Urban Housing and Basic Services

March 24, 2017

This discussion is now closed. Thank you for your participation.

Moderators:

  • Pireh Otieno Human Settlements Officer, Urban Basic Services Branch - UN-Habitat
  • Claudio Torres Slum Upgrading Consultant, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch. UN-Habitat

Urban Housing and Basic Services

This discussion is now closed. Thank you for your participation.

Question 1.   In your experience and expertise, what progress has been made since Habitat II in advancing strategic frameworks for urban housing and urban services? What has enabled such progress?

Welcome to the urban dialogue on Urban Housing and Basic Services. The online discussions for this dialogue took place from July 6-31, 2015. Although the discussions are now closed, you can still share your comments, perspectives, and feedback on the discussion summary for a one-week commentary period ending on August 24, 2015.

In each thematic discussion, individuals and organizations had the chance to discuss major ideas and outcomes of the Habitat III Issue Papers, elaborated by the United Nations Task Team on HIII. These dialogues provide a platform for all voices to be heard. Your valued contribution and participation in these dialogues will enrich the ongoing Habitat III participatory process on emerging thinking related to sustainable urban development. In addition, final contributions to the discussion summaries will help identify key knowledge and policy options, while evaluating how these options might be deployed in the context of the New Urban Agenda.

Click here to review the summary outcome and comment
Recent Activity
Climate Change Centre Reading
Wed, August 12, 2015 at 10.24 pm
Rodrigo Schoeller de Moraes from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 01.49 am

Dear Colleagues ,

To facilitate access , I am attaching the two main files mentioned in my previous suggestion :

1- What development do we want?

2- Lecture Values, Systemic Planning, and Management and Public Ministry,

I hope that the documents, which are public domain, can contribute in some way.

Rodrigo Schoeller de Moraes,

Public Prosecutor,

Manager Strategic Projects of the Public Prosecutors Office/Public Ministry. 

E-mail: rsmoraes@mp.rs.gov.br

rodrigoschoeller.blogspot.com.br

Phones:         

                + 55 51 9628-4254      

                + 55 51 3295-1050    

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 11.29 am

Dear Rodrigo,

thanks for making available the English version of the documents you have referred to in your previous comment.

Smarter Than Car
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 12.30 am

Habitat 3 Issue Paper 19 – TRANSPORT AND MOBILITY

From our perspective the following concepts would provide additional insights and potentials for key drivers if integrated in the Issue Paper 19 on Transport and Mobility.

Post-carbon Mobility

The extent to which a transport system is independent from fossil fuels. This referes to the extent of acttive transport (non-motorized transport) in a system but as well to the carbon footprint the electrified transport system shows.

Today road transport accounts for more than 40% of annual global oil consumption, more than twice as much as any other sector. 80-90% of the energy consumed by road transport comes from oil. The growing market for electric cars doesn’t necessarily improve the situation, as the increased demand for electricity is often met by burning coal. In the light of the need to adapt urban areas to climate change, a transition to post-carbon mobility systems appears as critical for the Habitat III Urban Development Agenda.


Transport Equity

The extent to which any given urban transportation system provides equal access to people of varying age, fitness, gender or income group. Moving on foot or bicycle are the least expensive and easy to access means of individual transport. Fostering active transport is a very effective investment into creating social equity.

Urban Health

The extent to which an urban area’s living system shows a functioning metabolism and non-dangerous levels of environmental pollution. The health of a human urban population can be measured by indicators such as life expectancy, physical and emotional well-being, individual fitness or population diversity. The the health of the urban ecosystem can be measured by indicators such as air quality, species diversity or the ratio of sealed versus open landscape.

Transport and mobility are key drivers for urban health, actively by promoting physical exercise of urban populations but as well providing a means to manage and (positively) influence levels of air pollution in cities.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, August 2, 2015 at 10.51 pm

Dear Smarter Than Car,

thanks for the significant additional concepts for Issue Paper no. 19 that you have posed. As corroborated by other participants as well as by your remarks, transport and mobility are indeed key drivers for urban health, and this in turn is an important component of urban sustainability. We welcome the very enlightening categorization between the health of the human urban population and that of the urban ecosystem – and their indicators  – provided by you.

Huairou Commission
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 08.33 pm

Dear Colleagues,

Here the Huairou Commission’s consolidated responses on Urban Housing and Basic Services.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, August 2, 2015 at 08.57 pm

Dear Huairou Commission,

thanks to your members for dedicating time to gather and consolidate these comments. Due to the work of the Commission in advancing the collective political influence of grassroots women’s organizations in global decision-making on behalf of their communities, your recommendations will certainly bring out the rightful and practical view of women about the urban issues that frame their daily lives.

NCD Alliance
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 09.10 pm

This response is submitted by the NCD Alliance, a global network of 2,000 civil society organisations in 170 countries working towards a world free of preventable suffering and death from non-communicable diseases (NCDs):

The NCD Alliance is grateful for the opportunity to participate in these urban dialogues. As urbanisation progresses, opportunities to walk and cycle typically deteriorate, in particular due to decreased space and excessive traffic rendering transport on foot or by bicycle unpleasant and, moreover, unsafe. Provision of safe and appealing pedestrianised areas and cycle lane networks facilitates physical activity, and promotes alternatives to motorised transport, thus reducing emissions.

Detailed comments on Issue Paper 19 on transport and mobility are attached.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 03.20 pm

Dear NCD Alliance,

thanks for your very comprehesive review of issue paper 18 and your valuable recommendations, as the one referred to the stronger emphasis, you suggest, that has to be placed on encouraging urban planning to facilitate transport by walking and cycling, transport means that have been left behind by increasing urbanisation, thus preventing cities and towns from taking advantage of the health benefits they bring in reducing both emissions and physical inactivity.

The document containing your recommendations will be handed over to the Habitat III Policy Units that will continue with the thematic review of the issue papers, and without doubt they will welcome both the telling statistics you have compiled – including that physical inactivity and poor air quality are jointly responsible for approximately 7 millions deaths annually worldwide – and also your call for future action to set and enforce standards for emissions as well as for vehicle and road safety.

WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing)
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 08.14 pm

Our moderator shared with us an interesting statistic linking housing and livelihoods, stating that: “In 2009, UN-Habitat assessed that the housing sector constituted 10% of the world’s gross domestic product and contributed to the creation of 7% of worldwide jobs. Such statistics demonstrate the close linkage between housing and employment.”

More than ever, it’s vital that we fully recognize the role of the home as a place of work, and that much of this work that takes place in the home is informal work. Informal settlements and slums are increasingly acknowledged as vibrant mixed-use communities and dynamic focal points for the urban informal economy. The informal economy contributes to a substantial amount of employment in developing country cities, for example, Dharavi, in Mumbai, one of the largest slums in Asia with more than 700,000 people living in 175 hectares, has been dubbed ‘India’s largest recycling centre’, and operates like a well-organized industrial district dealing with waste recycling. In Hanoi, Vietnam over 50% of the urban labour force is informal. In Niamey, Niger, the informal constitutes 76% of employment, and 83% in Lomé, Togo.  

However, many of those who live in informal settlements also work in the informal economy, but face hazardous and insecure working conditions. This emphasizes that we must recognize the deep linkages between home (including informal settlements), work (including informal economy work), and their connections to the wider city space and urban and even global economy.

I work with WIEGO, an organization focused on evidence-based action research and advocacy in partnership with informal economy workers. Our recently published Informal Economy Monitoring Study used quantitative and qualitative research techniques across 10 countries to elucidate information on informal workers, their livelihoods, policy and planning environments. I’d like to share three key points that we found in regards to home-based workers, which speaks to our discussion and the need to link housing (especially informal settlements) and work (epecially informal livelihoods) [1]:

  1. Home-based workers produce a wide range of products for local, national, and international markets: These workers produce a range of roducts with very low and unpredictable earnings. These earnings are essential in fending off extreme poverty; over three quarters of the sample belonged to households where the main source of income was informal. Moreover, the goods and services produced by home-based workers are an essential component of urban economies and global value chains.
  2. Because their home is their workplace, home-based workers are directly affected by basic infrastructure services, or the lack thereof: Most notably, the high cost and irregular supply of electricity. Accessibility and cost of public transport is also a key factor for home-based workers: Self-employed workers have to commute to markets on a regular, if not daily, basis to buy raw materials and other supplies, to negotiate orders, and to sell finished goods; and the sub-contracted workers have to commute to the firms or contractors that sub-contract work to them to receive work orders and raw materials, to return finished goods, and get paid.
  3. Home-based workers, both self-employed and sub-contracted, are affected by the macroeconomic environment, notably by fluctuations in demand and prices. Workers are exposed to unpredictable and often unfair value chain dynamics, including: irregular purchase/work orders, irregular supply of raw materials, and delayed payments. Most home-based workers are included in markets on unfair terms. In part this is because they work at home: isolated from other workers in their sector (apart from those in their neighborhood) and with limited knowledge of markets and market prices (especially if they are sub-contracted). These factors limit their ability to bargain in the market for more favorable prices and piece rates or to negotiate with government for basic infrastructure and transport services.

Supportive urban policy environments that recognize the complex and dynamic employment potential of informal settlements can enable these vibrant local economies to make significant contributions to local economic development, urban service delivery, and employment for women, young people and other vulnerable urban groups.

Evidence-based research sources are being developed by slum dwellers themselves, and we can’t neglect this vital information as we conceptualize informal settlements and wide range of activities in these spaces. For example, slum-dwellers and informal economy workers are leading innovative development processes to gather settlement and slum data to address the challenges of informal settlements.  Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), a network of community-based organizations of the urban poor, has pioneered community enumerations that help identify development priorities, strengthen rights as a basis for engagement between communities and government on planning and development [2]. The community-led enumeration of the community of Old Fadama in Accra, Ghana demonstrated that this informal settlement had an employment rate of 97 percent – this included both formal and informal economy workers, and represents a higher level of employment that the city of Accra itself.

So, let’s link our knowledge of the mixed-use character of informal settlements and the strong links between informal settlemnts and informal livelihoods as we conceptualize and plan for the city we need. Let’s recognize the roles of informal settlement residents, informal economy workers and engage these stakeholders in the planning process. Let’s plan truly inclusive cities that recognize and provide access to basic infrastructure and services to ensure access to the city’s economic opportunities and improved quality of life.

 [1] Chen, Martha Alter (April 2014). Informal Economy Monitoring Study Sector Report: Home-Based Workers
http://wiego.org/sites/wiego.org/files/publications/files/IEMS-Sector-Report-Home-Based-Workers-Full-Report.pdf

[2] Patel, S., Baptist, C. and d’Cruz, C. (2012) Knowledge is power – informal communities assert their right to the city through SDI and community-led enumerations, Environment and Urbanization, 24(1), pp13-26

Best,

Victoria Okoye
Urban Advocacy Specialist
WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing)
www.wiego.org / www.inclusivecities.org 

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, August 2, 2015 at 11.42 pm

Dear Victoria and WIEGO,

thanks for pointing out to the links between housing and livelihood and between informal settlements and the informal economy. As you have noted, in recognising the informal economy’s positive aspects we should not forget in which conditions the people engaged in it actually work – most likely in jobs that are not only insecure but that don’t allow them to prosper but only to survive. The contribution to the overall economy of the informal economy workers – presumably slum dwellers, too – should go beyond the mere provision of cheap labour and become a path towards their own development. In regard to this, is commendable your call to recognise the home as a place of work – a reality for many informal settlement dwellers. We look forward to getting to know your Informal Economy Monitoring Study in full.

Nicole Bohrer Program Associate from United States
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 06.07 pm

Dear all, please find attached responses to issue papers 18,19,20,21,22 – with a particular focus on gender – from members of the Huairou Commission Network.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, August 2, 2015 at 05.10 pm
Dear Nicole,
thank you and the Huairou Commission for dedicating time to gather and compile your comments. Due to the work of the Commission in advancing the collective political influence of grassroots women’s organizations in global decision-making on behalf of their communities, your recommendations will certainly bring out the rightful and practical view of women about the urban issues that frame their daily lives.
Justin Mortensen Director, Urban Strategy Initiative from United States
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 05.48 pm

Regarding discussion paper 18. 

While the focus is more on water, sanitation and energy, we believe it should also discuss health, especially in the following sections: 

Figures and key facts – the section could include health data, such as, estimated deliveries/births, increasing trend in stillbirths, inadequate skilled care at delivery etc.

Key Drivers for Action – This section provides good directions for holistic approaches in addressing the basic services. Health could be explicitly mentioned in order to have its due attention. For example, the technological innovation section could include innovations for linking referral systems and essential health services.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 11.05 pm

Dear Justin,

thanks for reviewing issue paper 18 and for highlighting the need to include and detail more the health aspects related to the provision of basic urban services. Given that other participants have also called for considering the health of the urban residents as an indispensable element for urban sustainability, this shall be one of the key recommendations to be forwarded to the Habitat III Policy Units.

Rodrigo Schoeller de Moraes from Brazil
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 05.40 pm

Esteemed Colleagues:

I am a public prosecutor and manager of strategic projects of the Public Ministry/Public Prosecutor’s Office in the state of Rio Grande do Sul – Brazil.

               In Brazil, the Public Ministry/Public Prosecutor’s Office has very broad constitutional powers, prioritizing, and often fostering, cooperation networks, in order to serve, not only the consequences of society’s problems, but also the causes.

In the search for effectiveness, sustainability, equity and peace, internal and external, and taking into account the causes of the growing disregard for nature and dignity (own and others) are systemic, ie, arising from interdependent relationships between various components of Environment, believed to be important for the development of the methodology/action of Systemic Planning and Management (PGS). 

This is because this methodology/action allows, from the focus priority chosen and emphasizing the family context, vision and resource integration, multidisciplinary and cross-disciplinary. Focus priority can be established, for example, in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the thematic topics for the New Urban Agenda (social cohesion and equity, urban frameworks, spatial development, urban economy and urban ecology and environment), and, more specifically, in a flooding, in the construction of a hydroelectric plant, in the health of vulnerable populations, (native Brazilians, homeless people, people affected by ecological catastrophes), in the improvement in the quality of life of the population of certain slum and etc. Thus, one can establish what to do, and who, where and when / why and how to map and integrate all these components. Therefore, it is important to be perceived a common mission, to be implemented with the assistance of the physiological, psychological (safety, belonging and self-esteem) and self-fulfillment, generating commensurate impacts on the three pillars of sustainability (economic, social – health, education, citizenship and security – and the environment) and through cooperation networks. Thus, public effects are produced by adding value to sustainable activities.


            This common mission, envisioned as public purpose, requires and favors the formation of cooperation networks for systemic action, allowing the integration of the three sectors (public, private and civil society) and the whole community. This context favors democracy, participatory and representative, providing Harmonic and Sustainable Development (DHS), the consciousness of unity and survival of all living beings.

Increasingly, it requires the cooperation of every part. However, sometimes, when making planning and management of public policy, we do not see the importance of integration, too, with the Justice System. In case of ineffectiveness of public policy (often due to a linear actuation – not realizing the interconnections), the Justice System undoubtedly will intervene, directly affecting the course of development that we want (something that can be evidenced by example, the “judicialization of health”). In Brazil, the National Judicial Forum for Monitoring and Resolution of demands in Health Care and the National Health Forum under the National Council of the Public Ministry are giving support for Systemic Planning and Management action.

The Systemic Planning and Management action has achieved many positive results. Therefore, we are building, with the National Confederation of Municipalities, the document: Systemic Planning and Management action focusing on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and HABITAT III. HOW implement the ODS in the local community and in the context of the HABITAT III.

We believe that this document can contribute to implementation of ODS and for the preparation of New Urban Agenda. The document will be available at the following address: rodrigoschoeller.blogspot.com.br, in early September (including an English version).

            Further information can be obtained in the following materials – at the same address and:

1- What development do we want? – (an English version can be found on the link)

quedesenvolvimentoqueremos.webnode.com/news/que-desenvolvimento-queremos-/

2- A Map On The Way  (an English version can be found on the link)

rodrigoschoeller.blogspot.com.br/2012/01/um-mapa-no-caminho-map-on-way-english.html

3-  Lecture Values, Systemic Planning, and Management and Public Ministry

rodrigoschoeller.blogspot.com.br/2010/10/pgs-lecture-values-systemic-planning.html

4- Lecture at the World Conference about Development of Cities

rodrigoschoeller.blogspot.com.br/2010/10/pgs-lecture-at-world-conference-about_26.html

5-  La Gestion and PGS

rodrigoschoeller.blogspot.com.br/2010/10/pgs-la-gestion-e-pgs_26.html

6-  Primer on PGS action focusing on Health, 2015 version.

pgsistemicos.blogspot.com.br/2013/01/otimizacao-da-rede-de-fornecimento-de.html

I hope that the documents, which are public domain, can contribute in some way.

Rodrigo Schoeller de Moraes,

Public Prosecutor,

Manager Strategic Projects of the Public Prosecutors Office/Public Ministry. 

E-mail: rsmoraes@mp.rs.gov.br

rodrigoschoeller.blogspot.com.br

Phones:         

                + 55 51 9628-4254      

                + 55 51 3295-1050    

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 11.22 am

Dear Rodrigo,

thanks for sharing with us the relevant experience that you and your colleagues at the Public Ministry are carrying out in Brazil, and for suggesting that peace should also be one of the expected outcomes of urban sustainability as much as the judiciary shall play a role in the planning and management of the public policies to achieve this sustainability.

We will be glad to share your documents on the Systemic Planning and Management (Planejamento e Gestão Sistêmicos, PGS) with the Habitat III Policy Units as this is an empirical example of how to implement the kind of integrated, multi- and cross-disciplinary approach that Habitat III promotes for the attainment of urban sustainability. Also, we look forward to see in September the document you are currently developing with the National Confederation of Municipalities of Brasil that focuses on PGS action in the context of the SDGs and HABITAT III.

GWOPA / UN-Habitat from Spain
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 04.30 pm

Having reviewed the Habitat III issue paper number 18, the importance given to infrastructure for the development of human life is well articulated, nevertheless to ensure long-term and sustainable development, at least within the water and sanitation sector, this investment must be paired with investment in human capacity, most notably for those responsible for providing services. Local actors should be given the necessary skills to maintain the gains acquired through development efforts after development funding has dried-up. As well as maintaining access levels, accompanying infrastructure investment with capacity development will allow urban service providers to address future challenges confidently, to innovate their practices and to adapt lessons learned from peers to their own particular contexts. 

Within a wider context, the need now is to instigate a more precise discussion about what new tools are required to enhance integrated governance and strategic partnerships within cities, and what mediums can be used to achieve this. New tools for decision making that consider all stakeholders and sectors are essential to efficiently use resources and streamline efforts. These tools should encourage bottom-up practices and participatory processes to increase user engagement and ownership. Specific innovative strategies are required to better foster new approaches and initiatives that work for public interest. These strategies should also be well-oriented and fit within new cross-sector urban agenda resulting from Habitat III.

With a clearer idea of what tools are required, we can begin to define how such tools, programmes and initiatives should be implemented and in what context are they applicable.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 09.56 am

Dear GWOPA,

the need for pairing investment in infrastructure with investment in human capacity – most notably for those responsible for providing services, as you have pointed out, is a prerequisite for delivering better service management and maintenance presently, and for devising the required future developments at the local level benefiting from the local knowledge.

Thanks for indicating what should be the next step after agreeing on the new urban development framework, this being the broad discussion and the necessary creative thinking at all levels – from the global to the city and community levels – that should guide the enhancement of the tools, inclusive and participatory, that will facilitate the path towards securing the sustainability of our cities and towns.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 04.29 pm

The key points are

[1]Making zones[2]Making green areas,and public utility places,separate in each zone[3]Each zone 

having Independent

 authority,responsible,and reporting,with no violations[4]Connecting zones[5]Zonal flood,and 

waste water treatment plants.

Zonal waste treatment[6]Connecting zones with electric vehicles[7]encourage use of Public transport,small vehicles,and 

electric or diverse technology,which is free from GHG[8]Industrial zones away from the urban periphery.[9]discourage new settlements in already crowded area,by use of high penalty,and land use regulations[10]Service sectors,to have at least half of their offices shifted out side the populated area,so as to discourage new migrations in to the 200 already populated cities of the world.

Using Uranium or such fuels,to power the very excessive power requirements of the populated cities,

so as to avoid other natural calamities.

And one  in-Charge for all the disasters,and other mitigation schemes,in the cities,till such time the world develop another 500 safe cities.

The word smart is as sweet as some one said about water,we will have all technology,but we will  not speak about helicopter    landing facilities,zone wise.We use our UAV,for many spatial record,but we cannot say any word about it.

Future we may have many types of flying vehicles for short duration,and we may have small,battery powered,Space stations,

or that use the sun light,these may help in supplying series of navigation technology for vehicles.

The technology today will stand,and gets improved.

Challenges in making new materials for replacement of steel,for cars,and new materials for housing will be overcome,  because the energy   requirements for production of these items are of highest order,and replacing them and finding alternative materials for stability and standing the weather for many years  is the need  for housing.

We are moving to 21 century,technologies in a few years where definitely the food habits,and 

production systems are going  to change.

We will succeed,as we are investing on time and pumping money in to material research for housing,and 

ways of treating   water for primary uses.

Let us incorporate the use of technologies for development and disaster mnagement,and need to have space for them.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 02.45 pm

Comments, OVERVIEW Issue Papers 8, 11, 17 and 21
Connecting communities
Facilitating connectivity and net carbon mobility through the improvement of transportation networks and communication between urban and rural areas to allow universal benefit and access to quality public spaces / places, which tend to be concentrated in urban areas due to population density and economies of scale…

Dear the Habitat III Secretariat, 
Sponsor, Support and Share this International call for a Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet proposal.
Let´s make this a global #AirQuality reality!

Thank you for organising Habitat III and UrbanDialouges

Cheeers
/Carl
CCCRdg 

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 10.53 pm

Dear Carl,

thanks again to the Climate Change Centre Reading for your contribution to these dialogues. The document with your comments will be part of the dossier containing this forum’s inputs that will be shared with the Policy Units for Habitat III.

knut speaker/coordinator of tenant associations from Germany
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 02.26 pm

I think the issue paper on housing includes a lot of important facts and analysis. As a tenant organizer I like that at least this paper does not forget the commitment on the right to adequate shelter achieved at Habitat II. For Habitat III German NGOs fear that this focus may be replaced by technocratic approaches. I still hope Habitat III will not weaken, but reconfirm and maybe strengthen the necessary ethical fundaments of sustainable development.  See the statement of German NGOs at

http://www.forumue.de/statement-of-the-german-forum-on-environment-development-on-habitat-iii-2/

I also like that the housing paper mentions that tenure types other than freehold ownership should be encouraged especially rental housing. We believe that much more attention should be paid on public and social housing solutions, including public finance and public provision of land for social housing solution.

What I cannot understand in this preparation process is the obvious absence of any debate on the important housing factors and housing consequences of the financial crash 2007/2008 and its aftermaths, among them very many forced evictions. It is really necessary to discuss the economic frame with high priority at Habitat III.  

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 12.35 am

Dear Knut,

thanks for bringing up the point of view of such important urban stakeholders as tenants are, and for emphasizing that a rights-based approach should not be replaced by a technocratic one. Within this logic, security of tenure must continue, for example, to be considered as a structural element of the right to adequate housing for all in spite of its complexities, reconfirming and strengthening the necessary ethical fundaments of sustainable development, as you have said. Also, and as you rightly suggest, economic volatility should be factored in long term housing strategies.

The document you have shared with us containing the positioning of the German NGOs with respect to Habitat III will be forwarded to the Policy Units that will guide the next steps of the process.

Misereor
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 02.22 pm

MISEREOR is the German Catholic development agency supporting local partners world-wide since 1958. As one of the active participants at the Habitat I conference in Vancouver in 1976, and at the Habitat II conference in Istanbul in 1996, MISEREOR has been constantly engaged in the promotion of the right to housing and of sustainable settlement development. This includes advocacy against evictions, reminding states of their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights to housing, water, sanitation, etc., and supporting urban grass-root networks and local initiatives demanding access to land, security of tenure, housing and access to services.

Our comments are based on this experience.

Infrastructural Justice

Implementing of climate protection strategies is one of the main challenges of municipal administrations. Consumption of energy and greenhouse gas emissions per capita do vary within one city as well as globally. Persons who do not use many resources and who do not emit a lot greenhouse gases – as those in informal settlements – should not suffer from climate protection measures in favor of adaptation and mitigation.

Smart technology is not necessarily pro-poor but smart and/or cero carbon infrastructures need to be accessible und useful for all inhabitants. Therefore, it is key that poor people’s interests and rights are explicitly included into strategic planning and implementation regarding these important infrastructures. Any demand forecast cannot be reliable if informal people and informal settlements are not taken into account. Rapid urbanization processes need anticipatory planning including the provision of basic infrastructures, access to safe and clean energy and sustainable mobility. Aspects of democratic land distribution, access to public spaces and infrastructures go hand in hand and from the complementary part of financing of pro-poor infrastructures.

The main part of energy of a city is consumed by the use of non-sustainable mobility and the main part of climate damaging greenhouse gas emissions is produced here. Individual cars require most of the public space though the majority of urban inhabitants in the global south use public transport, non-motorized transport or are pedestrians. Public transport must be within (easy) reach, rapid and comfortable as well as affordable; also for people with (very) low income. However, very often informal settlements are left out of the public transport ways. Moreover, informal settlements are often evicted for (smart) infrastructures; in some cities these developments affect hundred thousands of people at the same time.

Three aspects are key: Smart technologies and infrastructures need to be perceived as an urban common, accessible for all. Urban space is considered as a common, infrastructures should be considered as a common as well. Secondly, the implementation of cero carbon infrastructures must not lead to a tradeoff of entitlements and legal certainty leading to a destruction of informal settlements for infrastructure. The recent encyclical Laudato Si of Pope Francis rightly points out that ecological transformation is necessary, but that social aspects should be equally taken into consideration. Thirdly, public spending should be verified to follow-up which areas are served, which infrastructures are being constructed and who actually benefits from them.

Informal Settlements

Experiences from all over the world show that upgrading, in-situ development of informal settlements including tenure security, works for informal settlements and for “the city”. This could contribute to overcome the dreadful reality of evictions. At the moment, policies dealing with informal settlements still dominantly oscillate between forced evictions, on the one hand, and relocations to faraway places (sometimes without any infrastructure) on the other hand. Fully subsidized housing does not work, especially in relocation areas. Any development should base and reflect realities and ambitions.

Cities cannot really afford to socially, economically and politically exclude one half of its population (for example in Bombay 50% live in informal settlements) nor to transfer all those citizens to the cities’ fringes where they are separated from their economic and social networks. Why should it then not be possible to do it the other way round i.e. transform the perspective of formal and informal, focus on equity and look for the potentials equity offers for the city? Why not include the know-how available in informal settlements, why not focus on technics like incremental change (very common in informal settlements). What would improve the city for everybody, without hampering its growth, which is a feasible and affordable option?

Equity includes that community organizations are informed and entitled to participate in political, spatial and creative processes of their settlement’s and cities’ development.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 11.53 pm

Dear MISEREOR,

as you happen to be actual ‘veterans’ of the different Habitat conferences, your thoughts on how to succeed now in defining Habitat III are much welcomed, even more considering your long experience in dealing with urban matters utilising a human rights-based approach.

Thanks for deepening in the concept of infrastructural justice, a concept that in your description seems actively related to that of environmental justice and that helps to understand many of the paradoxes that the current urban dynamics conceal. On what refers to informal settlements, we can’t but agree with your optimism about the overall, citywide benefits of the in-situ upgrading of slums that considers the key component of tenure security as a driver for the sustainable development of the urban poor. In fact, the link between security of tenure and poverty eradication has been also recognised by the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, as tenure security is one of the indicators to track Goal 1: End poverty in all its form everywhere.

Jose Siri Epidemiologist; urban health from Malaysia
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 02.08 pm

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the papers in the Urban Housing and Basic Services policy area.  I’m gratified to see the evident emphasis here on systems thinking. The shift away from sectoral silos toward an increasing recognition of interdependent systems, feedback processes, resilience, and the need for interdisciplinarity and broad engagement in the face of complexity will be critical for effective urban development in coming decades.

My Institute, the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health, has a strong focus on urban health–given that cities are now the predominant human habitat—and on how systems approaches can be used to define better policies and achieve better outcomes in this context. Much of the text here mirrors our understanding of the multidimensional nature of health. That is, to deliver health services, you need a well-functioning health sector—whereas to deliver health, you need well-functioning services of all kinds (plus effective financing, urban planning, use of space, innovation, governance, etc.). 

I have a few comments on the transport and mobility paper, which is focused largely on accessibility and sustainability, indisputably critical goals. It discusses the relationship of transport with health in the context of air pollution and road traffic accidents, as well as access to services. However, much could be said about the role of transportation decisions in encouraging sedentarism rather than active lifestyles, the global epidemic of obesity and overweight, and the concomitant rise of NCDs. It’s not enough that transport be sustainable and environmentally-friendly—it must also promote and enable good habits with respect to health. The impacts of transportation design on mental health, for example with respect to the stresses involved in commuting, are also important.

Since health has not been prioritized as a separate Policy Area, we feel that it is critical for it to be explicitly recognized by the existing working groups (i.e., issue papers and policy areas) in the runup to Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda. The attention to health in the papers in this section is encouraging, but a more focused and comprehensive approach to these issues is needed. Health and wellbeing are both exceptional drivers of and fundamental outcomes of development, at least coequal with other development goals.

Thanks,

José

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 10.37 pm

Dear José,

thanks for appreciating the recognition of holistic systems and interdisciplinary and inclusive processes as key drivers for urban sustainability that the Habitat III issue papers propose. As you have correctly indicated, human health must be one of the matters to consider in developing and managing human habitats, as much as lifestyle implications must be weighted when dealing with transport issues.

We will express to the Policy Units the need to mainstream health aspects as much as possible in the way forward of the Habitat III process, thus addressing the sensible improvement to the issue papers that you have identified and suggested.

Les Mills from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 01.14 pm

I will like to focus on the realization that civil infrastructure should be seen as a system where various components are dependent on one another. This will cause a paradigm shift in which planning and designing of such infrastructure is usually done in isolation usually without due consideration for existing or future infrastructure . Hazards such earthquakes, fires and the effects of climate change affect all infrastructure; and should they strike, recovery efforts are more coordinated when these infrastructure function well together as a system. Establishing the concept of civil infrastructure systems is the way for African cities.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 08.04 pm

Dear Les,

thank you for featuring the concept of civil infrastructure systems as the one that understands all of its components as interconnected and interdependent in achieving the purpose of supporting human activities – with due consideration to environ and future needs. As you have noted, such a holistic system not only can boost urban infrastructure’s sustainability over time, but also build up the increasingly needed resilience of cities.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 12.35 pm

Hello all,

Water mafia is new to me, we don’t trust drinking fountains anymore, and that’s bad for our health, why?


Water Issue: Dehli residents buy black market water #watermafia

Watch story by BBC here, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-33693289

More to the story here;

http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/07/17/at-the-mercy-of-the-water-mafia-india-delhi-tanker-gang-scarcity/


Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 08.08 pm

Dear Climate Change Reader Center,

sadly, the criminal provision of basic services is a reality, not only in India but everywhere where informal housing is allowed to thrive. It portrays the kind of double penalisation that the urban poor are subjected to: first, they are not recognised as rightful citizens deserving formal urban services and, thus, they are thrown into the arms of gangs that will most certainly overprice the bad and extortive service they provide. This portrays not only the overall segregation to which cities have secluded the urban poor, but also the great opportunity that urban settlements have to make right these anomalies under Habitat III.

Thank you for bringing up this issue and for providing further information.

Reality Tested Youth Programme
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 10.24 am

Safety need to be a key component of any housing project targeting the urban poor. This starts from security of tenure for  occupants to physical safety.

Government has tried to support slum upgrading a process. It is important to note that the current process of slum upgrading is long which does not meet rural urban migration  and increased population demand for housing. Some of the areas upgraded have ended up attracting the middle class thus again excluding the intended target or beneficiary.

The private developers make a big contribution in trying to meet the demand for housing which only attracts those who can afford. Government should establish incentives to private developers who are willing to make affordable housing targeting urban poor. Services associated with housing such as security, good and safe roads, schools, water and green environment should be factored in the design

The financial institutions funding housing projects should establish special funds targeting housing for the poor in partnership with affected residents, NGOs, government agencies concerned. 

A good house goes beyond having power and water connection. Services such as garbage collection, growing trees and proper maintenance policy is critical for sustainability. Policy to protect open/public space needs to be established or enforced.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 03.34 pm

Dear Reality Tested Youth Programme,

your remarks on safety remind us of the high and multidimensional levels of vulnerability affecting the life of the urban poor, a constant vulnerability  that has become one of the main characteristic of contemporary poverty, more important an indicator than the purchasing power of low income families or the goods they may possess – and easily lose.

On what you have pointed out about the unwanted outcome of some of the upgraded areas ending up in the hands of the middle class, thus excluding again the urban poor, and the shortcomings of a private housing sector targeting wealthier citizens only, it must be said that devising the strategies that will enable the housing market to take care of whom has not yet become an attractive costumer remains as one of the main challenges – and opportunity yet to be taken – to be dealt with under Habitat III.

Thanks for your remarks on taking care not only of the housing but also the public spaces and services related to it. Echoing other participants that have also highlighted this issue, this must be one of the key recommendations to the way forward of the Habitat III process.

World Vision International
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 07.50 am

This post – will differ from a number of the posts in this discussion thread as it more responds to some of the issue papers presented within the “Urban Housing and Basic Services” policy area rather than responding directly to the question of progress since Habitat II. This is in line with the introduction to this discussion thread from Claudio Torres (Wed July 8, 10:00am) and the feedback provided by both Viki Yang on transport (Mon July 27th, 7:14am) and the feedback on the smart city issue paper by GIZ Palestine.

Issue paper on Transport and Mobility:

There many challenges in improving the transport and mobility in cities, and this is multiplied in the rapidly developing urban contexts where World Vision’s Urban Programmes are undertaking activities to contribute to the well-being of children and youth, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. This response addresses two critical considerations for providing improved public transport services in developing countries: (i) affordability and (ii) safety.

Affordability. Public transport offers the potential for the poor to travel when the use of private vehicles is beyond them. However, there remain affordability challenges for the poorest of the poor to access reliable public transport services. One reason for this affordability challenge is that governments continue to use a ‘general’ subsidization approach (lower fares for all) in public transportation. However, an alternative model which seeks to provide increased and targeted subsidies for select groups of the most vulnerable is required. This might increase efficiency of subsidies as a targeted approach that concentrates on select groups (poor students, elderly, people living with disabilities and those living in informal communities) and also revenue collected from other commuters who could afford to pay an increased fare.

Safety. The most vulnerable in the urban centres are often poor women and children – they are at risk of social exclusion as well as physical risk from abuse. One area in which females and children face higer safety risks than men are on public transport services. Unsafe conditions for women in public transportation has led to new methods of ‘women only buses’ or in Mexico City ‘metro cars only for women.’ This new techniques are novel ideas, but do not solve the root of the problem. The paper would be strengthened if it could incorporate additional information regarding the public safety considerations and any innovative new case study examples on  how do we ensure safety in public transportation for woman, children, and even men.

Issue Paper on Housing.

Low income housing approaches have at times created unexpected impacts – creating regions of low income housing has perpetuated social divides and caused areas of socially desperate regions with high incidence of crime, substance abuse, domestic violence and ongoing social need. It creates segregation by developing affordable housing only in low income areas therefore pushing the communities most vulnerable into these areas. This has been the case in much of Latin America.

There needs to be a focus on “mixed income housing,” an idea that works in creating affordable housing within new housing development. A new condominium building or a new housing development should require to have a certain percentage of the units listed as affordable housing. This has worked in New York City and it has proven to create social cohesion among different income groups. While this has worked in New York City and other cities in developed contexts, further policy considerations are required to successfully translate these ideas of mixed income housing into developing country contexts.

Again, the issue paper would be strengthened if some of these considerations could be addressed in more detail and especially the impact that perpetuating informal and low-income communities have on the chances of livelihood improvements for the vulnerable children, youth and women of developing urban centres.

earl kessler from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 04.20 pm

Hello All, the idea of mixed-income housing is great…however, with the proportion of poor relative to the others j=the “mix” has to reflect that. Surely there are means to do this but it has to be forefront in the minds of those planning and implementing housing programs and especially mixed programs. the issue remains to stop thinking in terms of ‘project” and implement programs that work over time to offer a stream of solutions tailored tot he affordability of the different families so that they can enter into the market, if “market” is the entry. What would help is to have the idea of incremental f=growth also included into the strategy and offer support for the incrementally! 

On Jul 31, 2015, at 1:55 AM wrote:

Yo

United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 11.22 am

Dear World Vision International, thank you for your thoughtful post on mixed-income housing. We welcome your contribution’s input towards formulating the United Nations’ New Urban Agenda. There is no doubt that bringing people together from different backgrounds can be an important component of strong neighborhoods. Housing is no exception.


Mixed-income housing can help improve the livelihood of all individuals, including low-income and people in vulnerable situations. Communities that focus on a diverse mix of housing maximize opportunity by reducing concentrated poverty and enabling residents to have close and safe access to what may be the best neighborhood resources available—whether education, employment, or healthcare. As a result, low-income households and people in vulnerable situations are better positioned to contribute to their community’s economic development and social cohesion: ultimately, strengthening the neighborhood and society.


We recognize the importance of mixed-income housing within the context of sustainable urban development. We look forward to working with you on emphasizing this aspect of housing and advancing our shared goal of improving the standard of living for the world’s urban population in Habitat III.

Iván Canales
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 07.25 am

Pregunta 1. ¿En su experiencia y conocimientos, lo que se ha avanzado desde Hábitat II en la promoción de marcos estratégicos para la vivienda urbana y servicios urbanos? Lo que ha permitido este progreso?
Estimados (as)
Desde Hábitat II, lo que se ha avanzada según mi experiencia, en lo que se refiere a la promoción de marcos estratégicos, para la vivienda urbana y servicios urbanos, y lo que ha permitido este progreso entre otros aspectos son:
la toma de consciencia del aumento de la densidad demográfica en las ciudades y territorios urbanos, una urbanización sin límites o el fin de la urbanización
la evolución de las políticas de viviendas
la integración de la noción de una gestión de planificación urbana integrada,
la toma de consciencia del impacto ambiental en el marco del desarrollo urbano sostenible
la ampliación del enfoque multidisciplinario, sociología urbana, urbanistas, geógrafos, etc.
la hegemonía de la dimensión hábitat a la dimensión vivienda
la vivienda un tema de estado
El desarrollo sostenible urbano de ciudades donde el contexto mundial esta cada vez mas basado principalmente, en la toma de consciencia de la explosion demográfica y la falta de recursos, se posiciona en primera linea. No obstante con el aumento de la demande se debe adaptar las construcciones con el fin de responder al máximo, definiendo cuales son las necesidades que se requieren para el funcionamiento óptimo de programas de vivienda.
Si consideramos la región de América Latina como una región donde la población urbana ocupa más del 80% del total de la población, es indispensable que la dimensión de la eficacia y optimización estén íntimamente asociadas, respondiendo a la demande con un enfoque durable y participativo.
Los programas de viviendas, deben principalmente ser planificados desde la dimensión Estado y no ser programas que responden únicamente a periodos gubernamentales y transitorios. Además estos deben integrar la dimensión Hábitat y no sólo la construcción de una vivienda, ya que los equipos y espacios públicos, transporte, infraestructuras, colegios, centros médicos, etc. son parte importante en dimensiones de integración y cohesión social en programas urbanos, donde también la dimensión Territorial participa.
El enfoque multidisciplinario es hoy en dia un apoyo esencial para el éxito en la puesta en marcha de programas de viviendas, donde la apropiación de espacios, los cuales son diseñados en la teoría, para un objetivo el cual, en la práctica es otro, por eso que este enfoque es relevante además del enfoque participativo, que participa y contribuye también en la optimización de diseños
También el cambio de dimensión de una urbanización sin fin, al fin de la urbanización, es hoy en día uno de los ejes de desarrollo, en la cual debemos proponer más que nada soluciones prácticas dejando tal vez en segundo plano el enfoque experimental de construcción de ciudades y acompañar los objetivos más concretos que aporten una solución construida en principios sostenibles. La dimensión de acceso a la ciudad para todos, se integra también al derecho de elementos esenciales para construir ciudades para todos.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 02.55 pm

Estimado Iván,

muchas gracias por detallar los elementos que podrían representar el avance desde Hábitat II, incluyendo: el acento en la definición de marcos estratégicos y políticas públicas – nacionales y locales – referidos a la provisión de vivienda y servicios básicos, la mayor conciencia sobre las implicaciones demográficas del proceso global de urbanización y sus efectos en la demanda de vivienda (pasar de pensar en una ‘urbanización sin fin’ a pensar en el fin mismo de la urbanización), el desarrollo de la noción de una planificación urbana integrada y multidisciplinaria, y el importante punto de la vivienda entendida como un tema de estado a largo plazo, más allá de contingencias políticas temporales.

Sin duda estas son áreas en que aún queda trabajo por hacer bajo Hábitat III, y sus recomendaciones en cuanto a asociar eficacia y optimización en los programas de vivienda, a pensar no solo en la vivienda pero también en su entorno, y a poner un renovado énfasis en enfoques participativos y soluciones prácticas – todo esto dentro de un marco de principios urbanos sostenibles e inclusivos – contribuirán a esta tarea.

Dear Iván,

thank you very much for detailing the elements that could represent progress since Habitat II, including: the emphasis on the definition of public policies and strategic frameworks – national and local – related to the provision of housing and basic services, the greater awareness of the demographic implications of global urbanisation and its impact on housing demand (moving from thinking of an ‘endless urbanisation’ to thinking of the very end of urbanisation), the development of the notion of integrated and multidisciplinary urban planning, and the important point of understanding housing as a long-term State subject, beyond transitory political set-ups.

Without a doubt these are areas where there is still work to be done under Habitat III, and your recommendations on how to associate efficiency and optimization in housing programs, on thinking not only in housing but also in its surroundings, and on putting a renewed emphasis on participatory approaches and practical solutions – all this within a framework of sustainable and inclusive urban principles – will contribute to this task.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH LGRP
Wed, July 29, 2015 at 11.17 am

Dear Participants,

Our team from GIZ LGRP Palestine would like to add some comments about the smart city issue paper. We believe the document presents a good short overview of the topic and is a good starting point. Out of our experience some interesting points are missing in the paper. In the following bullet points with information we would like to see included in future discussions:

  • The information flow is presented only in one direction from the municipal administration to the residents. But in fact smart applications are a 2 way street of information flow. The city informs its residents and residents can inform the city (crowdsourced processes). Information can be collected through the residents e.g. about roadway damages or illegal garbage sites.
  • Smart tools are not only for providing services, smart tools can also be a huge enhancement in administrative processes and work flows.
  • The cost factors of developing and implementing smart tools are not mentioned in the issue paper. In our experience costs are handled as a general factor, but there is a need to separate initial costs from running costs (e.g. maintenance). Especially the running costs need good planning, the running costs should be low for the development of sustainable tools.

As a last more general comment, the influence of disaster are included in the issue paper. We believe there is an important need to separate natural from human made (conflicts & war) disasters. The two possibilities are completely different and will have 2 very different outcomes. If I take this point back to the smart city issue, the natural disaster can be managed by a smart city tool. The human made disaster could be very different, in the beginning of a conflict electricity sources and communication system that are used for smart city tools and apps are a target. The tools and apps need special security to work during such events.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Thu, July 30, 2015 at 03.02 pm

Dear GIZ LGRP Palestine,

thanks for your constructive approach towards this dialogue and for your deserving suggestions to perfect the proposed issue papers. Your valuable inputs on the 2-way street information flow, use of smart tools on administrative processes and their cost, as well as on the specificities of both natural and human made disasters in what concerns smart city systems will be forwarded to the policy units that will coordinate the next step of the Habitat III’s process. Thanks again.

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH LGRP
Wed, July 29, 2015 at 11.16 am

Dear Participants,

Our team from GIZ LGRP Palestine would like to add some comments about the smart city issue paper. We believe the document presents a good short overview of the topic and is a good starting point. Out of our experience some interesting points are missing in the paper. In the following bullet points with information we would like to see included in future discussions:

  • The information flow is presented only in one direction from the municipal administration to the residents. But in fact smart applications are a 2 way street of information flow. The city informs its residents and residents can inform the city (crowdsourced processes). Information can be collected through the residents e.g. about roadway damages or illegal garbage sites.
  • Smart tools are not only for providing services, smart tools can also be a huge enhancement in administrative processes and work flows.
  • The cost factors of developing and implementing smart tools are not mentioned in the issue paper. In our experience costs are handled as a general factor, but there is a need to separate initial costs from running costs (e.g. maintenance). Especially the running costs need good planning, the running costs should be low for the development of sustainable tools.

As a last more general comment, the influence of disaster are included in the issue paper. We believe there is an important need to separate natural from human made (conflicts & war) disasters. The two possibilities are completely different and will have 2 very different outcomes. If I take this point back to the smart city issue, the natural disaster can be managed by a smart city tool. The human made disaster could be very different, in the beginning of a conflict electricity sources and communication system that are used for smart city tools and apps are a target. The tools and apps need special security to work during such events.

Sustainable Energy Africa (Non Profit Company)
Wed, July 29, 2015 at 06.21 am

Hello again from Sustainable Energy Africa.  I see many good ideas being posted in the various dialogues. But please let us be cautious of Habitat III being over-focused just on good ideas and futuristic thinking. These are important, but in our work we have seen many good ideas which get nowhere because of implementation constraints. This is particularly the case in Sub-Saharan Africa, where the sound approaches are often known and the policies and strategies are often appropriate, but in the end little changes.  At the local government level, where we focus, this is partly because this level of government is not only poorly capacitated and resourced, and under-respected by national governments, but its complexities and dynamics are very poorly understood by those who are hoping to be agents of change (as noted in my earlier contribution).  I don’t know if Sub Saharan Africa is very different to other regions, but based on our experience in this region we would like to suggest that Habitat III include a stonger focus on implementation approaches that have actually delivered results.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Thu, July 30, 2015 at 02.36 pm

Dear Sustainable Energy Africa,

reflecting on your call, and on similar comments posted elsewhere in these dialogues, it appears that one of the key recommendations we can put forth to the continuation of the Habitat III’s process is to avoid emphasizing futuristic approaches and get into the implementable strategies that will deliver results when effected. Adequate, localised technical support and capacity building at city level remain crucial drivers for success, as you have indicated, and empowered local administrations should take care of adapting the Habitat III’s objectives into the particular complexities and dynamics of the different local contexts.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Tue, July 28, 2015 at 05.27 pm

I am confsed a little where do i start posting.I had been doing ths 2011,but this time the themes around world are again smart cities,Electric transport.Well where a plan for a city for 300 years does not happen,it will have less drains,more population,and more thermal or nuclear power plants,to meet the needs of population searching for better life,better earnings ,better jobs,and international culture.

But many cities have not with stood the on slught on the urban process it has created,where in the invasion is from industries,or over population leaving no space for movement.

These places no doubt are high earners,and good tax payers,but did the whole population wanted only hand picked cities for show casing all of its strenth.

Put a thought to the indecent planning,in industrialisation,and pressure on existing heavy loded places,by building another after another infrastructure.

Right we are population,we have ageing,the soils also gets its changes,and liquification brings down its capacities to with stand disasters.

Who will face such,they may become exitint.Yes rightly,but can some one define who that will be.

Safety wlfare of all born is the essence of the theme.We need to plan houses that stand like the original concrete structures built in Germany,France,like a Panama Canal,or a great britan sewerage system.Well let us not give hopes to all that we will make their houses stand like the Charminar,or Tajmahal,but defintely,they will avoid the backlashes felt in the industrialization process of UK,in 19 th century.

We need to think of earth quakes,of Seattle,or Tokyo,while we propogate new systems of housing and urbanisation.

Well we are half way through when we are in to climate action group,and measure the effects of sun on earth.We are searching if not Fugal materials,alternate Thorium,and Uranium to avoid dissters of HUDHUD Cyclone types .

Let us put green in urban life more.

Viki Yang from China
Mon, July 27, 2015 at 07.14 am

When we talk about electrify the public transportation, lots of people will ask: how can you ensure the electricity you use is pollution free, especially when today most of power are still from gasoline or coal? Yes, we do have that consideration, that’s why, in the long term, we would like very much to give a solution building a smart city rather than only the public transportation. We believe this is also a great achievement that human beings made since HABITAT 2. Let’s see details in the attachment.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Mon, July 27, 2015 at 03.54 pm

Dear Viki,

thanks for your inputs on electrified transport and your reflection on how an adequate and inclusive basic services’ supply can contribute to the health and happiness of all urban residents.

Please note that the Issue Paper on Transport and Mobility makes reference to an initiative that you may be aware of but, for the broader audience, I am attaching here its link: The Urban Electric Mobility Vehicles Initiative (UEMI) (http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/0…), launched at the UN Climate Summit on 23 September, 2014.

How do you think this matter could be made a priority for city authorities?

The document that you have shared with us will be part of the dossier to be handed to the corresponding Policy Units with the outcomes of this Urban Dialogue.

Viki Yang from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 03.26 am

Dear Claudio,

Yes, this topic should definitely be a priority for city authorities. We saw the UMEI on the Climate Summit last year, it is a big progress human made since HABITAT 2 both directly for the human health and global sustainable energy future. BYD has worked on sustainable energy and transportation for 20 years, with our action, we saw our sustainable city transportation in more than 110 cities all over the world, we proved that human beings can definitely do things both good for the environment and society development. Electrify the public transportation and build smart cities is the priority choice for city authorities, and they can see it’s not just a vision or a simple idea, it’s the real thing we can really do—to build a modern environment friendly city.

Viki

发件人:
发送时间: 2015727 23:16
收件人: viki.yang@byd.com
主题: [Habitat III] Claudio Torres commented on the Discussion “Dialogue on Urban Housing and Basic Services”

You can post a reply on Teamworks by replying directly

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 31, 2015 at 08.01 am

Dear Viki,

thank you and BYD again for your contributions to this dialogue, and for embolden us with your experience and vision that society development can, indeed, be environment-friendy.

UN- Habitat
Tue, July 28, 2015 at 08.36 am

The ideas of “Smart Cities” and  ” Urban Electric Mobility” are complementary. For example, smart grids and decentralised electricity distribution systems, could tap energy from clean sources such as solar and wind that could be used for charging the batteries of Electric Vehicles. This could replace conventianal grid power, at least to an extent.  The increasing proportion of clean sources in the energy mix should also be complemented by more efficient distribution networks i.e networks where transmission and distribution losses are minimised. Ensuring that city development is well planned and remains compact, will contribute to reducing such transmission and distribution losses.  IT enabled systems are necessary for running such  smart grids.

Greater awareness of City authorities and capacity for planning and implementation can make such solutions a reality.  UN-Habitat, through its engagement with national and local governments can play a role in enhancing awareness and capacitity . Financial Instititutions including the Multilateral Development Banks can play a role by providing targetted finacing for such solutions that promote smart grids and electric mobility particularly where cities are pursuing the objectives of better urban planning  and compact city development.     

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Tue, July 28, 2015 at 03.05 pm

Dear Participant,

thank you for highlighting the link between compact cities, smart electricity grids and electric mobility. Over the years, urban densities have significantly declined allover the world, exacerbating urban challenges like sprawl, segregation and congestion. Compact, integrated and connected cities for sustainable urban development should be the strategic focus of city planning, and the inclusion of efficient energy networks represented by smart grids, decentralised electricity distribution systems and more efficient distribution networks, as you have noted, can certainly help to achieve this objective and redefine the urban paradigm.

Viki Yang from China
Mon, July 27, 2015 at 06.33 am

As a vial part of city basic services, public transport plays an important role not only in people’s daily life, but also an vital role for people’s health and happiness.

If we electrify current public transport, all emission from this area will down to ZERO, it will make an obvious contribution to human living environment. BYD’s public transportation solution has worked globally in more than 146 cities and 40 countries, with its real done action, this solution made a practical way for human beings to solve current environment issue, give clearer air quality, and build a quiet city. What’s more, the electricity source became more and more variable, so we strongly suggest Electrify Public Transportation be a theme of HABITAT 3.

Centro de Investigación de Política Pública y Territorio
Fri, July 24, 2015 at 09.11 pm

El 1 y 2 de julio, en Quito, y el 22 de julio en Guayaquil, se reunió la sociedad civil con cerca de 250 personas en total, para producir los documentos que se adjuntan a continuación, y que constituyen una base para la construcción de la Nueva Agenda Urbana.

CITE

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, July 26, 2015 at 01.47 pm

Estimado Centro de Investigación de Política Pública y Territorio,

muchas gracias por enviarnos un claro ejemplo de cómo la sociedad civil puede participar en el proceso de Hábitat III y en la definición de la Nueva Agenda Urbana. Los documentos que contienen sus comentarios seran incluidos en el dossier de recomendaciones que se presentarán a las respectivas unidades temáticas de revisión para su consideración. Esperamos que ésto sirva de incentivo para otras comunidades que también quieran participar en este proceso.

Dear Centro de Investigación de Política Pública y Territorio,

thank you very much for sending us a clear example of how civil society can participate in the process of Habitat III and the definition of the New Urban Agenda. The documents containing your comments will be included in the dossier of recommendations to be handed to the respective Policy Units for their consideration. We hope this will work as an incentive to other communities that would also like to participate in this process.

earl kessler Consutant from United States
Thu, July 23, 2015 at 08.16 pm

The issue of housong has to suport new shelter options. doing slum upgrasding is necessary but not sufficient to guide future growth of cities. New shelter needs to reflect both climate change mandates of desificationa nd green construction as well as not sacrifice the contribution low income familuies ahve made to solving thier shelter requirements through self-help. this means new technologiedsare the challenge o for the housing sector that are based on components to assemble higher density walk=up structures and planning concepts that anticipate future growth. New shelter in countries is beginning again as if there were not any history or experience and the wheel is binbg re-invented yet again. We need to focus on this to make it differenbt and better.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, July 26, 2015 at 01.10 pm

Dear Earl Kessler,

we agree that one single approach won’t be enough to guide the growth of cities, in general, and the attainment of the right to adequate housing for all, in particular. In the case of the latter, it is not only slum upgrading that it is expected to fulfil this right, but also housing programmes and urban planning duly contribute to adequate housing provision, ideally in a framework of enhancing policies, inclusive financing and innovative housing solutions. 

Thank you for your remarks on how innovative solutions should be aware of past experience, and your advice on not underestimating the contribution that low income families have to make about their own housing, an issue that should make us think on how to efficiently trigger self-help dynamics to come out of poverty.

earl kessler Consutant from United States
Sun, July 26, 2015 at 04.35 pm

This is a bit like the usual meeitng where everyone agrees on most things but little happens. We are in a crunch and Cities, if they are to ever become what their potential says they can be, then we all need to move to a dual track of policy and practice. Policy is obviously not enough and should you hear “If we get the policy right then all is well.” Well hit saa button for not really. The intransigence of the center to respect local government is a huge issue and while I am not so innocent to think one gives up ones rice bowl so easly it has to happen. The “Moral Hazzard” accusations are so self-serving of the center to retain and/or repossess control is baffles me why anyone would not ask “are we then to assume that national governments all operate on sound fiscal policy?” I have to laugh. Let us hope that “solutions” come out of Habitat III not “Declarations” or more and more verbage. This is critical and should one even have an notion that Climate Change is real, one then has to say the way cities are growing is just not acceptable. Is the “Private Sector” the answer…..really? This pains me to write for it is now so trite but partnerships are in order and need to be made accountable and active to get results. Where are the researchers in the Tecnhnical institutes that need to find multi-story assembly systems affordable and able to grow incrementally. Where????? I wish I had one in my pocket but unfortunately that is not the case….so the future is there for us to help shape in all of its complexity….if we get our bloody act together. 

earl kessler Consutant from United States
Sun, July 26, 2015 at 04.35 pm

This is a bit like the usual meeitng where everyone agrees on most things but little happens. We are in a crunch and Cities, if they are to ever become what their potential says they can be, then we all need to move to a dual track of policy and practice. Policy is obviously not enough and should you hear “If we get the policy right then all is well.” Well hit saa button for not really. The intransigence of the center to respect local government is a huge issue and while I am not so innocent to think one gives up ones rice bowl so easly it has to happen. The “Moral Hazzard” accusations are so self-serving of the center to retain and/or repossess control is baffles me why anyone would not ask “are we then to assume that national governments all operate on sound fiscal policy?” I have to laugh. Let us hope that “solutions” come out of Habitat III not “Declarations” or more and more verbage. This is critical and should one even have an notion that Climate Change is real, one then has to say the way cities are growing is just not acceptable. Is the “Private Sector” the answer…..really? This pains me to write for it is now so trite but partnerships are in order and need to be made accountable and active to get results. Where are the researchers in the Tecnhnical institutes that need to find multi-story assembly systems affordable and able to grow incrementally. Where????? I wish I had one in my pocket but unfortunately that is not the case….so the future is there for us to help shape in all of its complexity….if we get our bloody act together. 

UN- Habitat
Thu, July 23, 2015 at 03.17 pm

With regard to transport, there has been a sea change from the time of Habitat III- from  a focus on the means of transport and the associated infrastructure for transport, attention is moving towards the goal of transport- which is access for all to goods, services, opportunities and amenities. This shift should lead to integrated land-use and transport planning and managing the “demand” side of transport, rather than its supply side. Advances in ICT is also enabling more rapid and robust travel demand assesments and can be used for better public transport planning. The objectives of reducing green house gas emmisions and local air pollution is leading to resurgence of Electric Mobility -the benefits of which will be best realised in the context of better and more compact city planning ( think limited range of EVS) and a switch to cleaner sources of energy. In a “sharing economy” car sharing should also emerge as a viable option in cities of also the developing countries together with better public transport integrated with  Non- Motorised , or ” Active Transport” . Practical models that cities can use for financing transport/ mobility improvements should be dissiminated.    

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, July 26, 2015 at 10.32 am

Dear Participant,

the importance of the shift in the transport paradigm that you explain – from transport means to the social objectives of transport itself – and your emphasis on the need of drawing attention to demand rather than supply are a kind reminder to urban authorities and practitioners that to focus on the people’s needs better position them to make their cities and towns sustainable and inclusive. Stressing this same idea, the New Urban Agenda and the proposed Sustainable Development Goals are aimed at achieving the inclusiveness of cities in the understanding that equal access to urban opportunities is a crucial step towards the end of poverty in the world.

Thanks for your comments referred to the contribution of cleaner sources of energy and ICT towards this objective, and for explaining to us how much a behavioural change of urban dwellers themselves is also required for achieving the needed sustainability of our cities.

Sustainable Energy Africa (Non Profit Company)
Wed, July 22, 2015 at 08.39 am

Sustainable energy in urban Sub-Saharan Africa: moving from ideas to effective implementation

Hello from Sustainable Energy Africa. My focus is on Sub-Saharan urban Africa, which is where urbanization rates are amongst the highest in the world, and where local government ability to service this population is amongst the most severely constrained in the world.  While urbanization globally has often happened in association with economic growth in urban areas, this has generally not been the case in Sub Saharan Africa, bringing with it a host of attendant problems which most Sub-Saharan African cities have struggled to break free from, including unemployment, poor urban revenue bases, and severely inadequate service delivery. As noted in various publications, the accelerating demand for urban services has generally not been matched with the local government capacity growth to meet the demand, and this contrast is arguably most stark in much of the Sub-Saharan region. 

Has there been significant improvement in this situation in the past two decades?  For Sub-Saharan Africa it appears not.  In fact reports point to deterioration in many areas.  However there is at least clearer recognition of the issues, and clarity on the fact that local governments will need to play a significantly greater role in urban development if the situation is to be reversed (as reflected in the UN-Habitat State of African Cities 2015 and African Development bank’s Urban Development Strategy, amongst other documents).  As my organization has been engaged in urban development support in Sub-Saharan Africa, with specific focus on sustainable energy, we have seen many of the challenges faced by local government around sustainable energy and witnessed more and less successful approaches to impacting on the situation.  Not only are local governments being asked to support access to modern energy, improve energy efficiency, and direct spatial form quite specifically to enable transport efficiency, but there is an imperative to leap-frog to renewable energy such as decentralized solar PV.  Given their severely inadequate capacity to meet even current basic service delivery needs, such shifts are asking a lot of them – even in a supporting role to large international programmes.  Yet it is clear that they should have a stronger role to play in this transition in future. How can we make this work?  My organisation’s 20 years of experience in this field points to the inadequacy of much of the support work being undertaken in this field, and if I were to select two broad lessons from our work that Habitat III could take cognizance of, I think they would be the following:

  • Much of the research and policy development undertaken, while well meaning, does not have any impact on Sub-Saharan African urban challenges, largely because the detailed situation and complex dynamics at local government level are not adequately understood by these higher-level efforts, leading to approaches and recommendations which are very often ineffective in practice at the local level.  This detail is only understood in walking the path of implementation with local governments, which is not quick and is seldom done by such research and policy development efforts. 
  • Capacity building of Sub-Saharan local governments is of course very important, but not easy to achieve. Effective capacity building requires long-term plans and partnerships with local governments, needs to be undertaken incrementally and sensitively, and should build not only the capacity of local governments themselves, but of locally-based support organisations that can act as resources for local government.

Our experience suggests that there is no quick and easy way to do this, and the typical approach involving experts from developed countries is not effective here.  What is required is a longer-term partnership approach, ‘walking the path of implementation together’ over the years, and mutual learning along the way.  But this is demanding and time consuming, and seldom fits into development support programme frameworks very neatly.

In addition, national-level initiatives such as giving local governments more control over tax revenue and mandate restructuring so that local government is more empowered to effect change are also critically important.  But without formulating effective approaches to local government capacity building and without significantly improving the understanding of the complexities and dynamics at the local government level, such overarching reforms are likely to result in limited improvements in welfare and sustainability.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator Slum Upgrading Consultant, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch, UN-Habitat
Wed, July 22, 2015 at 06.25 pm

Dear Sustainable Energy Africa,

the challenge you have underlined of a present – and a future – in which the cities and towns that grow the fastest are also the worst positioned to serve their increasing number of urban inhabitants (and are likely to be the less prosper, too) not only points out a sort of Habitat II’s ‘unfinished business’ but it also highlights the continuous need for the urban authorities’ acknowledgement and action, and for the required partnerships that will help them fulfil their mandate within the renewed commitment of Habitat III.

Thanks for sharing your insights on how this could be worked out: how key local governments are for efficient – and ‘green’ – service provision; how solutions should be adapted to the local level; and how effective capacity building should be achieved through long-term plans and partnerships with local governments and the local organisations that can support them.

Commenting on your recommendations, let me recall that embedded both in the proposed Post-2015 Development Framework and the New Urban Agenda there is a strong call for the localisation of data collection and analysis; a critical approach and step for the development of sound localised strategies (as for example related to urban services’ provision). These local strategies, complemented by policies and programmes at national level, can also guide towards the necessary up-scaling of successful initiatives.

Echoing your words, it could be added that to support the development of local capacities not only helps deliver a more efficient implementation of urban development initiatives but it also allows cities and towns to benefit from their local knowledge and creativity.

Eduardo dos Santos Leal “ANALISTA EM CIÊNCIA, TECNOLOGIA E INOVAÇÃO” from Brazil
Sun, July 19, 2015 at 05.34 am

Considerando o texto da convenção de 1951 sobre o “status of refugees”, o texto do protocolo de 1967 sobre o mesmo assunto e a resolução 2198 (XXI) adotada pela Assembléia Geral das Nações Unidas, avalio que podem ocorrer parcerias importantes entre a República Federativa do Brasil e a Organização das Nações Unidas com a finalidade de oferecer novos “lares” para refugiados políticos.

Problema:

  • Conforme estatística divulgada por “UNHCT Global Appeal 2015 Update”, temos 11 milhões, 699 mil e 278 refugiados no mundo, considerando aqui os conceitos “refugees” e “people in refugee-like situations”.
  • O custo político e social devido a situação degradante destas pessoas é alto. O custo econômico também é alto, e se considerarmos que esta população pode estar inserida nas cadeias de produção local e internacional, tem-se uma enorme perda econômica.
  • Há riscos de segurança e econômicos com a manutenção de uma parte considerável da população mundial em situações degradantes e sem estarem inseridos nas cadeias de produção local e/ou internacionais.
  • O problema relatado é gravíssimo no que se refere aos Direitos Humanos e à manutenção da Paz internacional.

 
Situação Brasileira:

  • O Brasil possui um programa governamental denominado “Minha Casa Minha Vida”. Este programa foi lançado em 2009 e já contratou 3,7 milhões de moradias tendo ocorrido a entrega de 1,87 milhão de unidades. São mais de sete milhões de pessoas beneficiadas.
  • Atualmente o governo brasileiro encontra-se em uma situação de contenção de despesas governamentais. Entretanto existem empresas com capacidade/conhecimento para a construção de moradias e um sistema financeiro hábil para a execução de financiamentos.

 
Solução que poderia ser acordada com a ACNUR (Alto Comissariado das Nações Unidas para Refugiados):

  • Considero que o Brasil pode recepcionar refugiados no seu território com a obrigação de tentar inserí-los no mercado de trabalho local e com a garantia de ofertar financiamento imobiliário aos refugiados.
  • O refugiado pode ser inserido como funcionário da empresa que construirá a moradia do programa “Minha Casa Minha Vida”.
  • A renda do funcionário pode ser usada para o financiamento imobiliário.
  • A diminuição dos “juros” do financiamento imobiliário pode ser acordada com o Governo Brasileiro e com Instituições Internacionais.


Aspectos regulatórios:

  • O atendimento dos normativos da convenção de 1951, e do protocolo de 1967 podem ser atendidos com outros programas do governo brasiliero.

 
Aspectos econômicos, sociais e humanitários:

  • O refugiado, a depender de seu interesse, pode trabalhar e pagar pela residência do programa “Minha Casa Minha Vida”.
  • A ONU, o Banco Mundial, o banco dos BRICS, e outras organizações internacionais podem garantir o pagamento das prestações das novas residências, ao mesmo tempo que determinam uma taxa de juros menor para o financiamento imobiliário.
  • A sociedade brasileira, através das políticas públicas do Governo, pode inserir os refugiados no seu mercado produtivo e consumidor.

Segue link com descricão do programa “Minha Casa Minha Vida” produzido pelo Governo Brasileiro.

http://www.pac.gov.br/pub/up/pac/11/PAC11_MinhaCasaMinhaVida.pdf

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator Slum Upgrading Consultant, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch, UN-Habitat
Sun, July 19, 2015 at 01.29 pm

Dear Eduardo,

thanks a lot for bringing up the important issue of refugees and other displaced people living in urban areas, and how the world’s cities and towns should incorporate them to their social and urban fabrics, preventing their engagement in informal housing solutions while benefiting from their potential contribution to the prosperity of the urban environments.

Thanks also for giving a detailed description of Brasil’s situation and a very action oriented proposal of housing provision for refugees that incorporates interesting aspects of funding strategies and self-construction, aspects that could be crucial for the development of innovative solutions for the provision of adequate housing for all.

As a contribution to your comment, and in order to highlight the importance that Member States give to this issue, let me quote here below point No. 25 of the draft resolution of the 25th Session of the Governing Council of UN-Habitat (2015):

“The Governing Council requests the Executive Director to continue the activities of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme to address urban challenges relating to displaced populations in a vulnerable situation, including by supporting planned urban growth and slum prevention activities and contributing to global knowledge development through close collaboration with relevant United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Rescue Committee and the Norwegian Refugee Council.”

Professor K K Pandey reseachr from India
Sat, July 18, 2015 at 03.01 pm
  • Contibution of Habitat II in the promotion of a development framework for housing and basic services is immense.It is noted:
  • Urban Indicator data base,National Reports,Best Practices and World Urban Forum(held biannually since 2002 have developed a trpatite consensus and sensitised public and private sector stakeholders and civil society joine hands for sustainable habitat.
  • Outcome includes National policies,Programmes,schemes and intersectoral initiatives in the area of regulations,finances,incentives and panelties to engage a range of partners to expedite supply of housing and basic services as per requirement.
  • India has witnessed formulation of National housing and habitat policy(1998)which was duly revised as Indias first ever National Urban Housing and habitat Policy(2007),
  • India also formulated National Policy for Street Vendors and National Urban Sanitation Policy.
  • These initiatives led to Finalisation of Service Level benchmarks to stremline delivery of services.
  • There has been a prolification of housing finance Companies to accelerate supply of funds for housing through Direct Lending.
  • National Urban Renewal Mission was launched in 2005 for seven years with a massive funding(US$10 Billion)based on a reform agend for key public sector stakehlders.
  • Now the New NDA government has gone a step further to launch prgrammes on Smart Cities,Small and Medium Towns,Housing for All and Clean India in a mission mode approach.
  • All these Indian Initiatives have significantly drawn from global experience anchored by UNHABITAT along with a careful analysis of domestic conditions.
  • Many other countries have taken similar initiatives particularly among developing economies which are undergoing a rapid pace of urbanisation due to their structural readjustment and competitive edge.
Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, August 2, 2015 at 07.34 pm

Dear Professor K K Pandey,

please excuse us for acknowledging only now your comment. We appreciate the comprehensive summary of the process triggered by Habitat II that you have shared with us, and also the detailing of the elements that represent, you explain, the core of Habitat II’s contribution: the systematic data collection on urban indicators and the development of dedicated policies and the programmes to implement them. Thank you, and be reassured that your inputs are part of this dialogue’s final report to be forwarded to the concerned Policy Units.

Minani Leodegard Consultant
Fri, July 17, 2015 at 08.43 am

URBANIZATION AND ACCOMPAIGNED BASIC SERVICES.

By Minani Leodegard

 Dear participant, in terms of developing our cities, there is a dynamic process of adapting evolving needs associated to development. To provide responses to those needs, urban authorities are advised to plan for policies for basic services.

Urbanization is a key indicator of economic development and should be seen as a positive factor for overall development. Also, as an economy grows, its towns and cities expand in size and volume and the contribution of the urban sector to the national economy increases. For instance, the contribution of urban sector to countries GDP has ranges from 60 and beyond depending on the urbanization magnitude of the country of the GDP (W. Felix 2008).

The trends of urbanization in the recent decades indicate the following key features:

• The degree of urbanization in world over is increasing the day after day. The growth of rural settlements which are acquiring urban characteristic is very high and there is reluctance on the part of the States to notify the rural settlements as a town.

• There are large variations in the spatial patterns of urbanization across the States and cities.

• The pattern of population concentration in large cities reflects spatial polarization of the employment opportunities.

This phenomenon has led to tremendous pressure on civic infrastructure systems, water supply, sewerage and drainage, uncollected solid waste, parks and open spaces, transport, etc. It has also led to deterioration in the quality of city environments. In several cities, the problems of traffic congestion, pollution, poverty, inadequate housing, crime, and social unrest are assuming alarming proportions.

The number of urban agglomerations and towns has increased considerably starting with 1990s.

Further, this urbanization is characterized by incomplete devolution of functions to the elected bodies, lack of adequate financial resources, unwillingness to progress towards municipal autonomy, adherence to outdated methods in property taxation, hesitation in levy of user charges, unsatisfactory role of parastatals in the provision of water supply and sanitation services.

The extent and magnitude of the urban population calls for extra efforts by city planners and   managers to cope up with the ever-growing strain on the urban infrastructure. Special attention is needed for management and governance of urban areas which are at present fragmented between different State-level agencies and urban local bodies (ULBs), with lack of co-ordination.

The policymakers need to focus on new ways to achieve the results and on different benchmarks that capture efficiency, effectiveness, quality, and sustainability in governance, service delivery, intergovernmental municipal finances, and social development.

CORE URBAN BASIC SERVICES

  • Water, Hygiene and Sanitation: The quality of water and its distribution are areas that require special attention in the urban basic services. At certain places, cost incurred by the poor to fetch water is much higher than for valid connection holders. Sewerage facilities are almost absent in a large number of unauthorized and resettlement towns and slum and squatter settlements. Waste water and sewage treatment and its reuse for non-potable purposes and industries are also limited and need attention. Moreover, cattle menace, open defecation, dumping of solid wastes along roadsides, open dumping of garbage and hazardous wastes, etc., are commonly sighted. Concerted efforts are required to fill these gaps and make cities clean, healthy, and livable.
  • Shelter services: Housing, besides being a very basic requirement for the urban settlers, also holds the key to accelerate the pace of development. Investments in housing, like any other industry, have a multiplier effect on income and employment. It is estimated that the overall employment generation in the economy due to additional investment in the housing/construction sector is eight times of the direct employment (IIM-Ahmedabad Study 2005). Housing provides opportunities for home-based economic activities. Housing also has a direct impact on the steel and cement, marble/ceramic tiles, electrical wiring, PVC pipes, and various types of fittings industry, which make a significant contribution to the national economy.

The National Urban Housing and Habitat Policies Should provide the basic framework for achieving the objective of ‘shelter for all’. The policies should evolve with the long-term goal of eradicating houselessness, improving the housing conditions of the inadequately housed, and providing a minimum level of basic services and amenities to all. It might be formulated to address the issues of sustainable development, infrastructure development, and for strong PPPs for shelter delivery with the objective of creating surpluses in housing stock.

  • Land Availability, Land Tenure, and Land Reforms. Access to land and legal security of tenure are strategic prerequisites for the provision of adequate shelter for all and for the development of sustainable human settlements affecting both urban and rural towns. It is for the State Governments to bring in the required institutional reforms and legislative measures to augment housing both by State agencies and the private sector. While recognizing the existence of different national laws and/or systems of land tenure, governments at the appropriate levels, including local authorities, have to strive to remove all possible obstacles that may hamper equitable access to land and ensure that equal rights of women and men related to land and property are protected under the law. The failure to adopt, at all levels, appropriate urban land policies and land management practices remains a primary cause of inequity and poverty. Urban planning tools including master planning, zoning, and regulations are not enough to make land available in pace with the rapid urbanization, resulting in insufficient land supply and increase in land prices. It is important to have flexible land policy wherein conversion from one use to another is cost effective and efficient. Computerization of land records and data and e-governance should also constitute important elements of the urban land policy.
  • Transportation. Urbanization has lead to corresponding increase in demand for transportation. The growth in transport infrastructure should keep pace with the increased demand and the share of public transport vehicles. The problem of congestion and its consequences are posing a severe threat to sustainability of the urban areas.

Managing urban expansion is a critical element towards achieving the goals set by the National Urban Transport Policy. The National Urban Transport Policies should focus on the need to ‘Move people—Not vehicles’, by encouraging public transport and use of non-motorized modes. The policy suggests involvement of private sector, innovative financing   mechanisms to enhance efficiency, reduction in travel demand by encouraging a better integration and use and transport planning.

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Sat, August 1, 2015 at 11.04 pm

Dear Minani,

sorry for acknowledging just now your comment. I would like to first reassure you that your inputs will be part of the report compiling the advices collected during this dialogue, and also to thank you for your contribution. For instance, your indication about the high occurrence of rural settlements acquiring urban characteristics not only points out to an under-recognised urban issue, but adds an extra dimension to what is understood as the rural-urban migration, too.

Saripalli Suryanarayana I am a engineering manager and consultant and have published three books.
Sat, July 18, 2015 at 05.18 am

One  of my novel on clean energy,transport and cities will be ready.

[1]Invetion made by Diesel for vegetable oils in 1905[approximate] have been modified and used for extracted and refined Petrol and its products,

but standardization of transport vehicles,public vehicles,passenger cars etc is not done so that

 there exist only 4 varieties in each segment.Frugal material use in terms of Steel and cement

 is not attempted whose production till now is considered as a standard for development of country.

We continue to be aware these are the factors which contribute heavily to the heat and contribution

 of carbons,and still adored as developmental needs for housing transport.[2]The various sort of cars used in public places shall be taxed separately for congestion in given space.

[3].The population studies show increase in population,and this population increase will only at least

 double the present cities occupancy in the next 35 years,thus all smart cities planning of each government,

each era,each regime will leave things worst,for the expected 7.0 billion and odds,half of whom shall be

 living across in 400 oddcongested  cities in around globe.[5]Water grids ,with various diameters around city to avoid multiple failures in pumping is one solution.[5]Imagining the possible catchment area and view its drainage by making smart grids for rain and 

treated water use for industries and for flush purposes.

 [6]Make 20  TO 30 story buildings allowing 1000m ,Air height use by the residents,driving all airports 

out side,leaving very many number of Helicopter landing,and public utility and parks etc.[7]Grid system for electricity,and use of solar power for major day uses,and going for low carbon 

Uranium plants for power[8]Public use of trains,will be only alternative when buildings grow in height,

and such transport shall be multilayered.[9]Creating a psychological survive-lance team,as we cannot meet the needs of culture and heritage and not meeting such cultural requirements could be a break points for marriages.[10]Huge capital,and salary for service persons in cities are creating a class of their own VIP,in 

middle class,leaving the parents,as well the family to lurch,hence using many gambling dens could 

be better alternative for survival by 2050.Untaxed money with no guidance fourth coming from any international agencies are creating a huge

 cost differences in housing creating a rift and shift in social epigram,which latter leaders are left to deal.

Check the ways and ask experts how this huge class creation,such as class A,B,C,D,E,F,G….can be 

dealt and advises by the thought provoking sociologists,who are in to research shall be a major consideration where we cannot protect the heritage,culture,property laws,climate education needs,and workmen going out of cities for liveli hood.

[B]last and least-or let us shape new way of things,by encouraging and developing urban clusters,which were till now market places or junctions between cities,and make more widendend urban approach for future living.

United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)
Thu, July 16, 2015 at 09.32 am

Dear Ed, thank you for your post “Housing for Jobs – Jobs for Housing.” It is a great contribution to the Urban Dialogue concerning the meaningful role housing can have in a New Urban Agenda for Habitat III.

There is no doubt that housing is central to sustainable development. Whether in terms of promoting inclusive economic growth or enabling social cohesion, housing connects people’s lives and is foundational to the development of strong communities. Strong and inclusive community development is well-represented in Aceng’s previous comment on his work in Lira District. Aceng’s experience is informative of the important role inclusive community-based building has on neighborhood resources, like classrooms. Ed, your post contributes to Aceng’s comment: rightly focusing upon opportunities that housing can have for the poor.

In 2009, UN-Habitat assessed that the housing sector constituted 10% of the world’s gross domestic product and contributed to the creation of 7% of worldwide jobs. Such statistics demonstrate the close linkage between housing and employment. Through efforts to expand access to adequate and affordable housing for all, your proposal is strong. We can work to ensure low-income households have the opportunity to actively participate and receive the benefits they justly deserve for activities occurring in their communities. These include: decent work conditions, well-paying jobs and direct inputs into their neighborhoods’ developments. By addressing such issues with this perspective, housing can be a source of opportunities and renewal in improving the livelihood of the poor–not a limiting factor.

International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Tue, July 14, 2015 at 01.36 pm

We do have examples of good practices, both in the taxi sector and buses and coaches. We are also heavily invloved in current projects reagrding alterantive fuels and electric mobility. For the moment, I would like just to mention the Global Taxi Network (https://www.iru.org/en_global_taxi_network, creating a global roaming area for customers to use taxis across the world as they use their mobile phones) we have created 7 months ago, and wich has today 250,000 taxis. We are now finalising a global bus and coach contest on best practices – http://www.busandcoach.travel/en/smart_policies/smart_awards/smart_awards.htm – (companies and cities), the results of which will be unveiled in October (unfortunately). But we shall stay in contact and we shall keep exchnaging those good ideas with you.

Oleg

International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Tue, July 14, 2015 at 01.36 pm

We do have examples of good practices, both in the taxi sector and buses and coaches. We are also heavily invloved in current projects reagrding alterantive fuels and electric mobility. For the moment, I would like just to mention the Global Taxi Network (https://www.iru.org/en_global_taxi_network, creating a global roaming area for customers to use taxis across the world as they use their mobile phones) we have created 7 months ago, and wich has today 250,000 taxis. We are now finalising a global bus and coach contest on best practices – http://www.busandcoach.travel/en/smart_policies/smart_awards/smart_awards.htm – (companies and cities), the results of which will be unveiled in October (unfortunately). But we shall stay in contact and we shall keep exchnaging those good ideas with you.

Oleg

International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Tue, July 14, 2015 at 01.35 pm

We do have examples of good practices, both in the taxi sector and buses and coaches. We are also heavily invloved in current projects reagrding alterantive fuels and electric mobility. For the moment, I would like just to mention the Global Taxi Network (https://www.iru.org/en_global_taxi_network, creating a global roaming area for customers to use taxis across the world as they use their mobile phones) we have created 7 months ago, and wich has today 250,000 taxis. We are now finalising a global bus and coach contest on best practices – http://www.busandcoach.travel/en/smart_policies/smart_awards/smart_awards.htm – (companies and cities), the results of which will be unveiled in October (unfortunately). But we shall stay in contact and we shall keep exchnaging those good ideas with you.

Oleg

Pireh Otieno from
Tue, July 14, 2015 at 02.07 pm

Thank you for the information on the Global Taxi Network and the global bus and coach contest on best practices. We look forward to hearing about the results in Octobetr.

International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Tue, July 14, 2015 at 12.20 pm

Hello from the Internaitonal Road Transport Union (IRU), which represents the private trucking, bus and coach, and taxi businesses worldwide. Just to share with you an approach we have developped over the last 3-4 years, by creating public-private High Level Groups in various world regions, with the objective to identufy problem areas and jointly design a “road map” of solutions, containng short-, medium-, and long-term recommendations/measures. The concepet worked quite well in the Europena Union (http://www.busandcoach.travel/en/smart_policies/eu_public-private_smart_move_high_level_group/smart_move_eu_high_level_group.htm), and in the former Soviet Union countries (http://wg-sm.ru/). We are now establishing such groups in India and the MENA region. Obviously, one of the main issues is urban transport, including taxis, but we also address intercity coach transport, training, safety etc. issues. The novelty of the concept resides in the enhanced role of the private sector, which is particparting in the debate and in working out the recommendations on an equal footing with the public sector/autorities. The other good experience we had was with first defining/agreeing on a vision, and on a measurable policy objective within a defined period of time, as a rule 10 years. I attach a general concept paper for those intersted to have look at it. See (atatched) also a recommended Action Programme for the EU on doubling the use of collective passenger transport in the period 2015-2025.

Oleg Kamberski, IRU

Pireh Otieno from
Tue, July 14, 2015 at 01.27 pm

Thank you Oleg for sharing your experience on the role of the private sector in sustainable urban transport and mobility. We look forward to hearing from IRU examples of how the private sector is making progress in low carbon mobility, particularly examples of car-sharing to reduce the need for individual car ownership. We know of examples such as the  “Strategy for Car Clubs” in London (http://thinkingcities.com/author/h3beditor/)

The electric mobility industry can also give a new impetus to urban economic development and reduce the carbon intensity of development and create new jobs.We would appreciate hearing about how the transport sector, especially the taxi industry is taking steps towards the greater uptake of Electric Mobility. Please see this link: http://www.un.org/climatechange/summit/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2014/0…

Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Mon, July 13, 2015 at 07.29 pm
Housing for Jobs, Jobs for Housing
We are well aware of the huge housing deficits throughout the world, and about the need to provide large numbers of new housing units and upgrade existing ones. In parallel, there is a need to create new and decent jobs in urban areas. In a nutshell, housing initiatives (particularly for the poor) will not be sustainable if the livelihoods of the residents are not addressed. In addition, the construction of residences can generate much needed employment for the local people. Also, a significant number of poor people work at home (home-based enterprises), and this also needs to be taken into account inhousing projects (residences cannot be designed as only places to live – they are also places to work). There are also other connections, such as the necesary provision of roads, water, sanitation and energy for the units of production based in low-income settlements (and largely within residences), let alone the localtion of new housing vis-a-vis sources of employment in other parts of the city. There is a need and an opportunity to combine housing programmes with employment-generation and decent work conditions. Integrated urban development programmes should encorage the provision of jobs in tandem with housing.
Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Fri, July 10, 2015 at 12.47 pm

Ler us put a little thought on what it was in 1995-2000,in terms of technology,data,environment,and the housing.Let us add 50% for technological adavnces,in next 15 years,and another 25% towards living styles beyond 2030.Then can we think of making new settlements reasonable,connected,and using latest technology.After all land matters.Disasters ultimately effect the people on land.

Flying vehicles,stationary earth setallites,Well powered cars,and planes,they all need place for take-off.Two airports a city,two heli-chopper service centers,UAV modeled for survey and application.,ec may be necessity by 2030.

Pireh Otieno from
Mon, July 13, 2015 at 01.02 pm

Thank you Eng. Suryanarayana for the insight into the future of urban housing and basic services. We agree with your observation that a peek into the future can help in designing more sustainable settlements. We also agree that land remains at the centre of such development.

Can you please elaborate on the role that land use management could play in urban housing and basic services.

Saripalli Suryanarayana “””””””””””””””Iam a charted engineer,with 3 books,and 12 papers”””””””””””””””
Thu, July 9, 2015 at 05.07 pm

I have my contributions since 2012-13,on heritage and culture,etc.I have seen the UN,and Governments have come across to manage urban settlements,and migration.We all have many reaserch papers on Transportation issues,and as well Urban voilence.

The most disagreed item of many communities in metros is the 40 and less sq.m.,area,houses in multi storyed buildings,done for various urban settlers.

Here what is not understood is the distress these migrants are put in to while delegating their lands for various projects of community,where systematically their contributions are forgotten,evaded,and they are placed as dole cathers,in that process.

The other is the item 11,of SDG,which talks about sustainable cities,and settlements.Unfortunately the words smart cities do not try to suppliment ,the other items such as education,job,transport etc,and the planning is likely to make some civilizations to miss the bus of development.

Well having got in to future,while quoting the past,there are small efforts,to address,the issues of  public sanitation and water issues.The other issues no ne can dare to address,it seems,the reckless migration of population in search of daily or mothly livelihood,than seasonal livilihood from the agriculture.

Pireh Otieno from
Mon, July 13, 2015 at 12.51 pm

Thank you Eng. Suryanarayana for these valuable observations. The issues paper on Smart Cities reflects on some of these issues. However, you can please elaborate on these three issues:

1. Smart cities do not try to suppliment ,the other items such as education,job,transport.

2. Planning is likely to make some civilizations to miss the bus of development.

3. The challenges posed by migration on urban housing and basic services.

Aceng development worker (program officer)
Thu, July 9, 2015 at 06.30 am

I am so happy to be part of this team. I am a beneficiary of UNHabitat housing. UN Habitat donated interlocking Brick making machine to the organisation I am working for: Organisation for Community Action based in Lira District to support the various communities in Lango. The community OCA is serving managed to construct classroom blocks using this machine, construct houses. I personally borrowed the machine and constructed a house which am about to complete. This a community that was in Internally Diplaced People’s Camps for over ten years and had lost the homes. At least UNHabitat brought hope and smiles in thier faces. This machine is still bringing more smiles and I highly a ppreciate the work of UNHabitat. I have attached a picture of my house here.

Giulia Celentano Research Assistant ETHZurich from Switzerland
Wed, July 22, 2015 at 03.22 pm

Dear Aceng,

as an architect involved in informal settlements upgrades, I am researching on mechanisms able to implement the use of appropriate materials in non industrialized urban  contexts. Can I ask you if you saw an chain effect in the community since when the machine was first settled? (ex: incremental use over time, construction upskilling, creation of new professional figueres/low-scale production chains?) Was the machine available to everybody, under somebody’s assistance? Thank you very much for your attention and contribution

Pireh Otieno from
Mon, July 13, 2015 at 01.00 pm

Thank you Aceng. We gladly take note of the hope and smiles that our work continues to bring your community.

What would you consider to be some of the success factors that have enabled progress in this housing initiative?

Claudio Torres – Discussion Moderator from
Wed, July 8, 2015 at 10.00 am

We the moderators of this forum would like to welcome you all to the Habitat III’s Urban Dialogue for Area 6, on Urban Housing and Basic Services. This forum aims at gathering views from all interested players – including the broadest range of urban stakeholders as well as citizens – to bring forward new and emerging thinking on adequate and sustainable provision of housing and urban services in the elaboration of the New Urban Agenda, and to discuss the related Habitat III Issue Papers.

Through this dialogue we will identify relevant knowledge and policy options and responses, look at how these might be deployed in the context of the New Urban Agenda and provide advice to inform the inter-governmental process on the Habitat III Conference. The outcomes of this dialogue will be consolidated into a report that will be distributed to all Member States and stakeholders as information and inputs to the Habitat III preparatory process, and will also constitute the background information for the work of the concerned Policy Units.

We would like to begin by thanking our participants for taking time to join us and share their valuable inputs. Most certainly, they all come from different backgrounds but hold in common a desire to understand what can be done to ensure the sustainable development of the world’s cities and towns. With this conversation we will jointly understand what it would take to move from rhetoric to reality with regard to the pressing matters contained in Area 6, matters that are organised as follows:

Area 6 – Urban Housing and Basic Services:

18. Issue Paper on Urban Infrastructure and Basic Services, including Energy

19. Issue Paper on Transport and Mobility

20. Issue Paper on Housing

21. Issue Paper on Smart Cities

22. Issue Paper on Informal Settlements

Related Habitat III Policy Units:

9. Urban Services and Technology

10. Housing Policies

It is important to highlight how relevant a role these matters and their indicators will play in tracking the achievements of the New Urban Agenda and the urban implications of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals: not only the outcomes of these areas are very visible and evident, but their measurement and analysis will provide the main indicators for the data revolution that will allow us to fulfil the world’s commitment to the sustainable development of our cities and towns.

In order to kick-start the discussion we would like to invite you, if not yet done, to read the issue papers related to this area that could be of interest to you. We will appreciate to get your feedback on each of them as well as on Area 6 as a whole. Understanding these are matters that most certainly activate the hearts and minds of the urban practitioners, we would like to suggest you to focus on what is contained on the issue papers so to get the best out of this review process and your inputs. Furthermore, and in addition to the one posted earlier, here are some initial questions that can trigger your thoughts:

In charting the way for a New Urban Agenda:

1. What housing and basic services-related challenges remain to be addressed?

2. What housing and basic services policy and practice are feasible?

3. How can we track progress in housing and basic services?

Please note that, aiming at building a broad consultative process, participants in the Urban Dialogues can use any language.

So now, let’s make our cities better!