PART 1: MAIN TOPIC B: Effective Implementation

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 B: Effective Implementation

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 B: Effective Implementation

World Vision International
Tue, May 24, 2016 at 12.55 am

Dear all,

As Co-Chair of the General Assembly of Partners’ Children and Youth Constituent Group, World Vision commends the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee on the submission of the zero draft of the New Urban Agenda. We are pleased about the specific acknowledgement of addressing urban challenges faced by children and youth, and the inclusion of many of our recommendations from various regional and thematic meetings concerning the needs of young people and their critical role in shaping our current and future cities.

World Vision endorses the identification of local and sub-national governments, along with community based organisations, NGOs, and private sector, as all playing a fundamental role in ensuring the safety, security, livelihoods, and well-being of our communities. We endorse the rights based and people-centred approach applied throughout the New Urban Agenda to include the most vulnerable and marginalised (socially, economically, politically and culturally) in all the opportunities and benefits that urbanisation can offer. We endorse the recognition of public space and the informal economy as vital components of a prosperous city, and the state of public space being directly related to the quality of life for city residents, specifically children.

Within the ‘Effective Implementation’ section of the New Urban Agenda, we provide the following initial comments for consideration:

  • The zero draft does not adequately address the issue of child labour in either the formal or informal economy. Children in informal communities are more susceptible of being forced into child labour. Estimates suggest that tens of millions of children, some as young as 5 years old, live or work on the streets of the world’s towns and cities. The New Urban Agenda must ensure that children and youth are not engaged in labour in hazardous environments. The link between access to quality education and opportunities for decent livelihoods and employment must also be considered.
  • The zero draft does not adequately identify the centrality of a child’s access to quality education (without the need to participate in the workforce), as a key to break the urban poverty cycle and improve their health and well-being outcomes.
  • While there is adequate discussion of urban water management and encouragement of the adequate management of waste, the zero draft fails to identify the urgency of urban sanitation management – an issue area that poses one of the greatest risks to the long term public health of urban communities in many developing countries’ urban areas.

Moving forward, the New Urban Agenda is a comprehensive document, however, the critical question now is what is the implementation strategy for the New Urban Agenda? The narrative of the ‘Quito Implementation Agenda’ and its specific calls to action from member states and key stakeholders must take centre stage at Habitat III.

Mon, May 23, 2016 at 08.24 pm

ICOMOS applauds the issuance of the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda and welcomes the inclusion of many of our key recommendations from the Thematic Consultations. We 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.  

The New Urban Agenda is the first major step in this process and for operationalizing sustainable development in an integrated and coordinated way at global, regional, national, sub-national and local levels. By creating an action-oriented roadmap for implementation, the New Urban Agenda will drive the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially SDG Goal 11, of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. Because the heritage target, 11.4, is located within Goal 11, the elaboration of the role of heritage in Agenda 2030 is necessarily closely linked to the Habitat 3 New Urban Agenda process as well.

We have given some overarching comments on the need for better correlation between the two in our comments in Main Topic A.  As to the matters within the scope of Main Topic B, I offer the following additional comments drawn from ICOMOS work on the SDGs and Harbitat 3. 

Enhancing Means of Implementation of the New Urban Agenda: Financing and other Tools of Implementation

The Zero Draft contains only one paragraph regarding the Implementation of Heritage-related provisions.  As is, this provision is not adequte if the New Urban Agenda is to provide a template for implementing SDG Goal 11.4. 

 The current heritage implementation section reads as follows:

124. We will place urban culture and heritage as a priority component of urban plans and strategies through the adoption of planning instruments, including master plans, zoning guidelines, and strategic growth policies that safeguard a diverse range of tangible and intangible cultural assets and landscapes and mitigate the disruptive impact of development. We will also conduct a comprehensive inventory and/or mapping of these tangible and intangible assets, utilizing new technologies and techniques and involving local communities, as appropriate.


Inventorying while imporant alone is not an adequate tool to achieve Target 11.4 and does not reflect adequate attention to the implementation side of SDG Target 11.4.  We recommend adding the following to the existing language of Section 124: 

We will maintain financial funding, incentives/disincentives for existing infrastructure and appropriate regeneration of existing urban areas, historic districts and neighborhoods. Such tools may include for instance, tax incentives for density and infill and tax credits for adaptive reuse.  We also commit to supporting the development of and design and other guidelines for integrating culture and cultural heritage/landscape with socially and economically inclusive sustainable urban development. Such an approach would integrate culture and cultural heritage/landscape with urban planning, tourism development, infrastructure development, poverty alleviation, affordable housing, disaster risk reduction, and conservation of tangible and intangible heritage.

We commit to supporting the development of tools for assessing the way that heritage safeguarding and protection is implemented in a development perspective at the local level, and for improved evaluation methods for comparing the multidimensional impacts on natural and cultural heritage.

In addition, the language of Section 38 of the Zero Draft 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.  The UN Statistical Division metric relates to all four elements of Target 11.4 whereas Section 38 only calls on investing adequate budget shares as a way to strengthen social participation and the exercise of citizenship.  It might make more sense to move the budget share piece (i.e. the indicator discussion) to Section 124 (the implementation section).  We suggest the following: 

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 make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable by strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

 This approach will help significantly to harmonize SDG Target 11.4 and its corresponding UNSD indicator and the Zero Draft. 

 Planning and Managing the Urban Spatial Development

Cultural heritage and particularly historic cities and settlements are a proven reference model for Sustainable development.  Historic cities demonstrate mixed uses, human scale, density and vibrancy. By their adaptation economically, environmentally and socially over time they have demonstrated resilience.  In the evolution of historic cities, we see the lessons of adaptive reuse.  In order to recognize this important fact, recommend revising Section 100 of the Zero draft as follows;

 100. We will plan cities and territories based on the principles of efficient use of land, compactness, adequate density and connectivity, as well as mixed economic use in the built up areas, giving due regard to historic areas and traditional settlement patterns that are a proven reference model for sustainability , to reduce mobility needs and service delivery costs per capita, and harness density and economies of agglomeration. The application of these principles will foster sustainable urban development, including job creation, reduced infrastructure spending, efficient public transport, reduced congestion, as well as reduced urban sprawl and land consumption.

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 B “EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION” 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.

  • 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. 85-95 – Cyclists should participate actively in stakeholder engagement processes as they have a broad view of streets and can deliver relevant inputs to urban mobility planning.

  • Para 100 –  There is a link between compactness and public transport. We need to emphasise that compact cities means walking and cycling distances (to promote active, healthy, mobility).
  • Para. 101 – Include health “promoting walkability and cycling towards improving the overall quality of life, health and social cohesion”
  • Para 112 (c) – Change the order to “A massive increase in walking, cycling and public transport” as to put the more fragile first and to set the necessary order of priority when dealing with accessibility.
  • Para 112 (c) – Include the outcomes of this goal with “to bring real positive impact in the health of citizens, reduce air pollution and congestions, social inclusiveness and accessibility to the city for all”.
  • Para 112 – An extra point (d) is necessary to mention “through: (d)  instruments to desincentivise the use of car in order to reduce its negative impacts, such as air pollution, congestion costs, etc.”
  • Para. 113 – Add “including a density-based fair distribution of diverse services across cities, which will minimize demand for travel, as well as use sustainable modes of transportation for these services and goods”.
  • Para. 118 – Correct the term “cycling lanes” (incorrectly referred to as “lines” in the text) and include “sidewalks”.

  • Paras. 125-128 – This section does not offer much concrete action and should focus on changing current financing patterns (examples: congestion charges, fiscal incentives, using national funds for active mobility infrastructure, etc.).
Climate Change Centre Reading
Mon, May 23, 2016 at 09.57 pm

Dear All,

Effective Data collection and analysis:

Please state, “Just like reading and writing is a basic human right, everyone should have access to urban data collection and analysis.”

>161. Good governance is evidence-based and builds on a shared knowledge base using both globallycomparable as well as disaggregated and locally-generated data. The >crucial r
and enhancement of participatory data platforms using technological and social tools available to transfer and share knowledge among national, sub-national, and >local >governments and other stakeholders, including non-state actors and people to enhance effective urban planning and management, efficiency, and transparency >through e->governance, ICTassisted approaches, and open data.ole that cities may play in data collection, monitoring, and reporting on progress at the local level regarding >sustainable >development should also be honoured, and corresponding capacities built.

>162. Data collection and indicators are essential at the international, national, and local levels to monitor progress achieved and to make decisions to adjust implementation >strategies. The generated data should be transparent, openly accessible, and disaggregated as appropriate to capture existing inequalities and efforts to promote inclusive >development.
We will implement the creation, promotion, and enhancement of participatory data platforms using technological and social tools available to transfer and share >knowledge among national, sub-national, and local governments and other stakeholders, including non-state actors and people to enhance effective urban planning and >management, efficiency, and transparency through e-governance, ICTassisted approaches, and open data. 

The missing link in 161-163 above is science and facts which again need to be highlighted in the ZERO DRAFT OF THE NEW URBAN AGENDA as wll as
every H3 Declaration and Policy paper to cope directly with a healthy relationship to our planetary boundaries. The proposal is to link and reference sustainable urban development to Anthropocene science (“Art&Science”).

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

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”).

We miss a reference to Big Data and IoT (Internet of Things) which is a truly amazing and universal methodology

Please state a paragraph under Data collection and analysis on “Credibility for urban data collection and generation analysis”

The New Urban Agenda will make sure; Implementation and Commitment for Sustainable urban development monitoring targetsrelies on evidenced based substantive science that is objective and can be verified worldwide.

Weather to statecollective Data-driven sustainable urban developmentor not?, we do stronglysuggest to put this in the draft document before the PrepCom3 conference in Surabaya, and be prepared for final adoption in the New Urban Agenda agreement, Quito.

It is better to state it and open up for debate and preparedness rather than miss out on such an important city movement.
The Habitat III is an urban paradigm,

Many thanks

Peter Head Chief Executive- engineer and planner
Sun, May 22, 2016 at 10.23 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.

38. B. Effective Implementation (see our comments on other parts of New Urban Agenda too)

Clause 84 becomes much more powerful and transformational if a common approach to integrated systems planning is used across all scales for human, ecological, economic resource systems CHEER-see technology section clauses 158-160.

39 Clause 85 We suggest that infrastructure planning is included here as well as urban and housing policy.

40. Clause 86   “We will ensure that national urban policies are complemented by sub-national and local policies, and are adequately linked with finance mechanisms, as well as urban planning guidelines and regulatory frameworks, to integrate urbanization into national development planning”. The linkage to finance can be made much more specific through PPPP mechanisms and the “regulation and enabling environment” being established for private capital to flow. This is well covered in the Roadmap 2030 and can be used.

41. Clauses 87 and 88 seem very unclear and need to made rather more specific if they are to be used.

42. Clauses 90 and 150-157 require in investment in capacity building in cities by National Government which will be hard to commit to. Roadmap 2030 has a proposed method of financing this scale up approach called a Resilience Implementation Investment Fund RIIF which needs no government funding and recycles the value created from tools and capacity building in one city to fund others through a commercial revolving fund. This would just need a regulation to cover the operation of a National RIIF.

43. Clauses 92 to 95 can be made more specific and targeted through the proposals suggested earlier in this response around collaboration and transparency.

44. Clauses 99 and 107   The proposal for implementation of state-of-the-art urban indicator systems and geographic information systems is essential” can go one step further by the use of integrated systems modelling or CHEER which will enable performance based planning, design and procurement using the platform. The reason why this is now possible is explained later under new technology.

45. There seems to be a lot of repetition in clauses 100 to 104 from earlier sections.

46. Clauses 112 to 118. A reference to the importance of airports being located so that they are linked to efficient national and local public transport infrastructure should be made, to reduce air pollution and time wasted in travel to and from the airport.

47. Clause 124. Research needs to be carried out into the tangible and intangible benefits of cultural and natural heritage and these values can be included in a CHEER methodology.

48. Clauses 125 to 128 can be significantly strengthened using clauses from Roadmap 2030, which has been prepared to support finance implementation, particularly the enabling environment for bonds and insurance.

49. Clause 158 to 160. “We will implement the appropriate use of new and existing technologies to improve city management as well as accountability and transparency, mindful of the protection of public goods and of specific constraints in terms of access to digital information and local habits”. The reason that the CHEER integrated planning , risk management, investment and procurement methodology is now possible is a combination of 5 technologies which are being brought together in an open-source way:

1. Earth observation data providing GIS land based mapping and air, soil, vegetation and water data in real time.

2. Crowd sourcing of data using phone and other cheap ground based sensors.

3. Huge advances in integrated human, ecology, economics agent based resource modelling using synthetic populations, which integrates natural and social science and the availability of the whole system in open-source.

4. Computing power which enables such models to be run quickly using large data volumes.

5.High speed internet connections from tablets and smart phones, the large penetration of these devices and the ability to tap into the local systems models running in a locally managed ‘cloud’.

Reference Roadmap 2030…

50. C.Follow Up and Review

Because of the level of innovation involved in this paradigm shift, we think there is some merit in the idea of having initial demonstration countries and regions to roll this out and then for every one of 200 Countries to commit to one demonstration region by 2018 and then to spread the impact across all regions by 2025, as set out in the Roadmap. This will give a chance for national legislation and the private sector plus GCF to gear up in parallel with green bonds and other delivery vehicles. Organisations such as Cities Alliance Resilience Alliance working with UN Habitat can organize the knowledge sharing and capacity building around such a programme. In this way a roll out plan for all the World’s city regions can be envisaged as suggested in Roadmap 2030.

Reference Roadmap 2030…

RUAF Foundation-International network on urban agriculture and food systems
Thu, May 19, 2016 at 04.12 pm

Sustainable urban spatial development requires coherence with rural and agricultural development

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, sustainable urbanisation, food and nutrition security, environmental and natural resource management –including preservation of ecosystems– rural development and agricultural production, distribution and marketing have become intrinsically linked. 

In order to respond to these challenges, integrated territorial development and balanced urban-rural linkages have to be pursued for the benefit of the urban and rural population alike. 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. 

Although contexts differ across cities and regions, in all situations, functional linkages and flows between people, goods and services, surpass traditional administrative boundaries. This calls indeed for new strategies of planning and management of urban, peri-urban and rural areas in an integrated way and for new forms of multi-level (‘vertical’) and horizontal governance.

RUAF, GIZ and FAO have just documented thirteen case studies from around the world, developing city region food systems projects, programmes and policies, including those related to food waste prevention, reduction and management. The cases provide a comprehensive perspective on policies and practices that can enhance food security and sustainable development in both rural and urban areas. These practices can work in different regional contexts, and have – to a certain extent – already been applied by other city regions.

Lessons learnt from these case studies for the sustainable development of city region food systems call for local, city regional and (sub)national governments to institutionalise city region food systems, providing them an institutional setting and budget, linking them to larger city region development plans and monitoring their developmental impacts across urban and rural areas.

There are clear benefits to integrated planning across urban and rural spheres to protect ecosystem services, especially water and watersheds. Improved urban-rural linkages can also ensure that food production occurs close to and within cities and towns, ensuring both improved food and nutrition security for the urban and rural vulnerable population, as well as enhanced livelihoods for all actors involved in the food chain.

City region food systems are vital to implementation of the New Urban Agenda and balanced urban and rural spatial planning. 

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. 

Muna Albanna – Regional Infrastructure Lead, UNOPS, Moderator: 1. Building the Urban Structure & 2. Planning urban spatial dev’t from Jordan
Tue, May 17, 2016 at 12.24 pm

Welcome to the online discussion seeking feedback on the Zero Draft of the Habitat III Outcome document, taking place during the informal hearings with local authorities associations and intergovernmental meetings in New York this week. I am delighted to be moderating this discussion and looking forward to hearing from you. In particular, I’m interested in these two topics: 1. Establishing a Supportive National, Subnational and Local Framework & 2. Planning and Managing the Urban Spatial Development. Let me start the discussion by referring to the changes in demands for basic services due to the presence of so many refugees and internally displaced people around the world that have burdened local and national systems and threatened the development gains. Pressures on existing systems and service delivery represent situations of hardship for all. The refugees, IDPs and local communities are all in situations of severe and high vulnerability. From this perspective, all frameworks shall be supportive and new planning approachs shall reflect the new needs to manage the urban development. I look forward to a useful discussion.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Sun, May 15, 2016 at 08.34 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

Gonzalo Lizarralde Professor from Canada
Fri, May 13, 2016 at 04.24 pm

How to go beyond good intentions: the impotance of adressing tensions and controversies in the agenda.

It is of course almost impossible to be against the good intentions drafted in the  Zero draft of the “New Agenda and subtopic subjets. It is however, more difficult to see how these “good intentions” will navigate the common controversies, challenges and tensions that exist in implementation. The problem relies on the very nature of the agenda: its objective is to present good intentions and not to solve the complex mechanics of implementation. But it is precisely in the contradiuctions, tensions and day-to-day dilemas of urban development and disaster-risk-reduction that the main contemporary challenges exist. Ignoring these tensions in the agenda is both naive and missleading.

Take for instance the case of this objective: ” to capture the increase in land and property value generated by public investments” and develop “idle” land that often does not pay sufficient taxes. In real-life practice, this objective often relies on developing peripheral (idle)  land to increase its value. However, in a world of scarce ressources and limited administrative and political capital, this objective often finds itself at odds with other noble intentions such as protecting agricultural land, reducing urban foorprint, prioritizing densification and upgrading exsisting slums. Similarly, despite conceptual similarities, in practice, objectives of resilience (duplication and redundancy to avoid shocks) sometimes contredict objectves of sustainability (lean construction and minimizing ressources). Objectives of economic development contredict objectives of environmental protection, and so on.

Politicians and technocrats must often identify  priorities among a variety of contradictory and controversial variables. As proposed now the Agenda will hardly help them navigate these contradictions.

Morten Chartered engineer and utility bicycling NGO board member from Iceland
Thu, May 19, 2016 at 01.46 pm

Thanks for this analysis, professor Gonzalo Lizzaralde !
I agree and I had similar things in mind when deciding to offer comments here.
In particular the premacy of the car is one such area of potential conflict.  The car lobby is strong and seasoned in lobbying.  So strong that many politicians – and the public – have internalised their arguments and emotions.
Although it is stated in a few instances inthe Zero draft for Habitat III, that cities should reduce the dominance of the car and strengthen walking, cycling and public transport.  I feel that these objectives may very well “get lost” in the implementation, and self-driving electric cars will get as much attention (while not offereing the win-win-win solutions of active modes of transport in concert with public transport. 

A very simple method exists to begin to rectify the skewed playing field : Reduce or reverse the indirect and for many invisible subsidies for car-parking.  In the same vein, where such bylaws exist, stop demanding a certain minum of parking spaces per square meter shop  or per flat. Parking should be sold separately and if anything rather subsidise dwellings, hospitals and parks  rather than the other way around. And the same goes for oil, petrol, gas.  It is also vital if  a strong need is felt to subsidise electric / “green” cars, that such subsidies be short term.   [Could loans from the World Bank, the IMF  have added coinditions saynig car driving and fossil fuels should not be subsidised ?  ]

Regarding parking reform, one “school of thought” worth looking into is the one  connected to Donald Shoup and his book “The HighCostofFreeParking”.

Morten Chartered engineer and utility bicycling NGO board member from Iceland
Thu, May 19, 2016 at 01.51 pm

Let me add to the above that in my mind the post that I replied to and my reply both pertain very squarely to all the three sub-topics.

Vito Intini – Discussion Moderator Programme Manager from United States
Thu, May 12, 2016 at 11.03 pm

Sub-topic 3: Enhancing means of implementation of the new urban agenda: Financing & other tools of implementation

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). We are delighted to be moderating this discussion and look forward to hearing your thoughts. While having an interest in the new urban agenda as a whole, we have a particular interest in Sub-topic 3 ‘Enhancing means of implementation of the new urban agenda: Financing & other tools of implementation’ and we look forward to receiving your comments on this specific area.

Let us start the discussion by quoting Ban Ki-moon who said that “The struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities”. Cities increasingly bear the brunt of the challenges caused by persistent and emerging demograhic and migration patterns as well as increasing climate-related issues. They are also places where populations immediately and tangibly experience the functioning of governments and their underlying social contracts.

However, in many countries, including in the developing and least developed countries, the transfer of resources has not adequately matched the transfer of responsibilities from the central government to local governments. Among the most critical pending issues that need to be addressed in these countries are the following: (i) clarifying the distribution of responsibilities vertically (i.e. among the various levels of government); (ii) strengthening the resource base of local governments; (iii) when, and upon which conditions, to allow local governments to access financial markets. We hope that the discussion can shed light on lessons learned about critical aspects that include, among others, sound intergovernmental relations, PFM practices, public assets management, performance measurement, and external funding (including ODA).

In addition, broad stakeholder involvement, strong partnership, strategic capacity building, appropriate use of technology and innovation, as well as timely and reliable data are critical aspects to implement the new agenda. We do hope you can send us your thoughts also in these very important areas that will help tackle many of the Transformative Commitments reported in Part A of the zero draft.

We do look forward to a fruitful and open discussion.

David Jackson and Vito Intini

Economics and Sustainability – EStà – Italian
Wed, May 18, 2016 at 06.20 am


This contribution is focused on the proposal of inclusion of urban food issues as a key part of the sustainability of cities and, more in general, of an urbanized world.

The view of food system as an urban infrastructure is a fundamental component of a city that is inseparable from citizens’ basic rights and needs, individual lifestyles and cultures, the socio-economic structure, and the city’s relationships with the surrounding environment.

In line with the Agenda 2030 (goal 2), in the different cities in the world that have adopted an Urban Food Strategy, the concept of food is defined in terms of “urban infrastructure” on a par with social services, public transportation, health care, education, or waste and water management; also considering that all these policy areas are generally managed to local authorities.

In the “Main topic A: commitments for sustainable urban development” we recognize that the urban food issues, although not directly mentioned, are implicitly included in different parts of Zero Draft, such as:

–        in the “cultural leverage” (37.) where the different food cultures can make an instrument for social inclusion;

–        in the “sustainable mechanisms in cities to broaden democratic platforms that allow participation in decision-making” where “local government have a key role as interface among all actors” (42.) where the Food Councils are a concrete example of democracy and actors participation;

–        in the “vibrant urban economies” (74.) where food is a commodities of local farmers, market and trade exchange;

–        in the “territorial system that integrate urban and rural functions […] that promote  efficient use of land” (51.) where food can play a key role in the relationship between urban and rural space;

–        in the “formulation of medium and long-term strategic vision, plan and policy” (52.) where food strategies and policies are a perfect example of long term vision;

–        in the promoting of “participation and collaboration among stakeholder, government, private sector, civil society, academic, trade union” (65.) we have another example of the implementation of Food Council;

In relation with the “Main topic B: effective implementation” there is no mention about the food issue. We are totally agree with the sub-topic 1 about the building of “urban structure on supportive national, sub-national and local framework” such as the food policies need to this support. Also we recognize the sub-topic 3 about the “financial and other tool of implementation“: in force of this two strong sub-topic, we observe a severe lack of food issues in the sub-topic 2planning and managing the urban spatial development” where the six fundamental topics are listed as pillars to develop strategies (urban planning, land, housing, mobility, basic service, heritage and culture); we strongly suggested to insert food issues in the sub-topic 2.

The Zero Draft consists of 13.000 words, but the word “food” is used only 9 times (6 associated with the concept of food security, 3 in lists of issues), the word “nutrition” only appears once more still associated with food security, appears one time, the concept of “ecosystem services”, always associated with food security. Never appear the words “Urban Food System” and even of “urban agriculture”.
The excerpts of the use of term “food” are provided in Annex A.

In conclusion, such as the key role of the food system on new Urban Agenda, in line with:

–         the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;

–         the Paris Agreement of COP21 that recognizing the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security;

–         the “Milan Urban Food Policy Pact” (Milan, 2015) signed on 15th October 2015 by more than 120 cities and with an Advisory Group of about international organizations presented to the Secretary-General of the UN during Expo2015;

–         the Call for Action on “City Region Food System” (Medellin, 2014) lead by a technical and institutional large international alliance;

–         the “Bonn Declaration of Mayors” (Bonn 2013) signed by 20 city leaders;

–         the FAO Food for the Cities multi-disciplinary initiative Position Paper “Food, Agricolture and Cities” (Rome, 2011);

We would propose to suggest an amendment, that would include the Urban Food topic among the six topics described in Main Topic B: “Effective Implementation” – Sub-topic 2. “Planning & managing the urban spatial development“.

Andrea Magarini, Andrea Calori
EStà – Economia e Sostenibilità – Milan – Italy 

Ale Moreno Parliamentary Advisor from Mexico
Thu, May 12, 2016 at 07.50 pm

The focus of the New Urban Agenda has as its axis transform the quality of life of people through a city planning and inclusive human settlements, without discrimination and opportunities for all in an environment of sustainability, transparency and accountability.

Diagnosis and planning axes have been discussed and reach consensus, however, little has been said about the legal instruments to enforce the commitments that, in time, will take the member States to Quito, Ecuador.

Assuming full respect for the sovereignty of States, it is necessary to rethink the legal regime (laws, rules and principles) that contribute to the realization of UN Habitat III approaches.

It is of common knowledge that their effectiveness can only be tested if individuals and communities, to which these axes-commitments are addressed, are embodied in the behavior of people and a better quality of life. It is then, when the creation of: 1) A system of indicators and 2) The harmonization of the national & subnational legal systems become unavoidable allies.

Zero Draft Declaration of Quito addresses fleetingly on three occasions the subject of legislation (points 48, 89 and 138) makes it as a tool to ensure citizen participation that contributes to create transparency in the budgets allocated to meet the New Agenda Urbana (particularly in housing, infrastructure & services).

Have you notice anything about sanctions?

I insist, with full respect for the sovereignty of States, it is important to rethink how we want to contribute to generate Cities with Value where people enjoy living in a sustainable environment with new identities that contribute to social cohesion. Is it with a regime of obligations or prohibitions? Or, with a long way of persuasion on whether to adopt new attitudes about reality (climate change) that breaks old patterns of thought.

While Habitat statements lack binding force, it is not an obstacle to reflect on how we can build the commitment in which each State harmonize its legislation to achieve the New Urban Agenda; It will be a scope for each sovereign legislative body if it designs a scheme of obedience, acceptance, conviction, prohibition or obligation, but it is necessary, I insist, to emphasize the discussion on this issue in order to enrich the Quito Declaration.

This is the opportunity to create “The Global Platform of Legislation for Sustainable Urbanization” as an interactive, permanent and accessible technological tool for sharing legislative changes of States parties and enable a continuous and enriching to reflect dialogue, design and share best practices in the field and thus measure, at least in the legal, advances that provide legal certainty to the project of the New Urban Agenda.

Peter Head Chief Executive- engineer and planner
Sun, May 22, 2016 at 10.29 am

Dear Ale,

We agree at The Ecological Sequestration Trust that legal requirements to create an enabling environment for delivering inclusive sustainable devlopment in cities are critical and your suggestion of creating a Global Platform is a good one. You will find in our draft Roadmap 2030 the start of setting out such a framework as one of the 16 cross cutting delivery action themes.   Peter Head

Paul Zimmerman CEO from China
Mon, May 9, 2016 at 10.54 pm

I’m deeply concerned over the reporting, and the motivation for cities and countries to develop their own urban agendas.

Can we expand on paragraph 168. (We request UN-Habitat, in coordinating the UN System on urban development issues, to prepare a periodic progress report on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in order to provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the progress made.)

And add the following:

1. Cities wil work with their stakeholders to agree (by 2020) on a New Urban Agenda Strategy and Action Plan (to be achieved by 2030) with their national authorities,

2. The countries consolidate the Strategy and Action Plans from their participating cities and present these to UN-Habitat for a global consolidation in 2020.

3. Subsequently, the countries report periodically on the progress by their cities in implementing their agreed New Urban Agenda Strategy and Action Plans.

4.  Finally, the UN-Habitat periodically reports progress based on the reports it receives.