we may also experience some of the stronger elements of the hierarchy in forthcoming years.