PART 1: MAIN TOPIC: A. The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

March 24, 2017

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


  • Claudio Torres Slum Upgrading Consultant, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch. UN-Habitat
  • Pireh Otieno Human Settlements Officer, Urban Basic Services Branch - UN-Habitat
  • Kulwant Singh Regional Advisor - UN-Habitat
  • Marcus Mayr Urban Planner, Climate Change Planning Unit, UN-Habitat
  • Edmundo Werna Head of Unit at Sectoral Policies Dept. ILO

PART 1: MAIN TOPIC: A. The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

We invite you to review the following sections of the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda and share your feedback below, after logging in/signing up. Please indicate which sub-topic/s you are addressing in your response. 

Main Topic A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

  1. “We further recognize that provision must be sensitive to the rights and needs of women, children and youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, and other people in vulnerable situations such as refugees, migrants, and displaced persons, removing all legal, institutional, physical, and socio-economic barriers that prevent them from participating equally in urban life and the opportunities it offers.” 

    The language in the document should be inclusive of all citizens.  When reading the language above, language that is replicated more than a few times in the document, one assumes that civil protections are afforded to only the most vulnerable.  The wording in the document does not include families or men, leaving a segment of the population unprotected by the language used in the document. If the language does not change to include something closer to “all-citizens, including the most vulnerable” the unintended consequence is a reversal of the most vulnerable populations instead of protection and equality for all, an important ideal. 

Featured Comment ()
Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Tue, May 24, 2016 at 01.29 pm

Dear Participants,

This is my closing statement in this first round.  

Thanks a lot to all of you for your valuable contributions to the discussion over the past couple of weeks.

 It was a very interesting discussion, with a wide range of inputs which aimed to contribute to the Agenda both in breadth and depth. The extent of the contributions and the engagement of the contributors were great.

Among the comments received I would like to recap some general points (it is not possible in my short statement now to go in detail in all the specific points, and I hope that they would be picked up again in the next round of the debate).   

–          In most cases, contributors have highlighted – and rightly so – the importance of a given topic. This leads to the question about how such topics could be specifically inserted in the Agenda.

–          A challenge for the Agenda is how to integrate all the specific issues in a comprehensive and coherent way.

–          We need to bear in mind the whole organizational structure of the Agenda, to have doable implementation. Should we have integrated urban sub-systems, and how? Or something else? For example, the food system, as the name indicates, is already a system. Which needs of course integration with other systems, at the same time has its internal structure.

–          One cross-cutting theme of the contributions was the question of how to better integrate different groups of people in the city – the poor, the migrant, those with disabilities, inter alia. This reinforces the ‘chapeau’ of leaving no one behind, also connecting to sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all.

–          As our discussion is on the Transformative Commitments (for Sustainable Urban Development), an issue for the next round would be to further define what is indeed transformative in the Agenda, and what needs to be improved. There is a difference between inserting a new topic (which may be a ‘traditional’ one), and inserting it as a transformative commitment.

–          From a particular perspective of promoting prosperity and opportunities via better urban livelihoods, it is important to bear in mind that the generation of decent work is not a passive action, dependent only on the expansion of the economy. Also, but not only. It also depends on social dialogue between enterprises, workers and government; on the organization and training of workers, on the implementation of labour-intensive techniques, and more. These actions also need to be financially supported, and they will generate returns.

Thanks again for your contributions. I am sure that they will be of value to the Agenda. 

Nelson Saule Júnior Lawyer , Gereral Coordinator from Brazil
Tue, May 24, 2016 at 01.29 am

The Zero Draft and Right to the City

Despite claiming that cities are spaces created by man and admitting that is the space for the determination of rights and collective responsibility, [the zero draft] does not establish adequately the right to the city that has been considered in the preparation process of the Habitat III conference as a central issue for the development of fair, democratic, inclusive and sustainable cities.

The current text confuses the slogan “City for All” (which has been used to regroup some policy unit  and does not have a clear content) with the concept of Right to the City, so you can check also reviewing the Policy Unit 1  n. 1 and its first Annex, already has a definition and landing quite advanced

 “It is no doubt a good thing that in the zero draft there is a recognition of the right to the city as an existing human right with a collective dimension that compiles and systematizes existing human rights, and which aims to ensure that present and future generations of people have the right to use, occupy and produce fair, inclusive and sustainable cities, and recognizing that the object of protection is the city as a common good.

“But by establishing a general recognition designating ‘cities for all’ and to say that in some countries this conception translates into the ‘right to the city’ may bring greater difficulties for the New Urban Agenda to treat adequately:

  • The design/definition of this right as a field of collective and diffuse rights
  • The city’s components as a common good towards a qualification on which city should be protected and promoted with legal support
  • The definition of common and specific responsibilities of public officials and inhabitants of cities and civil society organizations
  • The extent of that right as regards the types of cities and covering the inhabitants of urban and rural areas.

“Our expectation is for the concept of the right to the city to be developed as a central issue on the agenda. It is important  housing, which has been recognized as a central issue, but the political and cultural dimensions of the use, occupation and production of cities, and the right to the city, needs to be better highlighted and incorporated in the New Urban Agenda.

“The right to the city is already an existing collective human right and not a new human right (the U. S. position). We must have a common foundation and a consistent understanding of what it is and why it is critical to have this right in the New Agenda Urban

To  Improve the definition of the Right to  the City (paragraph 4 of the draft “0” on the Agenda)it is necessary to adopt the definition are already in the Policy Unit 1 ( Right to

 the City and City for All)  .

The Right to the city  is thus defined as the right of all inhabitants  present and future, to occupy, use and produce just, inclusive and sustainable cities, defined as a common good essential to the quality of life. The City as a common good contains the following components:

  • A city free of discrimination based on gender, age, health status, income, nationality, ethnicity, migratory condition, or political, religious or sexual orientation.
  • A city of inclusive citizenship in which all inhabitants, whether permanent or transitional, are considered as citizens and granted equal rights;  e.g. women, those living in poverty or situations of environmental risk, informal economy workers, ethnic and religious groups, LGBT persons, the differently abled, children, youth, the elderly, migrants, refugees, street dwellers, victims of violence and indigenous peoples. 
  • A city with enhanced political participation in the definition, implementation, monitoring, and budgeting of urban policies and spatial planning in order to strengthen the transparency, effectiveness and inclusion of the diversity of urban dwellers and their organizations.
  • A city fulfilling its social functions, that is, ensuring equitable access for all to shelter, goods, services and urban opportunities, particularly for women and other marginalized groups; a city that prioritizes the collectively defined public interest, ensuring a socially just and environmentally balanced use of urban and rural spaces.
  • A city with quality public spaces that enhances social interactions and political participation,  promotes socio-cultural expressions, embraces diversity, and fosters social cohesion; a city where public spaces contribute to building safer cities and to meeting the needs of urban dwellers.
  • A city of gender equality which adopts all necessary measures to combat discrimination in all its forms against women, men, and LGBT people in political, social, economic and cultural terms; a city which takes all appropriate measures to ensure the full development of women, to guarantee them equality in the exercise and fulfilment of fundamental human rights, and a life free of violence.
  • A city with cultural diversity, which respects, protects, and promotes the diverse livelihoods, customs, memory, identities, expressions, and socio-cultural forms of its inhabitants.
  • A city with inclusive economies that ensures access to livelihoods and decent work for all inhabitants, that gives room to other economies, such as solidarity economy, sharing economy, circular economy, and that acknowledges the role of women in the care economy.
  • A city as a system within the settlement and common ecosystem that respects rural-urban linkages, and protects biodiversity, natural habitats, and surrounding ecosystems, and supports city-regions, city-town cooperation, and connectivity.

The Right to the City  further implies responsibilities on governments and people to claim, defend, and promote this right.  The Right to the City as a diffuse right can be exercised in every metropolis, city, village, or town that is institutionally organized as local administrative unit with district, municipal or metropolitan character. It includes the urban space as well as the rural or semi-rural surroundings that form part of its territory”.

“As a collective right, it pertains to the diversity of all inhabitants on the basis of their common interest. As a diffuse right, the Right to the City belongs to present and future generations; it is indivisible and not subject to exclusive use or appropriation.

The Draft Zero and Public Space

With regard to public spaces and their political dimension, it was well treated in the Barcelona Declaration but is not present in the Zero Draft. It mentions cultural expressions but does not recognize public spaces as places of expression and political demonstrations.”

The Zero Draft and Social Function of Property

 Uphold the concept of social function of property (including several paragraphs 5, 52, 68, 105)
The social function mentioned in different sections of the document, is a fundamental aspect of the right to the city. It allows access to the floor of the most neglected sectors which in turn facilitates the fight against informality, compaction of cities and the consequent environmental protection and rural and semi rural territory. For this to happen it is necessary that the concept remains in the document and is also required (for instance, paragraph 110) that are labeled captured gains the benefit of the sectors that have greater difficulty in accessing decent housing.

The Zero Draft and Economy

 Differentiate the economic processes of social by having different logical (eg business economics informal housing production by private companies developed by social production of habitat).Include in the document the social, solidarity, local economy, small-scale and draw attention to the need for a respectful relationship between the countryside and the city-

The various contributions of this type of economy have been recognized in various documents and research and partly in the Declaration of Mexico City (item 8). Not all of this type of economy is informal so it is positive to create a difference between the two. It is an economy that is often based on building networks between town and country (eg producers-consumers), which strengthens food sovereignty and facilitates a respectful relationship between the countryside and the city.
Include this type of economy in paragraphs 65-68 and set specific and flexible support from the administrative point of view, adequate remuneration and social security for / as workers.

The Draft Zero and Implementation

“On the means of implementation, understand that it is important to defend the legal and judicial reforms necessary for the commitments to materialize. The focus is on national and local governments in the sphere of executive power, and it is not clear the responsibilities of legislative powers and judiciary powers.

— Nelson Saule Junior, Instituto Pólis on behalf of Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C)

Mon, May 23, 2016 at 07.41 pm

As the Executive Director of US/ICOMOS, I applaud the issuance of the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda and welcome the inclusion of many of ICOMOS’s key recommendations from the 2015 Habitat 3 Thematic Consultations. I also applaud the clear effort to reflect the spirit of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to take account of the SDG indicators that have been development.

 On 25 September 2015, after years of dialogue, the countries of the world adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets — is arguably the most ambitious and holistic development framework ever conceived.  Unlike their predecessors, the MDGs, the SDGs speak boldly to heritage. Of the 7 targets making up the groundbreaking new Urban Goal, Target 11.4 calls for “making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.”   The adoption of the SDGs has been accompanied by several parallel Post-2015 agenda settings processes.  The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction also contains groundbreaking references to heritage that coordinate with Target 11.4.   

Several of these key concepts that undergird the inclusion of heritage in the SDGs are also present in the Zero Draft.  I especially welcome provisions relating to the role of heritage in sustainable and inclusive economies and in efforts to achieve social cohesion. ICOMOS and its partners have highlighted the fact that cultural heritage and creativity are drivers of inclusive economic development. Heritage areas incubate creativity while intangible heritage and sustainable tourism are drivers of inclusive livelihoods.  Cultural heritage is an enabler of social cohesion, inclusion and equity.  Historic environments including public spaces and monuments are functionally and socially mixed and embody multiple cultural values. Heritage, both tangible and intangible, strengthens communities by fostering pride, shared identity, integration and emplacement among newcomers and longtime residents alike.

I also celebrate the text’s reference to a commitment to “leverage culture and heritage in cities through integrated urban policies and to invest adequate budget shares, at both the local and national levels, to safeguard and promote cultural and natural heritage,” highlighting the role that these play in the “rehabilitation and revitalization of urban areas, as a way to strengthen social participation and the exercise of citizenship.”  ICOMOS has championed the idea that cultural heritage supports livability and sustainability.  Reuse of existing built environment conserves materials while traditional building technologies and materials offer low‐energy, regional appropriate examples of human adaptability. Indigenous science and local knowledge support disaster risk reduction and modern resilience. Dense, walkable and inclusive, historic territories are models for new urban settlements.

Against this backdrop, I offer the following specific comments on the Zero Draft drawn from ICOMOS statements:

Linkage with and Goal 11

 While ICOMOS welcomes the link made between the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs in the Zero draft, I note the concern that the draft is not sufficiently and consistently correlated to Goal 11 of the SDGs.  While many elements of Heritage Target are present in the Zero Draft, the draft is not organized in a manner that coherently correlates to Target 11.4, nor, as a substantive matter, does it embrace all its elements.  Target 11.4 calls for

making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage. (emphasis added)

 Target 11.4 thus has four elements: 

 (I)        Strengthening safeguarding of heritage to make cities and human settlements more inclusive;

(II)       Strengthening safeguarding of heritage to make cities and human settlements more safe;

(III)     Strengthening safeguarding of heritage to make cities and human settlements more resilient; and

(IV)     Strengthening safeguarding of heritage to make cities and human settlements more sustainable.

While there is overlap between the four, each addresses a different aspect of the urban agenda and each apprehends different issues, policies and possibilities.  The Zero Draft is vastly uneven  in treating these four, with safeguarding heritage to make cities inclusive being perhaps the best treated and safeguarding heritage to make cities safe and resilient all but ignored. 


 a)                  The Zero Draft would be improved if it were reorganized to correlate in a more coherent and obvious manner to the SDGs in general and Goal 11 in particular.  This could be accomplished by regrouping the provisions or perhaps just indexing them to the SDGs.

b)                  Irrespective of the organization, substantively speaking, each of the four elements of Target 11.4 should be squarely addressed.  To leave out elements of Goal 11 in the New Urban Agenda is unthinkable.  The point is addressed further below.

c)                  Goal 11 includes only seven targets, and entire one of the seven is devoted to heritage. Yet heritage is not referenced in the Transformative commitments.  As a core Goal 11 Target, heritage should be included.   We recommend the following edit to Section 6 of the Zero Draft:

 6. We commit to a New Urban Agenda that embodies these three main guiding principles: (a) Leave no one behind, ensure urban equity and eradicate poverty by providing equitable access for all, to physical and social infrastructure, recognizing and leveraging natural and cultural heritage, culture, diversity and safety, while enabling participation and enhancing liveability and quality of life.


 A consequence of not expressly correlating the provisions of Goal 11 and Target 11.4 to the Zero Draft is that there is no reference to the inter-linkages of natural and cultural heritage, as we find in Target 11.4.  The emerging need for a paradigm shift in the concept of development in more humanistic and ecological terms is manifest in the linkages of natural and cultural heritage found in Target 11.4  Enhancing these linkages is a key tools for increasing the resilience and sustainability of cities. 

 Recommendation:  Either or both of the following changes in the “Ecosystems and Cities” section:

 (a)        71. The provision of a well-connected network of open and green public spaces in central and peripheral urban areas, facilitating linkages with and access to the surrounding natural environment and cultural landscape , can improve public health and contribute to the quality of life and well-being of all people, through increased leisure and physical activity, while protecting and improving the urban ecosystem and the services it provides, and mitigating climate change risks such as urban heat island, among others.

(b)        72. We acknowledge the inter-linkages of natural and cultural heritage and that the practices and attitudes of residents and users of urban space – both individuals and organizations – strongly determine the extent of environmental impact. We resolve through policy and regulation to increasingly internalize externalities as a driver of behavioral change. We will also use school curriculums and public awareness campaigns as additional tools and leverage cultural heritage and historical memory representing critical knowledge of how a community relates to the natural environment.

Leave No One Behind, Urban Equity and Poverty EradicationThe role of heritage in social inclusion is addressed in the section titled “Recognize and leverage culture, diversity and safety in cities.”  In particular, Section 38 which reads:

 38. We commit to leverage culture and heritage in cities through integrated urban policies and to invest adequate budget shares, at both the local and national levels, to safeguard and promote cultural and natural heritage, including cultural infrastructures and sites, museums, as well as traditional knowledge and the arts, highlighting the role that these play in the rehabilitation and revitalization of urban areas, as a way to strengthen social participation and the exercise of citizenship.

 The concept also arises in Section 47 (see below regarding sustainability).  The language of Section 38 is clearly intended to incorporate the IEAG-SDG Target for Section 11.4.  The reference to integrated urban policies would even seem to be nod to the ICOMOS proposal submitted in the IAEG-SDG Grey Indicator comment period, and is to be commended.  On the other hand, locating the Indicator reference here is a bit awkward.  We recommend moving the budget share portion to the Implementation section (see our discussion in Dialogue B). 

To harmonize the balance of this Section with Goal 11, recommend revisising it to read “urban areas , and in social integration though shared attachment to place, creativity and livability as a way to strengthen safety, sustainability, resilience and inclusion, including social participation and the exercise of citizenship.”   This change would also harmonize the clause with Section 38 dealing with culture which correlates culture to “strengthen social cohesion, gender equality, innovation, inclusion, identity and safety, as well as to foster livability and a vibrant urban economy.”

Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Prosperity and Opportunities for All

As it regards inclusive and sustainable urban economies, Section 47 provides for inclusive and sustainable urban economies by building on local resources and competitive advantages, including modern infrastructure and cultural heritage.  The reference to cultural heritage here seems particularly apt as it highlights the role of heritage as a place-specific assets that can guide territorial development. The provisions of Section 47 are amplified in the Section on “Enabling business environment, jobs and livelihoods.”   There, Section 57 calls for moving “towards ensuring that all citizens have access to income-earning opportunities, respecting and leveraging culture and territorial specificity.”  We applaud these provisions but recommend adding “traditional knowledge” to Section 47.

Section 58 and 61 speak to heritage, creativity and employment.   Section 58 references the business opportunities offered by the diverse creative potential of cities.  Section 61 provides:

Urban economies should be sustained and supported to promote the progressive transition to higher productivity jobs through high value added sectors, promoting diversification, technological upgrading and innovation. Qualified jobs in both the formal and informal sectors, including through cultural and creative industries, tourism, performing arts and heritage conservation activities, will create the conditions for sustainable revenue generation. We commit to empower local governments and other local actors to promote local economic development with the inclusion of all the appropriate industries in each locality.

A problematic element of this section is the treatment of tourism.  Again, we see the failure to correlate the Zero Draft to the SDGs.  SDG Target 8.9 reads “[p]romote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all  . . . by 2030 devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism which creates jobs, promotes local culture and products.” 


In order to correlate Section 61 with SDG 8.9 and 11.4, recommend revising the unqualified reference to “tourism” is Section 61 to track SDG Goal 8.9 as follows:

Qualified jobs in both the formal and informal sectors, including through cultural and creative industries, ; sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products, performing arts and heritage conservation activities, will create the conditions for sustainable revenue generation. 

Given the important role of tourism in the SDGs an to cities, we recommend further addressing tourism be adding a correlating reference to Section 63 that the working poor and the informal sector are  boosted by heritage conservation and cultural businesses that develop local products and services and increase productivity for local economies by serving the visitor economy (SDG 8.9).

Foster Ecological and Resilient Cities and Human Settlements

Both SDG Target 11.4 and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction contemplate important roles for heritage in disaster risk reduction and resilience.  These matters are all but non-existent in the Zero Draft.  The section on “Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change and other shocks” needs to be recognize the use of the heritage and culture of places as a guide to adaptation and a source of mitigation; the special requirements of protecting cultural assets and the need for resilience-building measures that are culturally specific.   These changes would correlate the resilience section to SDG 11.4 and Sendai. 

In the context of sustainability, the Zero Draft emphasizes the role of heritage in sustainable and inclusive economies. The Zero Draft largely ignores the role of heritage in other forms of sustainability, for example ecological.


 (a)                In order to address the role for heritage contemplated in Section 11.4, the sustainable model of building reuse and conservation of embodied energy reflected by historic preservation models should be recognized, as follows:

 Sustainable consumption and production

74. The consumption and production patterns of cities are a critical element of achieving global resilience and sustainability. We therefore commit to strengthening the crucial linkages and efficient management of resources like land, water, energy, materials including the appropriate use and reuse of existing older and historic buildings and traditional technologies, food, as well as the reduction and management of waste and the mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, taking into consideration the full-range of resource requirements vis-à-vis the environmental impact and sustainability. We support the development of transparent frameworks for public and private entities to report on their environmental footprints to ensure sustainability.

I have attached the final draft of the Habitat 3 Concept Note from the ICOMOS Task Force on Sustainability which amplifies these comments.

JP Amaral Co-Founder from Belgium
Mon, May 23, 2016 at 12.15 pm

The potential of cycling in the New Urban Agenda – Zero Draft Analysis

I am JP Amaral, co-founder of the Brazilian NGO Bike Anjo, and I am posting this comment in behalf of European Cyclists’ Federation (ECF) and World Cycling Alliance (WCA). First, we would like to congratulate everyone involved in the development of the Zero Draft. We believe that the New Urban Agenda is on the right track and we are really grateful for seeing the presence of active mobility in its Zero Draft. ECF, WCA and its members will continue to cooperate with this process and show that cycling delivers towards sustainable urban development.

We analysed the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and gathered where and how cycling is referred to, and what is still lacking in the vision of how cycling can contribute to sustainable urban development. Please find below a general analysis followed by specific comments regarding the Main Topic A “THE TRANSFORMATIVE COMMITMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT” and its Sub-Topics.
Our complete analysis (to be published soon) and our work around Habitat III is available at:

General analysis of cycling in the New Urban Agenda:

  • Cycling is present and there is no turning back. The work done by many organisations around the globe on cycling promotion is definitely reflected on the Zero Draft and we are happy for that.

  • Cycling is so much more than transport and this should be translated into the New Urban Agenda, linking to basic rights to the city, local economy, health, environment,  social inclusion, among other benefits of cycling.

  • People-oriented cities is key in the New Urban Agenda, guaranteeing that we are not talking about cars, buses and bicycles, but drivers, passengers and cyclists.

  • “Sustainable transport” should always be emphasised instead of just “transport”, so as to not confuse with old models of transport policies, such as road infrastructure for cars.

  • Whenever the means of transport are listed, they should be mentioned in the following order: “walking, cycling and public transport” as to put the more fragile first and to set the necessary order of priority when dealing with accessibility.

  • A New Urban Agenda has to enhance the reduction of car usage and establishing the necessary tools for that, such as reducing parking space, congestion charge schemes, pedestrian streets, among others.

  • Road and public space safety needs to be more present if we want to guarantee quality of life for people and a healthy environment in cities.

  • Paras. 20-24 – The bicycle is a powerful tool to seek social inclusion and eradicate poverty by giving access to public services and jobs through a low cost and clean transportation, but the NUA lacks this connection in the section called ”Leave no one behind, urban equity and poverty eradication”.

  • Paras. 25 and 26 – Quality space for cycling and walking, such as bike lanes and sidewalks, must be highlighted as a basic infrastructure for all so as to focus on accessibility and not only on transportation.

  • Paras. 25 and 26 – In these paragraphs it is mentioned “mobility” and then “transportation”. It seems vague and at the same time repetitive. In the second part (in “transportation”) it focuses on the transport and not on the “accessibility infrastructure”, such as quality sidewalks and signalisation.

  • Para. 30 – Adequate housing and shelter must be well-located not only to public transport, but in central locations in order to reduce travel demand and integrate active mobility into housing approaches, e.g. commercial and public facilities in walking or cycling distances.

  • Para 30 – Include “walking and cycling” to: “…basic infrastructure, walking and cycling infrastructure, and services like sanitation systems, and public transport, as well as livelihood opportunities…” 

  • Para. 36 – Include cycling lanes: “ Public spaces, which consist of open areas such as streets, cycling lanes, sidewalks, squares, gardens and parks, must be seen as …”

  • Para, 39 – Emphasise that safety is not the same as security by changing to “attractive public places where it promotes the sense of belonging from children to eldery, for men and women”. And with “transportation” include “safe and good quality infrastructure for walking, cycling and use of public transport, as well as policies to promote traffic safety for pedestrians and cyclists.”

  • Paras. 45, 47-49, 53, 61 and 64 – Cycling is good for economic growth and local economy, as it can improve connectivity and strengthen territorial linkages for more job opportunities, gives easy access to local services and goods, can contribute strongly to tourism and is an important tool for more efficient supply chain in urban logistics.

  • Paras. 47-49 – In section about “Inclusive and sustainable urban economies” include “cycling logistics as a form of inclusive and local economy and for reducing travel demand”.

  • Para 51 – This paragraph is quite important and mentions public transport 2 times in a confusing way and then brings walking and cycling. We should make the connectivity of “reduce travel needs” with “more sustainable modes of travelling, such as walking and bicycling” and integrating this with a cost-effective public transport system.

  • Para 53 – Emphasise that this “transport needs of the poor” should be 1) sustainable means of transportation; 2) seeking to reduce the distances and need of transport.

  • Para. 55 – Include promotion of active mobility “Availability and universal access to adequate and quality social infrastructure and facilities, such as health and education facilities and promotion of active mobility, among others, is fundamental to building a healthy society …”

  • Para 61 – Include “Promoting local economy and cycling economy, public spaces and cyclelogistics”

  • Para 64 – Include “Promoting local economy, cycling economy, cyclelogistics (often informal sector)”


  • Para. 69 – Increasing cycling has a huge impact in improving air quality as it is a clean means of transportation and can help preserve and save natural resources. 
  • Para. 74 – Add “the necessity of creating smaller circuits from producer to consumer, reducing the needs of transportation and its impacts, as well as promoting more sustainable means of transporting goods and services ”.
  • Para. 77-78 – Cycling can deliver to the decrease of 2 °C in the global average temperature with a possible reduction of 10% of greenhouse gas emissions in transport sector by 2050 and shifting towards a low-carbon energy system.
Trevor Hancock Professor and Senior Scholar from Canada
Mon, May 23, 2016 at 09.30 am

Habitat III – Zero draft – comments

Dr Trevor Hancock

Professor and Senior Scholar

School of Public Health and Social Policy

University of Victoria


22 May 2016, 20.00 PST

I write this as one of the pioneers of the now-global Healthy Cities and Communities movement, having been one of the orignal planning team members for the WHO Europe Healthy Cities initiative in 1986, and co-author (with Len Duhl) of the original background paper for WHO Europe.

I have three main points:

1. The focus should be on people and the planet, not on the economy

The most important concern I have is that there is very little explicit focus on people, and on human development. Cities are above all else collections of people, and if they have any purpose at all, surely it is to improve the level of health, wellbeing, quality of life and level of human development of their citizens. Indeed, this – along with being ecologically sustainable and socially just – should be their central purposes.

The purpose of development is not – or should not be – the development of the economy; the economy is simply a social tool, one means of improving the level of human development. We are not – or should not be – primarily in the business of growing the economy, but ‘growing’ people.

Admittedly, the Vision begins with “Putting people in the center, and offer quality of life beyond the mere provision of infrastructure and services”. But the text belies the vision. The term ‘human development’ occurs only once in the document (para 36), ‘quality of life’ appears only 9 times, ‘wellbeing’ only appears twice and while the term ‘health’ occurs 14 times, it is often in the context of health care systems and services.

In comparison, the economy is referenced 73 times, ‘social’ 46 times, participation is mentioned 42 times. Also of note is that ‘ecology/ecological’ appears only 12 times, ecosystem only 6 times (although ‘sustainable’ is mentioned 79 times, and in 25 of those cases, specifically as ‘sustainable development’), and the Anthropocene is not mentioned.  Meanwhile – and oddly – the built environment appears just once (para 119).

This is very revealing, suggesting that the predominant mindset behind the document is economic and social, and that the ecological and human dimensions of the city are of lesser concern.  This needs to be corrected in future Drafts.

A good place to begin would be to amend the stated aim in Paragraph 1 to read:

a New Urban Agenda that harnesses cities and human settlements as a critical means to achieve sustainable and equitable human development, eradicating poverty while living within the constraints of the planet that is our only home.

Note that in this version the focus is not on growth, but on redistribution, and global limits are explicitly acknowledged.

2. A stronger focus on health and wellbeing

There is no specific section on health and wellbeing; and while the term ‘health’ occurs 14 times, it is often in the context of health care systems and services. Yet we know that while access to such services are important, they are not the main determinants of the health of the population. The next Draft needs to take into account the broader understanding of health that can be found in the 30 year history of the Healthy Cities movement, and in particular the Kuching Statement (https://www.thriveurban.info )

that was the product of the Urban Thinkers Campus on Health and Wellbeing in January 2016, as well as Draft 2.0 of The City We Need ( ).

3. The Draft fails to present the “radical paradigm shift” that it calls for

The Draft calls for “a radical paradigm shift in the way cities and human settlements are planned, developed, governed and managed”. But this Draft is not a radical paradigm shift. On the contrary, as noted above, it is very economically and socially focused, and largely in a conventional way, and pays much less attention to ecology and human development.

A radical paradigm shift is one in which we acknowledge that

a)    Cities should be focused on ensuring a high and equitable level of human development while

b)   Living within the constraints of the one small planet that is our shared home.

Yet conventional thinking abounds. Thus in paragraph 3 of the Preamble we are treated to a classic, conventional oxymoron: “sustainable and inclusive growth”, while this becomes simply ‘inclusive growth’ in Paragraph 1 of the Declaration. But the obsession with economic growth (which is mentioned 14 times, in approving terms when applied to the economy, or in terms of planning for and managing urban growth) is what has led us into the global ecological crisis we now face, which some now call the Anthropocene. Continued growth is not sustainable: As Kenneth Boulding has observed, “anyone who believes in indefinite growth within a physically finite system is either insane or an economist!”. We need a steady state economy, and re-distribution within that economy.

So it is revealing that there is no questioning of the ideology of growth, and no criticism of GDP as a measure of progress; indeed, GDP is only mentioned once (in the preamble) and in the context of “more than 80% of global GDP generated in cities”. But we need alternative measures of progress, both globally and at the urban level, that measure progress in human and ecological terms. There is no discussion of this in the document.

A radical shift would include re-shaping cities to have a ‘one-planet’ ecological footprint, divesting from fossil fuels to create low carbon or zero-carbon economies, and re-distributing the Earth’s finite resources in a socially equitable manner both within and between nations.  While climate change itself is mentioned 13 times, the term ‘low carbon’ is only mentioned once (para 77), ‘zero carbon’ and ‘divest’ (as in ‘divest from fossil fuels’) not at all and- even more bizarrely – the word fossil fuel does not appear once. How can a document about the future of cities, with an eye on at least the next 20 years and in reality on the entire 21st century (because most infrastructure created today will be in place for most of the 21st century, if not beyond), have any claim to be taken seriously when it so conspicuously omits any references to one of the key issues of the 21st century, namely becoming fossil-fuel free.

Brendan Research coordinator from Australia
Mon, May 23, 2016 at 08.27 am

I am posting this comment on behalf of the UN Global Compact Cities Programme. Our main concern relates to the following paragraph of the Zero Draft on page 2, under the Quito Declaration:

“We commit to the realization of the concept of cities for all, which in some countries is defined as Right to the City and compiles the shared systemization of existing rights, seeking to ensure that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, are able to inhabit, use, and produce just, inclusive, and sustainable cities, which exist as a common good essential to a high quality of life.” 

We would like to see the term “ethical” introduced between “just” and “inclusive”. Hence it would read “produce just, ethical, inclusive, and sustainable cities”.

This change reflects the interest we discovered in this notion when we organized an Urban Thinkers Campus on Ethical Cities: Locking in Liveability in February 2016. 

The ethical approach to cities requires that we think about “what the right thing to do is” whether we are talking about municipal leadership, planning, local businesses, and citizen engagement. We prepared a briefing paper (attached) and we consider that the introduction of the term ethical to the Zero Draft will add an important new dimension which is not captured by notions of justice and inclusiveness. It also suggests the importance of both rights and responsibilities – we have a responsibility to be ethical leaders, local governments, corporations, business people and citizens.

TECHO – Internacional
Mon, May 23, 2016 at 02.56 am

Main Topic A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development. Sub-topic 1. Leave no one behind, urban equity & poverty eradication.

TECHO is an organization present in 19 countries of Latin America, which seeks to overcome poverty in informal settlements through the joint efforts of those who live there with youth volunteers. Habitat III is a tremendous opportunity for prioritizing and addressing this reality that has a strong impact in Latin America: 113.4 million people living in urban areas live in informal settlements, according to UN-Habitat. The Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda includes this subject addressing infrastructure, inclusion and participation issues. That is why we would like to deepen in the challenges identified within the Draft presented:

1. Addressing the issue of informal settlements requires a comprehensive understanding of this reality. The first element to be incorporated is recognition of informal settlements as a clear consequence of inequality. This recognition should be key to investigate proposals that respond fully to the requirements of this reality and that are truly sustainable.

2. With regard to the above, informal settlements are spaces of rights violations. At the same time, as a result of constant exercise of subsistence to satisfy their needs outside the State and the Market, its residents have valuable skills, knowledge and experiences. The design of coherent and specific policies also requires the inclusion of the voices of the people, in recognition of this part of the population not as mere beneficiary or at risk, but as a protagonist in the construction of reality.

 3. But to achieve this joint work effectively, it is substantial to generate specialized information to allow full knowledge and comprehension of informal settlements to understand all its diversity. Good diagnostics give way to good policies.

Do not leave anyone behind should also mean an encounter between different actors in society and its current role in terms of responsibilities and opportunities building on the road to sustainable development. Little can be done about informal settlements in an isolated approach. This interaction between the different actors should be explicit in the New Urban Agenda, the result of the participation of each, in order to deepen causes, actions and monitoring. Also it is important to understand that transnational issues also require an articulation of that kind. Thus, ensuring the New Urban Agenda will become a real tool for building cities for everyone, a true global commitment.

Prof David Simon Research centre director and professor from Sweden
Sun, May 22, 2016 at 01.40 pm

I am pleased to offer the following comments under this topic on behalf of Mistra Urban Futures:

1. The holistic, comprehensive and progressive vision espoused, not least the emphasis on transformation, positions the NUA at the forefront of contemporary thinking. This will, as intended, provide a highly appropriate platform for global engagement over the next 20 years.

2. It is excellent to note that the wording of the various SDG 11 targets and indicators has been included as part of the main text. This will provide a good reference point. However, at present the respective sentences are not explicitly identified as such. It is unclear whether that was a deliberate decision, in order to avoid highlighting the integration, or an oversight. Indeed, the first explicit mention of the links between the NUA and SDG indicators appears in paragraph 166, very near the end. This obviously needs to be a political judgement about maximising effectiveness, but explicit identification would be helpful, with a sentence in the Preamble to explain this at the outset since the NUA in effect provides the intellectual and strategic framing for SDG 11, including the transformative (as opposed to purely incremental) potential.

3. The prose style is good but, at 22 pages, the text is too long and rather dense. This will turn off political leaders and even many local authority officials and others. It needs shortening and ‘lightening up’.

4. The mention of national urban policies in paragraphs 85 and 166 as part of the supportive context for the NUA is welcome but para 166 should cross refer back to 85 for explanation of what such policies should contain.

5. The more positive and enabling approach to informality in response to criticism of the original issue paper on this subject is greatly welcomed.

6. Although unintentional, the zero draft implicitly perpetuates a notion of an urban-rural dichotomy. This will work against the achievability of the transformative commitments and can be readily addressed by adding a sentence to the Preamble to make explicit that cities are not islands and that sustainable urbanism can be achieved only as part of sustainable urban regions and wider territories and functional areas, including rural areas. This would then also dovetail with the final version of Goal 11 that makes such connections in the absence of an explicitly rural Goal. Insertion of ‘peri-urban’ selectively in other paragraphs would also help avoid implying an urban-rural dichotomy.

7. Para 6(a): equitable access should not be only to physical and social infrastructure but environmental (green and blue) infrastructure and, indeed, all urban facilities and opportunities.

8. Para 6c: ‘ecological and resilient cities’ doesn’t quite work. What are ecological cities? Needs rewording. There is also an apostrophe missing after urban systems in line 3.

Peter Head Chief Executive- engineer and planner from United Kingdom
Sun, May 22, 2016 at 10.20 am

Comments on ‘New Urban Agenda Zero Draft’

From The Ecological Sequestration Trust, authored by Peter Head CEO
May 20th 2016

1.We welcome the zero draft and respect the huge efforts and global expertise that has been mobilised to get to this starting point for the discussion. We are happy to make this contribution based on the extensive independent work we have done over the last 5 years to try to support implementation of these objectives and involvement in drafting and lobbying for Urban Goal 11.


2.We agree with the following:

“There is a need for a radical paradigm shift in the way cities and human settlements are planned, developed, governed and managed. The decisions we make today will shape our common urban future”.

3.However there is NOTHING in the zero draft that sets out how a radical paradigm shift in planning can be achieved. There is just a list in the document of ambitions from case studies in terms of outcomes, but a paradigm shift in planning requires a very innovative approach which is now possible and in view needs to be made a key objective.

4.In our view, and those of ICSU Future Earth, this can come from Collaborative Human Ecological Economics Resource CHEER planning using agent based systems modelling which loads in data on human and ecological health and economics and then allows scenario testing of resilient sustainable integrated planning outcomes. This can deal with land values, mobility, water supply, energy, waste management, urban-rural systems integration, IT and communications and their relationship to human well-being. There are parallel submissions from ICSU Future Earth on the use of integrated systems modelling and one from UNISDR on it’s use in DRR when connected to Earth Systems modelling and Earth Observation data.

5.The zero draft goes on to call for “Addressing new and emerging challenges within innovative and ambitious collaboration frameworks integrating all actors”.

6. The zero draft does NOT suggest forms of new innovative and ambitious collaboration frameworks and their governance structures. We believe they could come from setting up regional collaborative laboratories which have multi-stakeholder governance to support evidence based decision making, with social and natural science supporting and improving the data and systems modelling outcomes. This is being tested in Accra Ghana within the Future Cities Africa program of Cities Alliance.

7. The ambition “to ensure a broader financing base for investments” falls very short of Global Goal 17 which states “Urgent action is needed to mobilize, redirect and unlock the transformative power of trillions of dollars of private funding resources and expertise to deliver on sustainable development objectives”.

8. We believe that unless this ambition is addressed by National Governments in Quito, specifically to create the enabling environment for mobilization of $4-5 trillion per year in risk-assessed public-private sector investment in infrastructure and affordable housing to meet Global Goals, with insurance against climate change impact, cities will find it very difficult to mobilise the funding necessary to deliver Global Goals and the funding will flow instead into old paradigms of development that destroy ecosystems and lead to poorer health. The next 15 years are critical to avert this. The Ecological Sequestration Trust has facilitated an open-online resource Roadmap 2030 to help deliver this and it was presented in Mexico City at the Habitat III Finance meeting in March 2016. Many people said it was VERY ambitious but we believe that is what the preamble and Goal 17 are calling for and that this is a unique moment when we can be ambitious.

You are very welcome to draw on Roadmap 2030 for this purpose and we are ready to help with that.

9.It is said that “The New Urban Agenda aims to be concise, action-oriented, forward-looking”

10. We would argue that it is not written in a form in which National Governments and Mayors of cities can give it to their departments for implementation. This in our view requires requires restructuring of the document for National government level departments around creating enabling environments for paradigm shift and at city level departments collaborative integrated planning, design, procurement and delivery and management using PPPP of outcomes that meet global goal targets and outcomes.

11. A critical feature in the aim of Global Goal 17 to engage the private sector is the need to change the transparency, governance and accountability of private sector investment. This process is underway as described in detail in Roadmap 2030 and must be part of the National government enabling environment if the outcomes are to be delivered in cities. We strongly urge that the need for this matter to be addressed in line with the green growth work at UNEP so that National Governments can then benefit from private sector investment in their cities and job creation as part of green growth, which also leads to inclusive human well-being.

Quito Declaration on Cities for All

12. Clause 3.  “we reaffirm our commitment to work with local authorities and communities in an inclusive and effective manner” 

We believe it is very important to include Private Sector in here as they will be key to new technology, job creation and unlocking the investment money needed. Also consider mentioning the inclusion of indigenous people as set out by President Ban ki-Moon and the important role that Faith communities can play.

13. Clause 5  Our Vision

We believe the vision should really reflect the relevant Global Goals including Goal 11 as set out by UN Habitat.

We believe it is a major omission to leave out a reference to high quality education and skill development to meet the future needs of the city region. This is a major underpinning for future success and will enable private sector investment to be attracted.

14.The vision is also missing the protection of cultural and natural heritage of Goal 11.

15.This aspect of the vision “Resilient to natural and man-made hazards, protecting and valuing their ecosystems, natural habitats and biodiversity, and reducing the global environmental and carbon footprint” is much too weak in our view. A lot of damage has already been done to ecosystems on land, air, water and oceans with an attendant impact of human health. What is needed is a future program in which rapid restoration of all these takes place as well as cleaning of their habitats, through the way cities consume and process goods and services. In China this is called “making ecological progress”. This is emphasized in the Planetary Health Commission Report to which I was a contributor-see Roadmap 2030. Protection is not enough any more, we have already crossed too many boundaries. This is also why moving to circular resource systems is so important. This is being discussed at UNEA-2 in Nairobi.There is also no mention of a clean environment for people to live in.

16. On mobility and in clause 112 later, “Promoting planning and investment for sustainable urban mobility systems that link people, places, and economic opportunities” it is very important to also reflect the movement of goods as well as people and the use of consolidation centres at multi-modal hubs and clean last mile goods deliveries.

17. Mentioning “empowering women” specially is so important but we suggest that indigenous people deserve a special mention too.

18. The Transformative Commitments

These in our view should be the game changing paradigm shifting approaches.

19. We would suggest adding “the rapid mobilization of the private sector investment” from Goal 17

20. We suggest “fostering”be changed to “creating the enabling environment for researching, planning, designing, procuring and managing ecological and resilient cities, supporting sustainable patterns —-, including the use of CHEER methodology“

21. Effective Implementation: Urban Paradigm Shift

It would be a good to mention a National Infrastructure Plan that serves National and Local needs, as part of the renewed Local-National Partnership.

22. (a)  This would be reinforced significantly by a proposal on a possible governance structure for community participation and involvement of local and national government. We believe this can be through a “collaborative laboratory or collaboratory” supported by data and systems modelling to provide a transparent evidence base.

23. (b) could include the use of innovative CHEER methodology as stated above. Also the use of “performance based procurement” at all scales.

24. (c)  can be much more specific and you are welcome to use the clauses in Roadmap 2030 for the 

Policy, codes of practice, law, governance, procurement and capacity building” cross cutting theme under National Government Actor.

25. A. The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

 In clause 21 and 22 we suggest that “promotion” of urban equity is not enough. There needs to be a “planning and design and investment approach which delivers equity within a public private partnership”. This cannot be left to the market, but private capital is needed.

26. In clause 25 we repeat that we believe there needs to be more focus on “providing high quality education for all, targeting the skills needed in the future”.

27. We think the wording in clauses 25 and 26 of “ensuring” and “adopting appropriate measures” is not clear enough. These would be better tied to ”planning, design, performance based procurement and management”.

28. Clause 39. We commit to a safe and secure environment in cities” there is a need to understand the new “parallel physical and digital worlds of cities and the need to understand their interaction with respect to cyber-security”. Clauses have been put into Roadmap 2030 by global experts on this, and they can be used in the next Draft.

29. Clauses 42 to 44 could reflect the use of collaborative laboratories and new governance structures around data and systems modelling.

30. Clauses 45 and 46 We re-emphasise the need for high quality education and skill development to meet the city region needs.

31. Clauses 47, 48 and 49 could be strengthened in line with earlier comments in terms of more specific support to private sector investment through PPPP and the need to enable a more transparent and effective legal structure to enable for example, municipal and green bonds to be deployed and climate finance to be attracted.

32. Clauses 50 to 56 and 111 and 122. We commit to a new set of standards in the selection and design of the urban form and infrastructure, recognizing that they are among the greatest drivers of cost efficiencies, clustering co-benefits, and growth in the urban economy”.

We think that more should be made now of building (including housing) standards around energy generation, storage and efficiency so that buildings can move to become power stations. This rapidly developing and paradigm shifting technology allows public investment to move away from centralised power stations and into decentralised more resilient city generation and storage systems with smart grids.

33. We think that “green infrastructure” should be listed in infrastructure with it’s purpose to manage water and flood risk, reduce pollution of air, provide walking cycling and leisure facilities, cool the city and increase biodiversity and improve well-being. This ties in with the China “sponge city” approach too which is fundamental to flood risk management. We note clauses 56 and 71 seem to be repeating each other and are connected to this point.

34. Clause 68   The resilience boundaries of many resource systems have already been breached and The Planetary Health Commission Report says that our direction is now to restore regenerative capacity through improved land management and ecological restoration which can also mitigate climate change risk“——–consumption and production patterns, ensuring that they will not

exceed the ecosystem’s regenerative capacity”. It is important for this to be reflected here.

35.  Clause 70 to 73. “We also commit to enact national and territorial policies that

safeguard against environmental degradation and to mainstream ecology in the institutional setting” Safeguarding against degradation is no longer adequate as China has realised with their commitment to making “ecological progress”. Human health will deteriorate unless we follow this lead. Outside the city area, there also needs to be a change in resource management so that impact cleans up oceans, soils, air, water and allows ecosystems to recover. This is a challenging and important new agenda that city development must adopt if all Global Goals are to be achieved.

36.  Clause 74 “vis-à-vis the environmental impact and sustainability. We support the development of transparent frameworks for public and private entities to report on their

environmental footprints to ensure sustainability”. The CHEER modelling and measurement approach can be used at all scales for social, environmental, ecological and economic metrics and would provide a means to do this which is consistent.

37. Maybe there could be a reminder in clauses 79 to 83 that these are commitments that were signed up to in Sendai framework.

Reference Roadmap 2030

Prof David Simon Research centre director and professor from Sweden
Sat, May 21, 2016 at 05.30 pm
  1. It is excellent to note that the wording of the various SDG 11 targets and indicators has been included as part of the main text. This will provide a good reference point. However, at present the respective sentences are not explicitly identified as such.  Indeed, the first explicit mention of the links between the NUA and SDG indicators appears in paragraph 166, very near the end. Explicit identification would be helpful, with a sentence in the Preamble to explain this at the outset since the NUA in effect provides the intellectual and strategic framing for SDG 11, including the transformative (as opposed to purely incremental) potential. 
  2. Although unintentional, the zero draft implicitly perpetuates a notion of an urban-rural dichotomy. This will work against the achievability of thetransformative commitments and can be readily addressed by adding a sentence to the Preamble to make explicit that cities are not islands and that sustainable urbanism can be achieved only as part of sustainable urban regions and wider territories and functional areas, including rural areas. This would then also dovetail with the final version of Goal 11 that makes such connections in the absence of an explicitly rural Goal. Insertion of ‘peri-urban’ selectively in other paragraphs would also help avoid implying an urban-rural dichotomy.
  3. Para 6(a): equitable access should not be only to physical and social infrastructure but all urban facilities and opportunities.
  4. Para 6c: ‘ecological and resilient cities’ doesn’t quite work. What are ecological cities? Needs rewording.  

Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, May 20, 2016 at 02.27 pm

The contributions during the past few days continued to bring a wide range of topics, including food systems, the ecological dimension of sustainability, capacity building, productive cities, access and accessibility, revision of the approach to public spaces, the new planning practice.

Some contributions are extensive, with lots of information. Others are specific and to the point on how the Habitat III Agenda should be modified re. a particular topic (the contribution about the use of public spaces is a case in point, inter alia). Both types of contribution add value, in different ways.

In many cases, contributors have highlighted – and rightly so – the importance of a given topic. It would also be interesting to see how such topics could be specifically inserted in the Agenda.

As our discussion is on the Transformative Commitments (for Sustainable Urban Development), I ask you to elaborate on what transformative commitments should be made regarding the topic or topics you mentioned.

We need also to bear in mind the whole organizational structure of the Agenda, to have doable implementation. Should we have integrated urban sub-systems, and how? Or something else?

For example, the food system, as the name indicates, is already a system. Which needs of course integration with other systems, at the same time has its internal structure.

Some issues, such as for example, capacity building (and again food), may even be supra-urban. It is clear from the contributions that there are many needs for education, community training, vocational training and others types of training in human settlements. Government authorities at the national and provincial level may also play a role, as well as the private sector. How to organize this in the Agenda? 

How can the “new planning practice” be incorporated, and how does the “New Urban Agenda” relates or should relate to it? 

Climate Change Centre Reading
Thu, May 19, 2016 at 09.47 pm

Extract meaning from #Habitat3 with #UrbanBalance combating climate change #sb44 #Bonn #APA1 (Urban Climate Relevance)
Due to Anthropocene science it is possible to predict future scenarios for public and open spaces as part of the sharing paradigm

The missing link is science and facts which again need to be highlighted in every H3 Declaration and Policy paper. Also in outcome of the New Urban Agenda to cope directly with a healthy relationship to our planetary boundaries. The proposal is to link and reference Urban development to Anthropocene science (“Art&Science”).

To be true to fast changing in our society with regards to overlapping, crosscutting-sectorial and multilevel-disciplinary holistic approach, which is important and notable. The INTERSESSIONAL PROCESS need to interact with world leading Deep Decarbonization Pathway Project for electric generation solutions to our ”Cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse gas emissions”~Mr Joan Close.

Policy makers paving the road to the 2030 agenda for our future leaders. Simply refer to and measure carbon emissions numbers for all new infrastructure, buildings and transportation. RIGHT NOW 1.5/2 °C targets rely on 500-800 Gt of ‘negative emissions’ (based on “carbon allowance”).

A few comments from Climate Change Center Reading (CCCRdg) – “Urban Dialogue on the Zero Draft”
1 Building the new urban structure: Establishing a shared, sub-national & local framework with key stake holders
2 Inclusive urban equity & poverty change linked to rise in temperature and runaway climate change
3 Effective implementation of healthier and better public spaces
4 Enhancing means of implementation of the new urban agenda: Car-free day tool for implementation
5 Foster and plan ecological, resilient districts & human settlements in urban spatial development

1 Building the new urban structure: Establishing a shared, sub-national & local framework with key stake holders
Because of the many changes in our weather conditions caused by Climate change we have little choice but to adapt and keep preparedness to avoid the unpredictable unknown. As global population grows and numbers of refugees increase, migrants are moving into nearby megacities where urban development interfere with rapid changes greater part of the public space, our public-realm natural resources becoming an equity that we need to share in Togethernessship*; to avoid social segregation and exclusion. A minimum of half the land in urban areas must be allocated to public space, our urban commons. Risk Reduction and Public Emergency – Evacuation & Disaster Sheltering plans are needed for every city. This requires an urgent agenda item – why “We Should Make Every Effort” To Depopulate the Planet~Christiana Figueres.

Public Spaces need to take forefront and in the key messages for The Charter of Public Space and INU the Public Space Toolkit stresses the importance of mobilizing civil society into a safe pathway, Net Zero Spatial Development and Public Spaces.

Future virtual public spaces/places will play larger role in our developing society. In order to minimize the use of natural resources, so that we stay in balance and true to our planetary boundaries, we can manage future modelling pathway directions like scalability and shareability. (“It’s totally 1.6% chance right now, that we reach six degree rise in temperature.”~Johan Rockstroem)

One new scheme is the global divestment movement, changing our way of looking at fossil fuel subsidies, leading to cutting down of emission producing activities (deep decarbonization of our energy systems). This will bind us to new climate change legislation for 84 years. The world is determined and in agreement to combat three important human areas; Poverty, Economic growth (within Zero Carbon Economy) and Food security

Mary Robinson, newly-appointed UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, stressed the link between climate and human rights: Climate justice “The vulnerability of poor regions to climate change is an injustice. Climate is a human rights issue. We are making people’s lives worse through our inaction”.

2 Inclusive urban equity & poverty change linked to rise in temperature and runaway climate change
Megacities – The recognition of Public Spaces is to decrease poverty by giving the land back to the community. Sustainable Development Goals Social-, Environmental- and Climate justice together with a heavy focus on planetary boundaries, the choice of building materials, methods and transports/communications will have impact when planning for places; this will create new opportunities and establish an equitable economy, sharing “zero carbon” economy. We argue that a reinvention and revival of sharing values in our cities could enhance equity, rebuild community and dramatically cut resource use, taking us back to the beginning:

“The earliest cities developed in a number of places, from Mesopotamia to Asia to the Americas and were always about sharing, with their public spaces serving as focal places of exchange, encounter and entertainment. One of the largest with around 50,000 inhabitants at its peak was Mohenjo-daro, in present day Sindh Province, Pakistan. It existed from about 2600 BCE, and had a population of 50,000 or more. It had a marketplace, a shared well, a communal housing structure and public baths.”~Julian Agyeman

We can see a growing trend for priority-based regional fair intergovernmental action.

3 Effective implementation of healthier and better public spaces
Since the millennium we are looking into new methods of transport and communication, people’s quality of life and health is taking a bigger part in our lives. Keeping our environment safe, sustainable and healthy through monitoring is key:

“As we are about to fulfil the SDGs goals, we need to monitor and review how states implement them so as to learn from experience, encourage progress, and better steer the global effort. While useful, the SG’s Report (“Critical Milestones toward Coherent, Efficient and Inclusive Follow-Up and Review at the Global Level”) does not go far enough. We urge remedial action concerning monitoring.”

If in the urban planning development for public spaces, with regards to implications of a warming planet are not taken care of now the cost of repairing insufficient temporary measures and remodeling implements later will be significant higher. The industry must recognise that Placemaking can be an excellent entry point in dealing with climate change for the well-being of urban dwellers, in which healthy creative activities truly have value. From a community engagement perspective a town area in sustainable development like in some slum dweller cities, has a unique opportunity to grab and hold on to when it comes to role modelling an urban Eco-evolution. Think differently and your city´s future can be sustainable and its value would grow and attract much attention. This is an Eco-opportunity to attract investments and interest. The challenge is global but the solutions are local, through regions, businesses, the future of public places requires long term shared commitments.

Partnerships in the sustainable urban development agenda

The success of sustainability of great Placemaking is that it showcases what conditions and capabilities need to be met in order to plan and develop green sustainable projects. Future public spaces arena can remove obstacles, so that the Zero Carbon Economy becomes mainstream in rapidly urbanizing cities, self-promotes market mechanisms to facilitate compliance with environmental laws and thus the development of a sharing “low carbon” economy. Partnerships between key players and influencers are of utmost importance- especially given the urgency of the rapid changes in land use and in weather conditions- bridging and capping the urban gaps between project financing, expertise and technical assistance.

Balanced and mixed use of our public space between integrated interest groups; people, bikes, public transport and cars is a kind of damage control, keeping the new agenda safe and sustainable. Especially regarding the cars’ use of the public realm, which is still 80% of street space (if you design mixed use streets you design a healthy city). This high percentage for car use needs to drop dramatically to balance green space and cope with future challenges. For instance if urban neighbourhoods could interact and agree (Empowered interconnection) to regular car-free days on a working day (see next paragraph), for example, even/odd area zones or on regular dates life in our citizen communities would improve considerably. At the moment 1000 projects are taking place globally to recover heart values from the past, lost due to rapid industrialization and dwellernization. For the first time, we can actually monitor and shape urban encounters into our own future. For example walk-ability through corridors inside or under commercial space could enhance outdoor environmental planning (trend underground placemaking).
For increased mixed use of space to happen we need public space indicators that could help measure and monitor the urban common. The Charter of Public Space and INU the Public Space Tool-kit and principles are excellent in giving it form and shape. A public space/place ICT -filter for Sustainability, with which you can monitor and compare GIS data etc., like traffic information systems, but for “Public Places Connected..” with added safeguarding indicators – Monitoring is key. The smart city invest in data-driven urban development!

Smart sensors can track, identify and analyse non-environmental development and generate healthy urban statistics for a greener and healthier pathway.

Promotion of Socio-Economic Development,
Planners, architects and designers work together to create a turn-key energy efficiency and distributed generation planning program to be implemented by retail groups. Their work with committed stakeholders ensures a move away from fossil fuels and dirty energy continues to gain momentum.

4 Enhancing means of implementation of the new urban agenda: Car-free day tool of implementation
Let’s help make a Monthly Car-Free Work-Day a global reality! The following cities across the world have successfully held car-free days; in Indonesia, Paris, Dubai, 埔里無車日 (Puli), Bristol, Brussels and Vancouver etc. Car emissions are a major contributor to air pollution, which affects people’s quality of life and health.

As part of the Monthly Car-Free Work-Day initiative all motorized vehicles, excluding public transport, emergency services, council vehicles and other limited exception, will be off the road for the day. Perhaps this could be combined with a “Monthly Public Transport Day”? A regular Car-Free Day is the opportunity to make motorists more aware of the environmental impact of pollution and allow better use of public space. Government, it´s Time for urban Action!


Ambient Air Quality
Air quality is important for our health, quality of life and the environment. Air pollution is harmful to human health, plants and animals, and also corrodes materials and buildings.

– Perhaps a call for a combined day of ‘public transportation’ to combat the health effects of air pollution!

We should visualise Mega-Cities using Green Urban Statistics based on people numbers and healthy choices rather than numbers of cars and policies. The link between climate change and placemaking can be crucial when it comes to switching to zero carbon fuels.

Green is the new infrastructure

Local transport
An effective transport system is fundamental to building sustainable and thriving local communities. The challenge is to minimise transport’s contribution to GreenHouse Gas emissions, through reducing the need to travel, encouraging the use of more sustainable modes of transport and alternative energy sources, and reducing congestion.

Develop a transport infrastructure which supports more low carbon travel options for people
By developing a friendly pedestrian/cycling infrastructure such as bridges, and premier cycle routes. By supporting electrical charging stations for electric vehicles and introducing more cycle hire
Encourage non-car travel for all sectors of the population, through targeted advice, incentives and enforcement
By promoting and helping to develop personalised travel planning, introducing incentive schemes like a monthly car-free work-day and increasing enforcement on parking and bus lanes
Reduce energy use and ‘embodied energy’ in transport infrastructure
By better control of lighting and use of low energy lighting. Reducing unnecessary lighting of street furniture
Manage transport infrastructure and services to prepare for climate change
By developing infrastructure appropriately given the changing climate, reallocating space for public transport and cycling and introducing smarter ways to manage congestion and speed, e.g. with social media and best practice road layouts and divest from fossil fuels
Reduce the air pollution from vehicles
By supporting relevant technology and car-pooling schemes, expanding park and ride system and supporting charging sites for electric vehicles
The “monthly car-free work-day” will promote various green project solutions and can also be a testing facility for monitoring and analysing local community for the council.

A car-free work-day will lead to a change in behaviour, enabling the community to work towards becoming a Zero Impact Society.

An international monthly Car-Free Day which could be an astonishing example of traffic development and public realm. The world has great potential to embrace the sustainable pathway, and Car-Free Days can via placemaking become a role-model to slow down global warming and to share dynamism and hope to honour a successful climate change agreement taking place in Quito October 2016 (the air is our urban common).

On behalf of the Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg), we would like to ask you for your consideration of our proposed project to sponsor/drive a planetary bid for a “Monthly Car-Free Work-Day”.

Highlighting the third Wednesday of every month through the year as
Planet´s Monthly Car-Free Work-Days, 20/5, 17/6, 15/7 etc.

This is an event that has been held in cities around the world, with areas being closed off to cars thus encouraging people to use more sustainable forms of transport, such as walking, cycling or public transport. The event challenges people to:

Spend one day without using their car
Observe the difference this makes to their locality
Reflect on how car use can be reduced permanently
This will help us to achieve our aims of reducing air pollution, developing sustainability and increasing the Planet’s green credentials through:

Encouraging people to find alternatives to car use
Reducing emissions / pollution
Raising awareness
A Car-Free Work-Day has the potential to improve the quality of life on Earth through a reduction in traffic, and therefore noise and pollution, and also make people more aware of how their own actions impact on the environment.

It´s important to strive for community usage of the streets in order to preserve its heritage qualities but also as a sustainable landmark for the future.

“Territorial: understand cities as a system of relationships between urban/rural areas operating as an urban ecosystem” #NewUrbanGovernance. The main aim is to bring together businesses, the local community, the Government and those who want to learn about Zero Impact Placemaking, in order to create collaborative momentum to reduce CO2 in urban environments, find new solutions to commuting, increase remote working and develop sustainability in their regions, and beyond.

There are very good reasons to hold community street events in a traffic-free street:
Making use of the space that a car-free day provide~ Boris Johnson
Streets are open and ‘owned’ by everyone and so very accessible
Communities normally suffering from traffic can be opened up
Neighbourhood community centres can be revitalized by traffic-free events
They provide new sites for local street markets which are very popular
Once the traffic is cleared the space opens new possibilities for community activities, particularly in areas needing regeneration – their image can be improved. Communities of different ethnic origins sometimes use streets in different ways, drawing on their own culture that is one reason why we also want Culture as a goal in the #POST2015 Development Agenda, this is another subject.

5 Foster & Plan ecological & resilient cities & human settlements in urban spatial development
Urban farming has many great values as part of sharing cities eco-system why ignoring the need for green infrastructure in cities is fatal
“Territorial: understand cities as a system of relationships between urban/rural areas operating as an urban ecosystem” #NewUrbanGovernance.

CCCRdg would like to see Urban Farming high up on the New Urban Agenda which is a global movement in urban agricultural development, from urban gardening and green roofs to vertical and rooftop farming via #greenspaces #biodiversity #airpollution #natureincities #cityfootprint #vfua etc.

See this article…

A good example is from KwaMashu, Durban, South Africa, you can find lots of facts via Google on “”urban+farming” agriculture Durban the poor”

CCCRdg find the complexity challenging and really interesting in this example,…

Balancing abstract

Urban agriculture in South Africa has historically been labelled as an illegal activity. The problems caused by this labelling have been compounded by the traditional planning system in South Africa, which does not recognize urban agriculture as a part of the land use in the urban landscape.

Local knowledge own “Place information” from above experienced, we need to connect locally for shared info on farming/guarding and urban composting, of food waste solutions as a sustainable alternative to landfill.


Economic Freedom FightersEFF: Claims;

“This land grab is part of our provincial programme to claim land for our members. This is not only happening in Ballito but all over the province.”

“Our members from that area do not have places to build so we encouraged them to look for land and go occupy and start to build their homes. They are going to erect their houses and once they have been there for 48 hours they cannot legally be removed. If the government wants to remove them they must go and accommodate them somewhere else,”

“If they even try to move us we will meet them in court,”

“Cities basically have a choice between guaranteed catastrophe and a fighting chance to keep our ecosystems alive.”
New movements are time consuming, we are out of time and we need to tackle the solutions with difficult decisions, population targets, zero meat consumption, degrowth, “ecological economy” buffer for the unknown, migration, unrest and war aspects, air/soil/water and plastic pollution relation/contribution to sea temperatures (oceans asthma), regional zero carbon show case study, energy justice, climate and human rights, anti-austerity, placemaking, consumption targets, urban farming, green roofs and walls, time efficiency, Global AirQuality. “NO Climate Change plan without Sustainable Development Goals”~Climate Change Centre Reading (CCCRdg)

Through acting now like @guardian-news-&-media has chosen to Divest, YOU can actually delay some of the Climate change effects that global warming and it´s change in weather will carry out in the future (Environment Leadership). Your city is a future city; please feel free to share this with your public space fellows

*Sharing a human caused economy – where we share as much as possible, from our whole infrastructure to jobs, this happens in the Anthropocene room between public space and cyberspace.

*Togethernessship – All about inspiration and agreement, being truly inclusive and Safeguarding the future. The complex nature of our environment makes it hard to focus on preventing GreenHouse Gases, which are directly related to global warming. The downside of the problem is that everything is interlinked and needs to be backtracked We have the time scale which is rapidly shrinking, so emissions gap closed before HabitatIII in Quito and COP22 in Paris, in October/December is essential..

RUAF Foundation-International network on urban agriculture and food systems
Thu, May 19, 2016 at 04.05 pm

Resilient cities do require resilient urban or city region food systems

With urban population growth, the challenge of ensuring food and nutrition security for all is becoming more and more an urban one. Rapid urban sprawl, increasing vulnerability to food price hikes and climate impacts, changes in consumption patterns and related increase in diet-related health problems, all call for increasing attention to providing the world’s growing urban population with adequate, safe, balanced and affordable food. Urban growth is also directly related to increased demand for natural resources (land and water) that provide vital food and ecosystem services. In this context, it is surprising the NUA hardly mentions food and food systems.

City region food systems offer concrete policy and programme opportunities within which multiple development goals can be addressed and through which rural and urban areas and communities in a given city region are directly linked. They address specifically SDG target 11a. to support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas, and are instrumental in linking SDG 11 with SDG 2 (on sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security) and SDG 12 (on sustainable production and consumption).

City region food systems are vital to implementation of the New Urban Agenda. First the benefits of city region food systems are multiple and stretch far beyond the food system to key policy areas of concern to the New Urban Agenda, including local economic development and urban governance, spatial and economic planning, public health and ecosystem protection. Second, the development of city region food systems can generate positive political support for wider urban rural linkages through coalition building centred on food. And thirdly, city region food systems merit attention in their own right given the importance of addressing more sustainable urban food systems and urban and rural development.

The (implementation of the) New Urban Agenda should define the development of sustainable city region food systems among the recommended and supported implementation actions for more sustainable development and integrated urban and rural territorial  planning and management. In order to do so, the role of local and subnational governments in this area should be enhanced through subsidiarity, institutional capacity building and support. 

In order for local and (sub)national governments and city region nutrition sensitive food systems to play an effective role in shaping sustainable urban and rural territories, the NUA should encourage planning instruments, governance mechanismsaddressing cross-sectorial integration as well as improving horizontal and vertical government collaboration, while ensuring direct multi-stakeholder participation and governance from urban and rural consumers and producers, civil society, research organisations and the local private sector in the design, implementation and monitoring of city region food policies and programmes. 

Facilitating national policies and legal frameworks as well as supporting structures and development cooperation are needed to ensure inclusion of city region food systems policies and programmes in institutional structures and budgets, in land use planning and protection and city development plans and regulations and in operationalising the “Right to Food” and “Right to the City”.   

City regions have a large variety of strategies, tools and instruments available to facilitate sustainable development of their city region nutrition sensitive food systems. These include:

Support to small-scale producers through amongst others promotion of (improved agro-ecological practices in) and provision of technical and marketing support to urban, peri-urban and rural producers, short supply chains and local procurement policies.

 Support to vulnerable urban and rural consumers that can be facilitated through food procurement, price regulation, recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption social support programmes, education and life-long learning programmes.  

Sustainable resource management and recycling, requirings zoning and preservation of agricultural land areas and watersheds and improved (food) waste management.  

I hope the NUA will give a voice to the increasing number of cities and city regions that are committed to develop more sustainble urban food systems, amongst them the 120 cities that have signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact!

Facilitating national policies and legal frameworks as well as supporting structures and development cooperation are needed to ensure inclusion of city region food systems policies and programmes in institutional structures and budgets, in land use planning and protection and city development plans and regulations and in operationalising the “Right to Food” and “Right to the City”.   

City regions have a large variety of strategies, tools and instruments available to facilitate sustainable development of their city region nutrition sensitive food systems. These include:

Support to small-scale producers through amongst others promotion of (improved agro-ecological practices in) and provision of technical and marketing support to urban, peri-urban and rural producers, short supply chains and local procurement policies.

Support to vulnerable urban and rural consumers that can be facilitated through food procurement, price regulation, recovery and redistribution of safe and nutritious food for human consumption social support programmes, education and life-long learning programmes.  

Sustainable resource management and recycling, requirings zoning and preservation of agricultural land areas and watersheds and improved (food) waste management.  

Nina van Rijn Research Intern SDSN-Andes from Netherlands
Thu, May 19, 2016 at 12.40 pm

I would like to contribute both to Sub-Topic 1 and 2, as I argue these are highly interconnected and meet each other in a shared ‘answer’. The answer to these issues of urban equity, poverty eradication and inclusive urban prosperity is, in my view: democracy and an increased public sphere, which materializes in giving back the city to the people that live in it.

 I fully agree with the statement in the Zero Draft that public spaces are “enablers of the socio-economic function of the city”. Social inequality should be reduced by reallocating resources or redistribution of wealth. The best way to do this is by creating public spaces and public transport accessible to everyone. These places are governed by their users, which smoothens social inequality. But I would like to take it a step further than the Zero Draft does in two ways.

  1. The Zero Draft says that these should be “designed and managed to ensure human development”. I argue that public spaces should not only be designed and managed, but given back to their users. The users should own and govern their own public spaces, which reduces social inequality and likely enhances creative and innovative use of the public spaces. Not the local governance or a private company should own these places and commodities. The public should own them. That’s the prerequisite for democracy, inclusiveness and equality can be established.
  2. The Zero Draft argues that these public spaces consist of streets, sidewalks, squares, parks, et cetera. But I argue that much more than only these physical spaces should be made public. Education, health care, water, electricity, public transportation should all be made public, and open and available to everyone, which I believe is realizable on the city level, more easily than on a national level. As an example, I would like to mention the city of Freiburg in Germany, whose citizens take back control of their electricity supply. 
Usha Nair Co-focal Point (Women and Gender Constituency (UNFCCC); Volunteer with AIWC looking after Climate Change related programs. from India
Tue, May 17, 2016 at 11.47 am

Under sub topic 2, Sustainable And Inclusive Urban Prosperity And Opportunities For All, item 45, I would like to see creation of green jobs (defined as ‘work in agricultural, manufacturing, research and development (R&D), administrative, and service activities that contribute(s) substantially to preserving or restoring environmental quality’ by UNEP). Sustainable  energy, water and waste management, protection of eco systems and preservation of traditional knowledge are areas where such jobs could be created. Given the major role that women play in intrgrating the culture of a green economy into households and families, they must be given pride of place in the planning and implementation of these policies. 

Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Tue, May 17, 2016 at 09.23 am

In the past few days the discussion continued on an exciting pace, with wide-reaching contributions including support to the Agenda at national level, inclusion of specific groups, fiscal resources, mobility, migration, capacity building (including education), extreme climatic events, culture and architecture.

A challenge for the Agenda is how to integrate all these themes in a comprehensive and coherent way. I hereby ask this question to the contributors and would like to hear your views.

Recurring themes in the discussion include social inclusion, migration and capacity building.

On social inclusion and migration, may I kindly refer you to my previous set of comments and questions.

On capacity building, I would like to bring to your attention the importance of professional training for workers in the different sectors of the urban economy. While we do need capacity building of institutions, and also the strengthening of the education system, at the same time it is also important to bring professional training or (retraining) into the equation. The workers are the actors who build human settlements and keep them running. How to better prepare them to (contribute to) the cities of the future?

The comment on culture and architecture brings the opportunity to suggest linking such themes to the urban economy. Investing in the repair and maintenance of the built cultural heritage will at the same time: (a) protect & promote the culture of the settlement, (b) provide employment in construction, and (c) generate multiplier effects through tourism. This will also benefit cultural industries which again with strengthen tourism, all bringing social and economic dividends to the cities. Do you have cases studies which illustrate this?

I look forward to your responses and to new contributions. 

James Gleave Founder from United Kingdom
Thu, May 19, 2016 at 09.36 pm

Capacity building of professionals is critical, I agree. The most critical challenge is determining what are the key skills outside of a core set of capabilities that require development to meet the challenges of what our cities will look like in the future. There is currently divergence in these future challenges, and so different cities are demanding different skills. Cities need to work with professional bodies to ensure all professionals have a core set of capabilities that is transferable across cities across the world, allowing these professionals to adapt them based upon knowledge gained of the context of each city.

This could also be supported by regional partnerships between cities, such as in Europe. But influence is needed from global networks of cities. All cities can learn from one another, so professionals in these cities can learn from one another, so demands for training can change. 

Usha Nair Co-focal Point (Women and Gender Constituency (UNFCCC); Volunteer with AIWC looking after Climate Change related programs. from India
Tue, May 17, 2016 at 11.25 am

Capacity building of workers is most important, no doubt. But equally important is building awareness and capacity among the inhabitants of the city. They are the ones who will use the infrastructure, enjoy the services and maintain the ethos. Unless each citizen is made aware of the importance of the proposed changes and improvements the commitment to support the cause will be zbsent. It is aldo important to invlude their voices in policy and implemdntation.

candi Community Leader from United States
Mon, May 16, 2016 at 10.49 pm
Grethel Castellanos Grethel Castellanos ARQUITECTA PLANIFICADORA TERRITORIAL ….AMBIENTAL from Dominican Republic
Mon, May 16, 2016 at 10.40 pm

TEMA 2~ Prosperidad urbana Sostenible e Inclusiva …..

Siendo el tema del desarrollo de Ciudades Prosperas uno de los temas centrales de H III, deberia ser incorporado  como eje transversal por su caracter incluyente para una gestion del desarrollo sostenible en que el proceso de urbanizacion es considerado   una  herramienta vital de su economia.

Tue, May 17, 2016 at 03.04 am

Dear moderators, colleagues,

 This is Eric Guozhong ZHANG (email: again, I am a Social Affairs Officer working in the UNDESA, the Division for Social Policy and Development .

Thanks for this opportunity to share some additional inputs on the topic  under discussion basic goals of sustainable urban development and decent shelter and services for all, the Zero Draft has three key points need pay a close attention:

 First, there is a need for recognizing  the difference between the two terms “access” and “accessibility”. Even using the modifier “universal” does not provide for accessible goods / services / institutions / infrastructure – both public and private.

 Second, there is a need to recognise “accessibility” as a collective good, which was mentioned before by myself and others more or less. What is important point I shall underscore is that urban development  agenda shall incorporate  accessibility as an over-arching criterion of what constitutes good policy aimed at furthering sustainable urban development goals for all. Right now, accessibility can been seen here or there in the Zero Draft.

 As presented in the current zero draft, accessibility is associated mainly with persons with disabilities  which is fine. However,  the universal contribution of environmental accessibility to sustainable, equitable and inclusive urban development for all is somehow not  given enough recognition if not totally neglected. Accessibility thus may be  only viewed a “cost” rather than inherent benefit issue . In fact, a universally designed accessible city is good city for city’s economic growth and social integration and it benefit all urban users as well as visitors for example tourists .

It is noticed that in the North American planning profession, there has been a shift in planning practice from plan making as an end in itself to a component of overall development and financial planning and management: perhaps this is a resources issue as few public agencies have funds to do “pretty” but rarely implemented plans. Three elements have been identified in professional planning literature that distinguish “new” planning practice in the 21st century: (1), there is a matter of substance, in particular a focus on sustainability and on inclusion; (2), there is the changing role of planning, from an exercise in analysis and report writing, to a clear link with resources and budget (cost recovery, too); and (3) there is an observed shift in the role of public sector planning, from advisor to actor in decisions. It seems me a bit surprise that almost non of these elements are evident among the action proposals in the current Zero Draft. In other word, as my last point of proposal to  the drafting team for the Zero Draft, that is:  there is a need to incorporate these elements as “governments which have not already done so are urged to …. [for a […substance / role / form] “.

Thank you very much for attention and consideration.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Sun, May 15, 2016 at 08.30 pm

Local governments need to draft Urban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan/Programme (#UCEEP)

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to suggest a draft strategy of a general Urban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan/Program (UCEEP) to consider it being included in the Habitat III policy documents. Urban Extreme Climatic Events are likely to occur more frequent even with probability of a calamites striking our cities.  How many capitals or state province capitals are ready and has an updated UCEEP in place interlinked with the New Urban Agenda? – Not many at all, Tokyo Yes, Berlin No, Bonn ? etc. Addressing greater safety action for the need of shelter and protection. Where is your city’s evacuation plan?

As you all are well aware of global emissions will and cannot within our planets carbon allowance, keep temperature levels under two degrees.

To save lives the five global agreements (Sendai, Addis-Ababa, New York, Paris and Quito) need to offer climatic disaster response and city preparedness by order of continental/global magnitude.

If steps are taken to recognise preparations for evacuation areas and urban craters in dense city areas this can be a just and fair transformative transmission, perhaps then cities can be lucky with a response plan/program due to coming climate change impacts.

The blog link on where the UCEEP draft working paper was published on May 5, 2015 and can also be downloaded at:

“Dealing with a climate crisis has now gone planetary — planners and policy makers alert the importance for vulnerable citizens of having an Urban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan policy in place for the outcome of the New Urban Agenda, proven realistic in an actual emergency.

Considering the general policies of the national government a first draft UCEEP to complement the 2030 agenda, for urban settlement equipped with detailed evacuation plans for facilitating and handling a climate crisis as seen in every continent on the planet.”

This strategy first draft working paper was developed as city adoption to Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. Only since then we have seen severe tropical storms, impact flooding, forest fires, rise in air pollution etc. Therefore, the urge to raise awareness before negotiations at PrepCom3 Surabaya (July) and at Habitat III taking place in Quito (October) and COP22 in Marrakesh etc.

Kind regards,
/Carl Emerson-Dam

Giving Life Nature Nature
Sat, May 14, 2016 at 09.49 pm

My name is Eric Komla Amedjakou, I am a staff of Giving Life Nature Volunteer, Ghana. I would like to share my comments on Sub-Topic 1:- Leave no one behind ,urban equity & poverty erradication.  I believe with volunterizime for one in need of help in all endeavours of life irrespective of gender ;nationality ,religion ethnicity, we may leave no one behind. How do we create equity  to the poor in urban communities?  By giving life in the area of economic empowerment some may wonder how, by providing  training   to the illiterate, semi-literate on wealth creation, business management, book -keeping  and working capital. Periodically you evaluate their progress and  update those on the rails of  retrogression  with refresher seminar and involving in their line of business, therefore i plead for all hands to be on deck for poverty erradication. Thank you.

Usha Nair Co-focal Point (Women and Gender Constituency (UNFCCC); Volunteer with AIWC looking after Climate Change related programs. from India
Sat, May 14, 2016 at 07.31 am

Women face acute challenges in the urban areas with respect to food security of families,  livelihoods, safety and security and access to resources. These challnges are aggravated in the backdrop of migration to unknown areas and the dual responsibility of family and earning a living. Hence gender sensitisation programs for policy makers, implementers and the migrants themselves must form an important element of any urban policy. Equal and equitable participation of women at all levels of policy making and implementation will help in making urban areas safer and happier for women. UNFCCC has a decision that makes it mandatory for countries and organisations to maintain gender balance in the delegations and committees dealing with policies and implementation. Capacity building is also taken up on priority to ensure compliance.

Colleen Thouez – Discussion Moderator / Senior Research & Training Advisor, UNITAR from
Sat, May 14, 2016 at 10.01 am

How do gender needs differ in different regions?  

Where are we seeing the most progress in understanding how to distinguish needs based on gender (i.e. for men and boys also)?  

Can you provide a country/region-specific example relating to resilience in the context of climate change and how local authorities are acting and reacting in tune with these distinctions?

Asociación de Técnicos Superiores y Peritos Judiciales de Andalucía
Fri, May 13, 2016 at 10.17 pm

Sociedad Civil y Educación Ciudadana.

Es fundamental la participación cada vez más activa de las organizaciones civiles en la educación de la población, y por ello es necesario ampliar la competencias y derechos relacionados con la educación y la formación de estas organizaciones, pues son las que también captan y se adaptan más rápidamente a las necesidades y cambios sociales.

Desde la Asociación de Técnicos Superiores y Peritos Judiciales de Andalucía, creemos que la clave para un mejor desarrollo urbano, debe estar fundamentado en una mejora educativa y formativa, comenzando por una mayor participación y reconocimiento del trabajo realizado en este ámbito por las organizaciones civiles. Ya que la educación y la formación son uno de los pilares fundamentales de la cohesión social y la igualdad de oportunidades.

¿Que opinan ustedes?

Colleen Thouez – Discussion Moderator / Senior Research & Training Advisor, UNITAR from United States
Mon, May 16, 2016 at 05.24 pm
Es verdad que la formación y el aprendizaje de los funcionarios alrededor de las cuestiones de derecho y la práctica es fundamental. Representando una asociación profesional, podrán apreciar que hay que analizar en mayor profundidad cómo la formación y el aprendizaje se llevan a cabo para asegurarse de que estamos ayudando a los funcionarios a responder a sus preguntas (no necesariamente las nuestras), adoptar las habilidades que son relevantes para su contexto, y apoyar el conocimiento adquirido o readquirido a través de comunidades de práctica eficaces.
Cátedra UNESCO paisajes culturales y patrimonio. UPV/EHU
Thu, May 12, 2016 at 05.34 pm

[Sub-topic 1. Leave no one behind, urban equity & poverty eradication]

From the UNESCO Chair landscapes and Cultural Heritage of the University of the Basque Country we consider very interesting the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda and daughters we express congratulations.
Regarding the Implementation Plan of Quito, we consider it necessary to highlight the importance of cultural heritage as an essential element in sustainable urban development. In our opinion, it is not given the importance it requires the development of management strategies and planning to ensure their protection and safeguard by establishing limits of acceptable change from the impact of contemporary architecture and accelerated change to be necessary which they are subject cities of the XXI century. Greetings.

Joanne Irvine, Knowledge Management Expert, Joint Migration and Development Initiative, UNDP from Belgium
Thu, May 12, 2016 at 05.06 pm

[Sub-topic 1. Leave no one behind, urban equity & poverty eradication]

There is a need to ensure that the positive linkages between migration, displacement and sustainable urban development are well established in the New Urban Agenda in order to reflect the benefits of migration when well managed at the local level. Human mobility is first and foremost an urban phenomenon whereby cities are finding themselves increasingly at the forefront of managing human mobility both in terms of internal migration, forced displacement and international migration.

Refugees, displaced persons and migrants bring many assets, skills and resources and evidence confirms the economic and social contribution make to their host cities. Yet lack of capacities, support at national level, fiscal resources and understanding of their migratory context can leave local and regional authorities unable to harness this potential. The Joint Migration and Development Initiative is therefore supporting local and regional authorities to build their capacities to do so and to show that the local dimension of migration management is a crucial success factor for sustainable urban development.

Indeed, the good management of human mobility and the extent to which this in integrated into the Prague Declaration and New Urban Agenda will determine how well we will be able to ensure the various other aspects and goals of the same, such as mitigating urban poverty, managing demographic changes and tackling urban sprawl.

This is fully in line with the recognition of the positive contribution of migrants towards inclusive growth and sustainable development that is now reflected in the new SDGs and the UN SG’s 5-point Agenda for Humanity that calls for ‘no one is left behind’ including migrants and the displaced. A good start on how to ensure this integration is looking at the Quito Local Agenda which is the final outcome document of the JMDI, UNITAR and KNOMAD supported “Mayoral Forum on Human Mobility, Migration and Development”, the second of which took place in Quito. This forum brought local and regional authorities, IOs and NGOs together to look at how local and regional authorities can contribute to the implementation of the migration-related targets of the SDGs through 11 action points. I have attached this document for your reference.

Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Thu, May 12, 2016 at 08.22 am

Thank you also from my side, Ana, Bettina, Eric and Soyinka, for your respective contributions, which kick-started the discussion in a fast pace, bringing in a broad range of issues – including social aspects of housing, accessibility of people with disabilities, migration, infrastructure and economic empowerment. The contributions made interesting connections between different elements of the Habitat Agenda, as well as provided detailed suggestions in specific themes. 
A cross-cutting theme of the contributions is the question of how to better integrate different groups of people in the city – the poor, the migrant, those with disabilities. This reinforces the ‘chapeau’ of leaving no one behind, also connecting to sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all. 
From a particular perspective of promoting prosperity and opportunities via better urban livelihoods, I would like to make some points and invite you to respond and expand: 
. Infrastructure and economic empowerment: infrastructure is essential for urban development at the same time can generate much-needed jobs. But these jobs need to bedecentjobs, so how to promote this in the context of the Habitat Agenda. Decent work needs pro-active policies. It is not just a matter of hoping that economic growth will bring new jobs and better working conditions by default. What can be done at the municipal level? 
. Housing: points similar to those made about infrastructure can also be made about housing – in relation to economic empowerment. In this context, I bring to your attention ILO’s Recommendation 115, which is about workers’ housing and can be used as (another) instrument to promote housing for all. More specifically, I would like to bring to the discussion the concept of “community contracting” for low-income housing production and upgrading – as opposed to the now traditional concept of “self-help”. What do you think of community contracting in the context of the Habitat Agenda? 
. The inclusion of migrants and disabled people also entails their inclusion in the urban labour market, with open opportunities and without discrimination. But labour policies are usually centralized at the Miniistry of Labour. How can local governments and other local actors act in this account, and should they? How to link this to the Habitat Agenda? 
This website may be of interest:
Thanks again and I look forward to continuing the debate. Edmundo
Bettina Etter Programme Officer Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation from Switzerland
Wed, May 11, 2016 at 03.12 pm

I would like to contribute a few reflections on the growing relevance of urban migration and the role of cities in this respect.

With the landmark adoption of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the international community has pledged to leave no one behind and thus recognizes marginalization as one of the principal development challenges to address until 2030. Despite and due to the promise of city life, poverty and marginalization are increasingly becoming an urban issue. In the context of rapid urbanization – acknowledged as a major priority of sustainable development in SDG 11– social marginalization becomes most apparent with respect to reduced educational and economic opportunities, often missing basic service provision as well as regarding the inclusion of marginalized residents, such as migrants.

Regarding migration, cities have always been and are continuously gaining importance as hubs of migration as the world rapidly urbanizes. The unprecedented expansion of cities in the 21st century is to a large extent due to increasing human mobility on a global scale. Cities are chosen as places of permanent or temporary residence due to their transformative power both at individual and societal level. Due to social segregation and marginalization however, urban migrants tend to establish themselves in informal urban settlements. These “arrival cities” are therefore at the same time the main important entry points into the urban system, yet represent also a huge challenge regarding the social inclusion of its inhabitants.

Migration into cities is one significant among many relevant factors influencing the fluid dynamism in growing urban settlements that change the face of a city. On the one hand, migration is challenging the social, economic, environmental and cultural fabric of cities. It is putting pressure on infrastructure, social services, access to jobs, environmental resilience and, not least, social cohesion among urban communities. On the other hand, migration can be a driver for a city’s prosperity and has enormous potential for poverty reduction in rural areas to which migrants remain linked through family and community systems.

To effectively address the challenge of marginalization, effective urban planning and local governance in cities is essential to ensure the social inclusion of marginalized residents, such as urban migrants. The New Urban Agenda (NUA) must not miss the opportunity to comprehensively recognize the role of cities in governing the multi-dimensional implications of migration for societies by ensuring an enabling environment for the multiple contributions of migrants to societies and their potential for development.

The NUA Zero already addresses some of the following key elements regarding urban migrants and the respective role of cities that should be reflected in the New Urban Agenda:

  • The NUA should promote the inclusion of anticipated population and migration trends in global, national and local urban development plans in order to enhance the resilience and capacities of cities to absorb and effectively govern population growth.

  • The NUA should promote an enabling environment and framework conditions in cities that facilitate the positive contributions of migrants to urban development (economic, social and cultural) and the potential of urban migration to strengthen rural-urban linkages through economic activity, financial exchanges, skills and knowledge transfer, etc.

  • Migrants, refugees, and displaced persons should always be included in the NUA when referring to groups with specific vulnerabilities or needs. In this regard, both the value of transversal inclusion of migration in different urban sector policies as well as promote targeted measures to address the protection of rights and specific vulnerabilities of migrants, refugees, and displaced persons should be recognized.

  • The NUA should promote the coordination and coherence of urban migration governance and policies at all policy levels (global – national – local) and must especially confirm the indispensable role of cities. Further, inclusive participation of all relevant stakeholders, especially local authorities, local private sector, local civil society, and migrant communities must be ensured in designing urban migration policy frameworks.

Eric Guozhong ZHANG Social Affairs Officer
Wed, May 11, 2016 at 02.38 pm

General comments There still exists a space for improving and strengthening the current Zero draft New Urban Agenda, in view of the close inter-linkage among the three pillars of  social , economic and environmental dimensions for a sustainable and inclusive urban development agenda to pursue in the 2030 Agenda.

There key messages underscoring accessibility and inclusion of disability in the contexts of Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda are critical for achieving this goal in this regard.

(1)  The needs, rights and perspectives of persons with disabilities in all aspects of urban development;

(2)  Participation and inclusion of persons with disabilities in urban development as both agents and beneficiaries in the development, including in the processes of the UN Habitat III.  So far, persons with disabilities have yet counted as a “Major Group of Stakeholders” in the Habitat III;

(3) Environmental accessibility following universal design shall be recognized as a good urban policy and promoted in practices in a more active way, appreciating it as a part of solution with huge positive externality and added value to respond to the call for a transformative and inclusive New Urban Agenda that Habitat III is aiming to achieve.

At the international level, there are already a number key international agreements concerning accessibility and persons with disabilities, including a legally-binding Convention on the Rights of Persons of with Disabilities (CRPD, 2006) which is also a development tool, with already 163 ratifications by countries and European Union who are obligated to implement the Convention by taking measures and actions to promote accessibility and ensure inclusion of persons with disabilities in development in urban and rural areas.

The Outcome Document of the UN High Level Meeting on Disability and Development (2013) adopted by heads of States and Governments committed to taking actions, including promoting accessible and disability inclusive development,  to achieve all internationally agreed development goals for person with disabilities towards 2015 and beyond.

Furthermore, the recent 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG, 2015) promises to leave no one behind, including for over 1 billion persons with disabilities by setting out a clear direction and guidance in key areas for urban development such as the SDG 11.2 and 11.7 regarding public space and transportation among others.

 Just name a few.

However, currently in many cities over the world, what is still lacking is to translate international agreements into specific guidance for urban policy and commitments in more concrete terms for promote accessibility and inclusion of persons with disabilities in urban development agenda.

The New Urban Agenda has a huge potential to fill the existing gap in understanding and appreciating accessibility – and its added value or positive externality – that benefits not only persons with disabilities but also a large range of urban users- older persons, women with small children, patients with temporarily reduced mobility or travellers with heavy carry-ons and leveling a fair ground for full and effective participation by persons with disabilities in urbanization.

The New Urban Agenda must provide commitments to accessibility and to persons with disabilities with a level at least no lower than the existing international agreements such as the CRPD and SDGs as well as what has already been achieved in a number of Habitat III regional and thematic meetings, in particular in the Declarations of Toluca, Barcelona, Jakarta, Montreal, Pretoria and Mexico City. Of course, it shall also provide specific action-oriented guidance and a plan of action for the next two decades for the world’s cities.

This can and must be done, if an inclusive and sustainable New Urban Agenda is to be achieved.

2. Specific inputs for revising the text of the Zero Draft

Quito Declaration on cities for all

On page 2, para 4, we have two proposals (1) : we suggest, in the 1st and 2nd lines,  to delete “ which in some countries is defined a right to the city” for the reason that we are purposing an Universal Agenda and also there have been some concerns expressed already around the term “ Right to the city” during the Open-ended consultative meeting in April 2016.  (2). We propose to add a word “ accessible” after the current  wording “ inclusive” in line 3 of the current para.  Justification:  Accessibility has been well accepted as a cross cutting issue that has critical importance for the success of any inclusive and transformative urban development.

Our Vision

Para 5 (b). after the current wording “ free from any form of discrimination”, the following shall be added to well define and reflect the intention of this entire phrase: added text reads: “ based on gender, age, health status, disability, income, nationality, ethnicity, migratory condition, or political, religious or sexual orientation”

Transformative commitments

Para 6(a), suggested to insert, after the current wording “eradicate poverty  by”, with the following text: “ promoting universal design approached accessibility in urban policy and practices”. Justification: Accessibility must be promoted as a good urban policy and practice to make our city infrastructures, facilities and services to be accessible, otherwise you would still retain or even create environmental barriers that impede the effort to  achieve the vision to leave no one behind.

Quito implementation plan for the New Urban Agenda (NUA)

Para. 22. Suggested to insert two phrases: (1), after the current wording in the first line “ Stressing that”, with the text which reads: “ accessible and inclusive”. (2)  in the forth line, after the wording “of human rights of all”, to add the following : “removing economic-social, legal , physical and virtual environmental barriers, promoting accessibility following cities for all principle”.

Para. 26, in the first line, to replace the current wording “in cities” by “ at national and local levels”. Justification: the said commitments and measures shall be taken at both levels since national level commitments is critical

Para. 30, line 2, to insert a phrase “universal designed and accessible”, after  the wording “affordable”.

Para. 51. Line 7, to insert “ user-friendly and accessible” after the current phrase “Moreover, a safe”.

Para. 80. Line 2, following the phrase “implementing integrated “ , to add “and a whole community approached “, in order to better defined the relevant policies and plans required to build and improve the resilience of cities .

Para 112 (a), to insert “ safe and accessible” before the phrase “public transport…” which is consistent with the agreed  language in SDG 11 (on transportation).

Para. 159. Line 2 to insert a phrase “ including persons with disabilities, older persons and other marginalized social groups” , in order further clarify to whom the relevant policy interventions shall target .

Resources for reference(all available online

  1. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006) , United Nations

  2. Outcome document of the High Level Meeting on Disability and Development ( GA/RES/68/3, 2013), United Nations

  3. Accessibility and Development (2015), a publication of UNDESA

  4. Recommendations on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development ( DESA- UN Habitat Forum, Nairobi, Oct 2015)

  5. Issue paper: Accessibility and Disability Inclusion in Urban Development (2016), Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities of Division for Social Policy and Development, UNDESA

David JACKSON Director of Local Development Finance at UNCDF, Moderator topic 3: Foster Ecological & Resilient Cities and Human Settlements from United States
Wed, May 11, 2016 at 01.20 pm

“Welcome to the online discussion seeking feedback on the Zero Draft of the Habitat III Outcome document, taking place in advance of the informal hearings with local authorities associations and intergovernmental meetings in New York (16-20 May). I’m delighted to be moderating this discussion and looking forward to hearing from you. In particular, I’m interested in Sub-topic 3 ‘Foster Ecological and Resilient Cities and Human Settlements’.  Let me start the discussion by saying that two streams of thought must converge to create a river of understanding leading up to Habitat III. The first is that humanity is moving rapidly towards an urban future, in terms of population we are at Peak Rural and our future depends upon our ability to manage and urban existence. Secondly, the challenge of climate change means that this urban future cannot be similar to the urban past. We need to come up with new ways to live, prosper and enjoy life in settlements and cities. This is in terms of adapting to the changes that are coming, and also preventing them from getting worse. Meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement requires new forms of urbanization, and new ways of financing it. I look forward to a useful discussion.”

SOYINKA Oluwole Abayomi PhD candidate from China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Wed, May 11, 2016 at 02.53 am

Urban Dialogue on the Zero Draft

My name is SOYINKA Oluwole Abayomi, Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Design from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, School of Design. I have been working on African urban center sustainability, informal settlement and smart growth for a period of time now. I am currently doing a research on urban informality and infrastructure planning at the School of Design, The Hong Kong PolyU, considering pro-poor infrastructure (vulnerable oriented infrastructure) for the development of the urban informal settlement.

 This aspect of the Habitat III Urban Dialogue “The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development” and the sub-topics:

  1. “Leave no one behind, urban equity & poverty eradication”
  2. “Sustainable & inclusive urban prosperity & opportunities for all”
  3. “Foster ecological & resilient cities & human settlements”

Are very important areas and if we can get it right there are higher tendencies of getting all other aspect right.

I share the same view with Ana Rosa. Thus, I will only discuss other areas I felt are also important to the Habitat III document considering my study and the study of the document in my own opinion.

In my own opinion, I think we can achieve these task if we consider access to adequate infrastructure by all in relation to economic empowerment. I tell you nobody want to live in a poor environment without a good road, electricity, sanitation etc. and no one (most especially with the few professionals in Planning, Architecture, Design and Environmental Design I have met) that want to design poor environment. If we study more on strategies that can make infrastructure adequately available with equity, social justice, and uniform settlement development. I tell you all the fantastic idea discussed by the document and Ana will be easily addressed and achieved. This has tendencies to drive other issues into place.

Also, to Colleen Thouez question, I think these strategies will help in community policing, good practices and safer cities in my own view if adopted with other strategies mention; because it will make community policing easy, good practices will be encouraged and definitely safer community will be achieved.

Again, I want to mention that no one approach solves these challenge all. This aspect of Urban Dialogue study “The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development” and the sub-topic are sensitive challenges that have eaten deep into the different sector of our urban environment and we should address it from all these angles. That is a more holistic comprehensive approach should always be considered.

Thank you.

Colleen Thouez – Discussion Moderator / Senior Research & Training Advisor, UNITAR from United States
Wed, May 11, 2016 at 12.32 pm

Dear Soyinka,

Thank you for your comments.    I agree that economic empowerment for the betterment of human development is key  (though not the only factor for overall wellbeing).   Are you also looking at the role of technologies in building cities that are economically competitive?   If so, what are your thoughts on how this issue should be broached in the public policy space?


Ana Rosa Chagas Cavalcanti Ph.D. Student from Brazil
Tue, May 10, 2016 at 02.38 pm

Revision Habitat III Conference

My name is Ana Rosa Chagas Cavalcanti; I am a Doctorate Candidate in Architecture at the TU Delft.  I have been studying favelas (Brazilian informal settlements) since 2009 through ethnographic research. I am also responsible for the creation of the project “Favela School of Architecture”, which tries to come up with the knowledge that exists ‘in between’ inhabitant’s wisdom and academic production. The documents produced by UN Habitat are important for my studies.

I consider some aspects of the housing system. In my opinion, housing goes together with both architecture and urban planning.

Subtopic 1 – Leave no one behind, urban equity and poverty erradication // Social porosity: Architecture and housing in service of a people-centered city

20. We could investigate the difference of wages between those living in cities and those living in rural areas. The urban planner Charles Abrams has written that those who live in the rural areas earn 10 times less than those who live in cities. Thus, understanding the inequalities of the city can address such terms. The housing shortage may be related to the increase of jobs in the city. That could also be investigated, for several reasons.

21. The ‘Social Porosity’ is a concept which has been investigated by both the architect Bernardo Secchi and, the sociologist Richard Sennet.  The claim is that the spaces that are shared by people who belong to different social classes bring benefits for the city. These spaces may also prevent ghettos from appearing and, they can come up with new values and development for the city.  Architects and Planners can address such diversity if they design social housing that engenders encounters and favors social porosity. In my opinion, planning some collective housing units for people who have different social background and incomes, could be a guideline for ‘social porous’ housing planning.

The point here is also that planning should “avoid peripheral and isolated mass housing schemes detached from the urban system services and infrastructures” (Habitat III Zero Draft Outcome Document, 2016) and, also try to mix people of different backgrounds in housing schemes.

There is also the need to come up against an ideological boundary. Especially, in the Latin American context. For example, thinking about ‘a housing project’ which shelters people coming from ‘different social classes’ can still be ‘taboo’. Maybe because the unprivileged classes could bring violence into the neighborhood. Or even, because both the ‘privileged’ and the ‘unprivileged’ have been segmented in the city (eg. Brazilian condominiums fechados x Brazilian favelas).

24. There must be an ideological recognition that large numbers of migrants contributes to the social and economic growth and development of a city.

Adequate housing and shelter in the cities

27. “Adequate housing is central to achieve development” (Habitat III Zero Draft Outcome Document, 2016). Maybe, the ‘right to housing’ could go together with the right to basic infrastructure, to leisure, and to basic services.

30.   To Address informal housing from its existing contexts.

 36. Public spaces can be seen are political projects in the cities (especially in Latin American context). Previous ethnographic notes in the favelas show how they favor encounters, are the stages of claims and, they show a ‘render’ of reality.

40. We could also avoid the segmentation of the functions of the cities and to encourage social porosity.

Colleen Thouez – Discussion Moderator / Senior Research & Training Advisor, UNITAR from United States
Tue, May 10, 2016 at 05.18 pm

Ana Rosa, Thank you for your excellent observations! It is clear that you are studying this topic closely and we greatly benefit from your insights.   A few reactions:

In terms of securing socially porous areas, we hear much about the value of building in social spaces for urban dwellers.  It is true that a new cosmopolitanism in city centres – both cities where the level of diversity is as high as that of native born (e.g. Toronto, Antwerp, New York) and in cities that are just beginning to diversify – much value comes from everyday living together and urban spaces to make this possible.  

In terms of the income levels in urban vs. rural settings, does this research index for the cost of living, which as you well know is significantly higher and on the rise in urban areas?

Related, I have been told that housing is “the” unspoken problem in attaining equitable urbanization. Some countries are appointing Decent Housing Ombudsmen/women to identify and rectify the financial, psychological and political obstacles to housing shortages.  Are you familiar with this development?

Last, one issue that touches at the core of equity is that of social justice.  What can we say about community policing and the good practices towards safer cities?   

Colleen Thouez – Discussion Moderator / Senior Research & Training Advisor, UNITAR from United States
Tue, May 10, 2016 at 12.40 pm

Colleen Thouez/Senior Research and Training Advisor, UNITAR

Moderator for Topic 1 – Leave No One Behind, Urban Equity and Poverty Eradication

Welcome to this global online discussion.  

Over a year ago, when the discussions were just underway for what the New Urban Development Agenda should look like, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat stressed that we need to look at urban models that produce integration over segregation.

 Where are the examples of such models?  We invite you to share with us.

Most of the urbanization of the world in the last 40 years has forgotten the social agenda.  And, while we focus on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals so as to leave no one behind – there is a category of people for whom we can expect that the benchmark will be rather be: to leave them not as far behind.  These are refugees and migrants at risk –  who increasingly move to cities in search of the normalcy from which they were more often than not forced to depart. 

Edmundo Werna – Discussion Moderator / Head of Unit, Sectoral Policies Department, ILO, Geneva from United States
Mon, May 9, 2016 at 07.10 pm

Welcome to the online discussion seeking feedback on the Zero Draft of the Habitat III Outcome document, taking place in advance of the informal hearings with local authorities associations and intergovernmental meetings in New York (16-20 May). I am delighted to be moderating this discussion and look forward to hearing from you.

While having an interest in the Agenda as a whole, I have a particular interest in Sub-topic 2 ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Prosperity and Opportunities for all’ and I look forward to receiving your comments on this area. Let me start the discussion by saying that the theme of livelihoods is a fundamental part of the Summit. Habitat III emphasizes the need for sustainability. Labour cuts-across its three pillars: social, economic and ecological. Cities and towns will not be sustainable if the livelihoods of their residents are not properly addressed. Initiatives such as infrastructure provision, slum upgrading and inner-city regeneration will be viable and will lead to growth when employment-generation and working conditions come into the equation. Well-trained entrepreneurs and labour force, working in adequate conditions, constitute a crucial asset for promoting housing and urban development.

I look forward to a useful discussion.