Habitat III - One UN Pavilion
  • Tuesday 18
  • Beyond Basic Services: Rethinking the Values, Functions, and Management of 'Waters' in our Cities

    One UN Pavilion
    Venue: One UN Pavilion - Room A
    Organization: United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) United Nations University (UNU)
    Partner organizations:
    The University Of Tokyo And Global Water Partnership

    Water provides essential basic services in cities, supporting the health and dignity of urban populations, enabling social integration and economic activity. Yet as urbanization intensifies and the changing climate modifies the water cycle, sustainability objectives oblige us to seriously shift the way water is valued and managed in cities. Beyond basic services, waters’ value as a feature of the urban landscape, a provider of ecological services, public space, or as a wildlife habitat also need to be embraced. Waters’ uses at different grades of quality, offering potential sources of energy, nutrients and services like cleaning and cooling, must also be seized. The way water shapes and itself is influenced by urban planning and design needs to better considered in light of both over-abundance and scarcity. Depending on how it is managed in cities, water can be a threat or a salvation, an eyesore or an asset, an unwanted waste or a valuable resource, a transmitter of sickness or a source of good health. Seizing the better outcomes depends on a richer appreciation of water in cities and a more proactive approach to the linkages between urban and water management. The networking event will explore how water is dealt with in the New Urban Agenda, then go on to discuss how to turn this bold agenda into action.