• Monday 17 Oct 2016
  • Urban Infrastructure and Basic Services, including energy

    Special Sessions
    Venue: R21
    Lead Organizations:
    • United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS),
    • United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
    Partner Organizations:
    • United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC),
    • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO),
    • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA),
    • United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment),
    • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA),
    • Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD),
    • International Civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO).

    Planning and Development of Urban Infrastructure and Basic Services in the Context of the New Urban Agenda
    Infrastructure and basic services are the foundation and delivery vehicle of a functional and resilient urban environment. Equitable basic services such as water, sanitation, drainage, energy, and transport are key ingredients for the economic and social development of urban areas. They also sustain and improve the health, livelihood, and general living environment of urban residents. Equally important, basic services are the cornerstone for a government’s compact with its citizens, and are the most tangible issue for which communities hold their elected officials accountable. Every day, almost 180,000 new urban dwellers need access to energy, water, sanitation, waste management services, healthcare, education, transport, and need to earn a living in cities in the developing world. To meet this growing demand, at least $70 trillion of global infrastructure investment is needed between 2016 and 2030. An additional $14 trillion of infrastructure investments is required by 2030 to meet the minimum climate change targets set out in the COP 21 declarations. With large sections of the urban population living in informal settlements, the challenge is how to expand and upgrade these services to keep pace with urban growth, while ensuring access to an adequate and affordable level of services for the poor. There is also a need for a holistic approach to the understanding of long term planning for infrastructure and basic services, as opposed to a short-term sector-based approach. A long term national infrastructure plan anchored to a development vision is needed along with the understanding of the interdependence of assets, knowledge, and institutions across, and between, all systems of infrastructure.

    During the Special Session, a panel of experts and participants will interactively discuss and share experiences on the key drivers for action in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, in the context of infrastructure and basic services.
    These include:
    ·       Understanding the linkage between availability, accessibility, affordability and adequacy of basic services for the realization of human rights.
    ·       The need for a comprehensive reform of urban infrastructure policies.
    ·       Building viable and well-managed institutions aligned with infrastructure systems knowledge.
    ·       Effective legal and regulatory frameworks within which development can take place.
    ·       Developing effective and integrated long term infrastructure planning.
    ·       Enhancing coordinated implementation of urban infrastructure.
    ·       Developing new business models and strategic partnerships in infrastructure planning, design, implementation, operation, and management
    ·       Fostering and applying technological innovation.
    ·       Adopting inclusive participatory processes and increased access to information for all residents.  

    Guiding Questions
    ·       In the face of the challenges posed by rising demands for urban services, what are the policy reform priorities for infrastructure and basic services in the context of the New Urban Agenda?
    ·       What should be done to ensure financial viability and effective management of the institutions responsible for the regulation, planning, and management of urban infrastructure?
    ·       With large sections of the urban population living in informal settlements where infrastructure and basic services are severely deficient, what needs to be done to ensure access to affordable services for all?
    ·       How can legal and regulatory frameworks be improved and strengthened to drive the effective governance of infrastructure?
    ·       What new planning approaches are required for urban infrastructure and basic services?
    ·       What new business models and strategic partnerships are required for effective provision of infrastructure and services?