PART 2: 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 2: Effective Implementation

In advance of the Informal Hearings with Stakeholders in New York on (6-7 June) and Informal Intergovernmental Meetings (8-10 June), we invite you to review the following sections of the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda and share your feedback below. Please indicate which sub-topic/s you are addressing in your response. The forum is now closed. Part 3 will open on Monday, 20 June 2016.

Main Topic B: Effective Implementation

Climate Change Centre Reading
Tue, June 14, 2016 at 04.32 pm

Dear Enablers,

Sustainable Urban Development is an important target of the outcome agreement at the Habitat III conference.  It is strongly interlinked with SDG Goal 11 among others.

I’ve just launched below an Urban Design Competition: #URBANCRATZER online and wanted you to be the first to know. I wish to bring to the discussion this new illustration of the economic, social and ecological aspects of the #SDGs. For effective implementation the graph enabling the tiers of the cake and the importance of “the partnership“.

SDGs Goal 17

Date: 09/06/2016

The Urban Design Competition #URBANCRATZER is Open, to voice protection & shelter to people from climatic catastrophic disaster events.

“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.”

The URBAN CRATZER Design Competition is really important because If steps are taken to recognise preparations for evacuation areas and urban cratzers in dense city areas this can be a just and fair transformative transmission, perhaps then cities can be lucky with a disaster response plan/program due to coming climate change impacts.

Please endorse this design competition by leaving a nice comment or by sharing. So far we have support for this initiative from Nigeria, Switzerland, Zimbabwe and Liberia

For more information on the project please visit –

Many thanks!
Carl Emerson-Dam
competition manager/umbrella task

Climate Change Centre Reading
Reading United Kingdom

Benjamin Architect/Urban Planner & PhD Student, Institute of Geography, University of Cologne from Germany
Mon, June 13, 2016 at 02.11 pm

First of all I welcome the overall range of topics included in the New Urban Agenda especially the depth of foci that have been reached so far.

I research in the field of urban morphology, complex adaptive systems and spatial resilience in the context of a more sustainable living with water in amphibious contexts (e.g. Urban Deltas).

I often keep it quite short about what I think should be added. It doesnt mean to evoke a sense of “ruling a topic”. I just kept it short in order to come to the point of what I think could be added to enrich the overall challenging and useful framework. Generally I had the impression that the issue of water has been well adresses, yet not being as inclusive as it would be appropriate for this element of life. Often enough water is being seen separated from land, and thus simply repeats many dichotomies prevailing in human thinking (technology – nature; human – nature; urban – rural – with the latter both being resolved here in the agenda fortunately). Technology and nature are not that far apart and we might need to question our separated perspectives and acknowledge the co-evolution of our anthropocene built landscapes and infrastructures.

I refer to

sub-topic 1, paragraph 89: Emphasizing on an integrated approach, please add the underlined “appropriate land and water governance”

sub-topic 2, paragraph 98: In the sense of ever-adapting cities and settlements, it would be interesting to see a paradigm change that includes shrinking as a process of renewing or reseting a certain development, therefore I would suggest to add: “and accompanying equitable shrinking” after “…, promoting equitable growth…”

I refer to e.g. Detroit or the Ruhrgebiet in Germany or shrinking cities in the eastern part of Germany

sub-topic 2, paragraph 105-107:  Water plays a pivotal role in upcoming challenges of land, it would be therefore necessary to include the water-energy-food nexus within this context being possibly renamed to land & water. Furthermore, so-called wet slums are slums built in the waterspace, yet there are conflicting and overlaying regulations and responsibilities beyond the rim of the waterbody inscribed in the “land-use” plan or institutional boundaries, leading to lock-ins of unsafe and unsecured development. Including a locally adapted sustainable water-use planning could ensure tenure in the often amphibious environments, where water and land merge.

sub-topic 2 paragraph 110: I fully welcome this paradigm shift towards cooperative solutions of housing provision. Not necessary to say, that many vulnerable slums and also mid- and high-income housing areas are located close to or in the water, but to be adaptive and prepared for upcoming floodings and sea-level rise it could locally be necessary to shift to amphibious or floating habitation. This needs of course to be planned and implemented sustainably, considering the e.g. ecological and spatial arrangements and its location within the urban or rural fabric.

It would be of importance for the upcoming decades to start thinking about floating structures or amphibious structures (fixed in site, but able to float up when water comes). It would be useful therefore to add: “on land and water” at the end of paragraph 110.

Lots of greetings,


Usha Nair Co-focal Point (Women and Gender Constituency (UNFCCC); Volunteer with AIWC looking after Climate Change related programs. from India
Thu, June 9, 2016 at 10.43 am

This refers to Sub Chapter 2 under Item 3 of the Zero Draft,  Foster Ecological And Resilient Cities And Human Settlements.

Sustainable consumption and production items 74 to 78 refers to efficient management of resources like land, water, energy, materials, food, as well as the reduction and management of waste. Women are the main consumers and managers of such resources in the domestic sector. This sector would be contributing a large perentage of the emissions in cities.  If women are involved more actively in the management and polcy making with respect to energy, water, food etc. and with issues like waste management and sanitation, it will effectively introduce sustainable practices and traditional wisdom into the sector. Women not only bear higher impacts of climate change in every situation, but they can be the change agents who bring in experience of dealing with the problems at the ground level as well as different perspectives of mitigation and adaptation measures. So I suggest that a sentence may be introduced as follows:

Women who make up half of the urban population across the world and who shoulder the burden of house and family can contribute in very significant ways in introducing and sustaining resilience in the urban scenario. They are in charge of management of resources like energy and water in homes. They also are the main players when it comes to management of waste.  Women have a significant say in choices taken at the family level. Their voices need to be heard and taken into consideration in policy dialogues as well as in the implementation of policies at the domestic and societal levels.

Vincy Abraham – Discussion Moderator Regional Focal Point from India
Sun, June 12, 2016 at 04.59 pm

Thank you Usha! I strongly agree with you regarding the role of women in the management of resources. Women do contribute significantly on a number of levels in the urban space and it is necessary to recognize their role in this regard specifically. 

On that note, it also validates the outcome of this Expert Panel of the Women’s Commission: 

YOURS – Youth for Road Safety
Tue, June 7, 2016 at 12.48 pm

Dear Vincy, 

Thanks for moderating, it is really a pleasure to have the opportunity to feed-in to this conversation! I hope it is helpful.

I represent the organization called YOURS – Youth for Road Safety. We are a global, youth-led NGO for road safety with many Youth Champions all over the world ( As you might know, the leading cause of death for young people (aged 15-29) is road traffic injuries. Every day around 1000 young people (under the age of 25) die on our roads. Often they are vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, etc), while going to school.

We are therefore very much interested to comment on the ‘Mobility’ part within the document.

I don’t want to be repetitive, so I would like to endorse a few things mentioned earlier:

  • I agree with Natalie to introduce the ‘Safe System’ approach in the text. When we talk about ‘effective implementation’, it means we need to look at the evidence. Proven measures that save lives, make cities healthier and inclusive to all while protecting the most vulnerable. The Safe System approach is such proven ‘effective implementation’. Therefore I support fully her language.
  • I completely endorse JP Amaral to use the term ‘sustainable transport’ throughout the document. Excellent idea. Let there be no misunderstanding that we need to get rid of the ‘old, broken and unfair’ transport system.

Then I would like to add a few new comments as well on behalf of YOURS:

  1. Stakeholder Engagement Framework.We are advocating for meaningful youth participation throughout the entire process of decision-making. Half of the world’s population is younger than 25 years. And often we see youth being marginalized or tokenized in the decision making process. Therefore we suggest the wording:

    93 “This partnership approach includes all stages of the policy process, from planning to budgeting, implementation, and monitoring through well-resourced permanent mechanisms that include designated times and spaces for all, with particular attention to young people, grassroots and marginalized groups.”
  2. 112 (a): A massive increase in safe public transport, walking, and cycling; I would suggest to add the word ‘safe’. Please do not promote walking and cycling if its not safe, e.g. the infrastructure and policies are not in place.
  3. 127: The immense financing gap for safe infrastructure (minimum of 3 stars) is one of the most pressing challenges to be addressed in order to secure safe and adequate service provision to the people. We realize that bridging this gap, especially at the local level, is a prerequisite for achieving the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. In this course, we recognize that the enormous investments needed, can only be realized by leveraging on domestic resources and tapping into external financial sources and enabling local government to access these resources.

    A massive challenge we face in the world is that when governments do get loans for roads, there are no minimum standards. The ‘three star’ coalition is a partnership of organizations around the world that is trying to convince executives at the development banks to include safety criteria with a loan. More information:

 That is it for now, thank you for your consideration, happy to discuss or reference more if needed!

Kind regards,

Vincy Abraham – Discussion Moderator Regional Focal Point from India
Sun, June 12, 2016 at 05.32 pm

Floor, very interesting observations and inclusions in the text! Thank you for these.

Your point on Stakeholder engagement, especially recognizing the role of youth resonates with the relatively recent recognition of the role of youth in all levels of the decision making process. There is also a need to bring in and highlight the role of ther equally important stakeholders like women. 

Additionally, your emphasis on the inclusion of “safe” public transportation and “safe” infrastructure is well placed and certainly merits a closer look. Interestingly, infrastructural safety was an indicator in the Safe Cities Index 2015. More about the index and the report can be found here:

Natalie Draisin Road safety and sustainable transport
Mon, June 6, 2016 at 03.18 pm

Dear Vincy,

Thank you for moderating this discussion and playing a leadership role in the Children and Youth Major Group.

Your Major Group represents a priority population for us. At the FIA Foundation, our goal is to protect all vulnerable populations on the roads, with a specific focus on children. We are very pleased that mobility has been included as a section in the New Urban Agenda, but we feel that it is lacking critical language to protect vulnerable populations such as the children and youth you represent, for which roads are the leading cause of death. Additionally, the Agenda fails to adequately protect pedestrians and cyclists, which along with motorcyclists, which make up 50% of fatalities on the roads. Therefore, we propose the following addition to paragraph 113, which states:

“We will implement polycentric and balanced territorial development policies and interventions, promoting the role of small and intermediate cities in strengthening food security systems through provision of sound infrastructure, access to land and effective trade links, to ensure that small scale farmers are linked to larger supply chains including a density-based fair distribution of diverse services across cities and their territories, which will minimize demand for travel. At the same time, we will foster compact, transit-supported city models, with a well-connected network of mixed-use arteries, integrating mobility plans into overall urban plans, to decrease the demand for private vehicles, as well as to promote efficient and safe multi-modal transport systems.”

We propose the following addition: We will support cities in adopting policies following the ‘Safe System’ approach, including speed management and investments in safe walking and cycling infrastructure. This promotes a safe and healthy journey to school for every child as a priority in line with the Sustainable Development Goal agenda and the Convention of the Rights of the Child. 

This language is necessary to ensure that mobility plans mentioned in paragraph 113 are safely integrated into overall urban plans, and that multi-modal systems protect all vulnerable road users. The ‘Safe System’ approach is the basis for Vision Zero, a road safety program that aims to achieve zero fatalities on the road, which started in Sweden and has seen success all over the world, including in New York City. Speed management is a key factor leading to the success of this approach.

The ‘Safe System’ approach also helps to promote a safe and healthy journey to school for every child. An estimated 1 million+ children each year miss out on education through death or injury in road traffic crashes. More have their life-chances affected by injuries to parents and breadwinners. There is serious inequity in transport provisions: the poorest children live alongside the most dangerous roads; breathe the dirtiest air; and have barriers to access to education and, eventually, employment because of where they live – many in urban areas.

Finally, this language is cross-cutting, and will help support other areas of the agenda as well. For example, in the Sub-Chapter on Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Prosperity and Opportunities for All, paragraph 51 states: “Moreover, a safe, comfortable and efficient street network, allowing a high degree of connectivity and encouraging public transport, walking and bicycling, will enhance sustainable mobility, economic productivity, and facilitate local economic development.” A ‘Safe System’ approach ensures that the street network is safe for all populations – including children walking to school. Paragraph 57 states, “We commit to ensure equitable access to public goods, natural resources, basic services and the use of public spaces that are essential to the livelihoods of people, in particular the urban poor, as well as formal and informal workers. In this regard, the generation of employment and livelihood opportunities should be pursued, with special attention to the needs and potential of young people, people with disabilities, women and others in vulnerable situations, towards ensuring that all citizens have access to income-earning opportunities, respecting and leveraging culture and territorial specificity.” A ‘Safe System’ approach is the means to ensuring that young people have access to the education that will allow them to seek employment and livelihood opportunities in the future.  

Our proposed language also supports the Sub-Chapter on Leave No One Behind, Urban Equity and Poverty Eradication. Paragraph 25 states, “We recognize that we must ensure equitable and affordable access to basic physical and social infrastructure for all, including affordable serviced land, housing, energy, water and sanitation, waste disposal, mobility, health, education, and information and communication technologies. 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.” This paragraph fails to include ‘safe’ and “affordable access to basic physical and social infrastructure for all.” A ‘Safe System’ approach ensures that infrastructure is, in fact, sensitive to the rights of children and youth, and eradicates barriers to prevent them from participating equally in urban life.

Safe and accessible mobility, and the provision of a safe route to school for all children, is at the heart of the new urban future. It is imperative that we include our proposed language, to ensure that we protect all vulnerable populations.

As background, the FIA Foundation has an international reputation for innovative global road safety philanthropy; practical environmental research and interventions to improve air quality and tackle climate change; and high impact strategic advocacy in the areas of road traffic injury prevention and motor vehicle fuel efficiency. Our aim is to ensure ‘Safe, Clean, Fair and Green’ mobility for all, playing our part to ensure a sustainable future. I have attached our Habitat III Agenda.

We first proposed the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020, devised and coordinate the Global Fuel Economy Initiative, and provided the core grant for both the International Road Assessment Programme and the Global New Car Assessment Programme. Through funding partnerships with the World Health Organization, the UN Environment Programme, the World Bank Global Road Safety Facility and the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile we are supporting programmes, pilot initiatives and campaigns in more than 80 countries around the world.

Vincy, thank you in advance for your consideration of our request. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.


Natalie Draisin

US Manager, FIA Foundation

Filippo Boselli Policy Officer
Mon, June 6, 2016 at 12.09 pm

The need to create National Urban Policy Commissions (NUPCs), an institutionalized body to improve multi-level governance and in charge of implementing and monitoring the New Urban Agenda. 

The Habitat III Policy Paper 3 on National Urban Policy as well as other Policy Papers already recognize the existing gap between national and local policy making and the lack of good communication, coordination and consistency between these two levels of government. The inability of local actors to have a formal voice at the national level is in fact a critical limiting factor for the effective transition towards a more sustainable urban future. As already extensively described in the Habitat III Policy Paper III, the creation of National Urban Policies would help to mitigate the fragmentation among different levels of governance, to align “sectorial polices that affect urban areas” and develop “an enabling institutional environment”. 

Greater emphasis should be given to the need to create a specific commission or institution to coordinate the design and implementation of these National Urban Policies as well as in charge of monitoring and implementing the New Urban Agenda at the national level. The World Future Council (WFC) therefore suggests to recommend the establishment of National Urban Policy Commissions (NUPC), and include this point as a separate recommendation in the Zero Draft. Such cross-ministerial commissions would be led by the national government and would help to bridge incompatibilities between local and national legislations and hence help the effective and consistent implementation of national programmes within the local context (e.g. sustainability programmes). National Urban Policy Commissions would be the institutional platform for the design as well as the implementation and monitoring of National Urban Policies.

For more details on the proposal, please see WFC position paper attached. 

Vincy Abraham – Discussion Moderator Regional Focal Point
Sun, June 5, 2016 at 02.02 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 stakeholder hearings and intergovernmental meetings in New York (6-10 June)! 

I’m delighted to be moderating this discussion and I look forward to reading your thoughts and perspectives on the Zero Draft. In particular, I’m interested in B: “Effective Implementation” aspect. Allow me kickstart this discussion by simply stating that the New Urban Agenda, as you’d know, would guide urbanization efforts for the next 20 years. Additionally, these next 20 years are crucial politically, economically, environmentally and socially which in turn makes the effective implementiation of this guiding framework (now in the zero draft stage), more imperative than ever. I’m hope that you, in your comments, would delve deeper into each subtopic and share best practices, strategies and policies you are aware of that could strengthen the implementation of this document. I look forward to hearing from you – and to an informative and fruitful discussion!

JP Amaral Co-founder of Bike Anjo from Brazil
Thu, June 2, 2016 at 01.48 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 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.).
Vincy Abraham – Discussion Moderator Regional Focal Point
Sun, June 5, 2016 at 02.50 pm

Great inputs here, JP Amaral! Thank you for sharing them. Your point or rather, usage of the term “sustainable transport” is particularly interesting and very important as well.

I would like know of any innovative examples/initiatives/policies – from across the world – that have been undertaken/designed at the local/national/international level that integrates and encourages cycling as an important mode of transport that could be highlighted here. Looking forward to your reply!

Susan Roylance International Policy and Social Development Coordinator from United States
Wed, June 1, 2016 at 06.04 pm

This comment is related to SubTopic 3 on Implementation:

I was surprised to note that the family was left out of the Zero Draft altogether. As the basic unit of society, the family is key to the implementation of both the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

A number of United Nations documents, from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to previous Habitat documents, recognize the family as the basic unit of society, playing a key role in issues of societal strength,1  social development,2  the care and nurture of children,3 educational programs,4,5 and more.   

There are over four-dozen references6 to the family in the Policy Papers.  As stakeholders, we have been asked to give feedback, plan side events, and share best practices at the various Habitat meetings. We’ve been instructed to draw guidance from the Policy Papers, and that the Policy Frameworks would guide the creation of the “New Urban Agenda.”  Therefore, because the family is included in the Agendas for Habitat I and Habitat II, and referred to in the Habitat III Policy Frameworks, we expect full recognition of the family in the final document.

In our study of the Policy Papers, #10 on Urban Housing is most encouraging.  It is full of objectives, targets, best practice models, and outcomes, all tied to the family in 37 references. Many of these demonstrate the importance of using the skill, talent, effort, energy and care found within a family to accomplish important goals in the community.

One case particularly demonstrated the importance of using the “family capital” (the skill, talent, effort, energy and care found in a family) to accomplish important goals in a community.  This example, on page 62 of Policy Paper #10 reads,

        “A one time subsidy of about US $150 per unit to replace dirt floors with cement floors, offering households that have such floors up to 50 square meters of concrete cement flooring. Between 2000 and 2007, this program installed cement floors in about 300,000 of the estimated 3 million houses in Mexico that had dirt floors.

       “The program covers the cost of the cement, with households supplying the labour needed to install the floor. The cement is poured, and each family installs it in about four hours according to instructions they are given.”

Four paragraphs in the Zero Draft referenced “children and youth,” but did not mention the family.  Most children and youth are cared for within a family.  It would be appropriate to add, “and their family” in each paragraph.  Similar wording is used in the Habitat II Agenda in paragraphs 8, 11, 122d, and 146b.   

 Also, please include families in the list of the following groups in paragraph 12:

“Particular attention should also be paid to addressing the specific challenges facing children, youth, [families,] persons with disabilities, older persons, indigenous peoples, women, grassroots organizations, informal inhabitants and workers, farmers, refugees, returnees, and internally displaced persons, and migrants in the implementations of the New Urban Agenda.”

Any listing of groups within a community should include the family.   Consider some of the following groups in light of current world crises: children, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, and refugees.  Governments cannot sustain these groups and individuals indefinitely. The most sustainable solutions are found in the context of the family.

When families are strengthened with protections and resources that help them to empower themselves, they can help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals — both in cities and in rural areas.