Following the Informal Intergovernmental Meetings (29 June – 1 July 2016), participants were invited to review the following sections of the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda and share feedback. This was the 3rd part of the discussion, which closed on 7 July. Part 4 begins on 20 July 2016.
PART 3: Effective Implementation
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 3: Effective Implementation
SSA: UHSNET is part of the East and Douthern Africa regional housing network which was formed in 2013 to bring together organizations that promote adequate housing in Africa.
We appreciate the draft of the new urban agenda and indeed feel that it has addressed substantial issues of urban development, and will enable more inclusive and comprehensive agenda in dealing with complex urban issues and problems. We have reviewed the draft and hereby attach our submissions for consideration of the secretariat .
There is a general consensus among Professional elite in govt. and business in Africa, that what is required to confront the malaise of squalid housing, is “Affordable Housing”. Country after country have posited this idea as sacrosanct.
However, with bourgeoning populations, the housing situation is only worsening for the vulnerable. The property market is the real winner, even in the much touted PPP concoctions around the continent.
In my view, what needs to be done is to adopt “Social Housing”, in which margin of profit is not the driver to the Initiative. Housing provision for the majority population which includes the vulnerable, should be the driver of this template. It is observable that in Nigeria, for example, the gimmick of Mass Housing, under the Affordable Housing template, had been used to acquire thousands of hectares of urban and peri-urban land , for private profit. Such lands have been subdivided for sale to investors in small property holdings (lots of between 450sqm and 650sqm), but variable. This puts these lands beyond the reach of the majority vulnerable.
In this Social Housing idea, Africans should rediscover their traditional building ideas and materials, which have housed them for centuries.There was this attempt at going back to traditional building materials in the mid-1980s in Nigeria, which was surreptitiously abandoned. Virtually all the kilns producing burnt bricks in the country disappeared under the selfish property orgy of the elite, in a programme called Privatisation.Multinationai and local cement producing companies won the battle. The fact remains, however, that cement blocks are beyond the reach of that majority.
Our traditional buildings have stood for centuries with adequate management. They are also more comfortable as they are more energy efficient, requiring less cooling/heating. Whatever defects they may have, like the issue of foundations and pillars etc, can be addressed with modern technology. Other societies leverage on their local materials and designs for housing provision. Why not Africa?
It is arguable that the housing deficit is largely an urban phenomenon. But the fact is that young, male rural dwellers throng the urban centres, due to rural squalor. Social housing can combine with proactive Regional Planning, to urbanise the rural areas, with adequate and financially accessible housing. This is probably the only sustainable way of checking rapid and massive rural drift.
Under the social housing mantra, site-and-services schemes, Upgrading initiatives, and material assistance to self-builders (by federal, state, local government and other sources), can significantly help in genuine mass housing provision. That is the sustainable panacea to checking exorbitant house rents.
It is also notable that the Affordable Housing bogey is almost synonymous with House Ownership. Yes it is alright for those with regular and upper middle to high income. But it excludes the majority low income, about half or more of whom have irregular income.
Furthermore, even among those who have the requisite income to sign mortgage facilities, not all may be interested in paying for a house to live in, at certain stages in their life. The point is that, in my view, using the rule of the thumb, most of required housing is for rented accommodation.
Governments at all levels in Africa, should ignore Breton Wood’s Institutions prognosis of no- government participation in housing provision. At certain stages of their nationhood, their governments did provide housing.
Provision of Social Housing is the equitable way forward for African countries.
En funcion de nuestra posicion actual como Consultora en Planificacion Territorial y Ambiental consideramos pertinente senalar que el Borrador Cero , debido a su tamano y el grado de detalles que asume en su version actual , deberia ser desglozado en Secciones claramente definidas por regiones a nivel mundial para poder convertirse en un documento que permita su implementacion en el tiempo y el espacio a traves de Programas y Proyectos que puedan ser llevados a cabo mediante financiamientos factibles y mecanismos realmente viables en cada uno de sus ambitos de accion a traves de los grupos regionales existente para estos fines.
Creemos en ese sentido que, siendo el tema del desarrollo de ciudades prosperas uno de los temas centrales de Habitat III, este deberia ser incorporado como eje transversal para una gestion territorial del desarrollo sostenible debido a su caracer incluyente en cada uno de los subespacios que finalmente sean considerados a nivel mundial, regional y subregional.
En esos contextos es necesario contar con una gobernanza territorial que permita que esos procesos sean viables mediante mecanismos tanto de gestion legal,como administrativa y financiera,
Los procesos de metropolizacion en cada subespacio[regiones] se deberian abordar de manera conjunta de forma que generen la transferencia de modelos de desarrollo urbano para viabilizar fuentes de financiamiento via convenios regionales para su implementacion.
We suggest to add also “ensuring economic and environmental sustainability and avoiding land speculations”.
Each country context defines social infrastructure utilities as part of basic services and requires specific measures in order to improve accessibility and financial situation necessary to achieve quality in use of these services. We therefore, call for context-sensitive approaches in financing utilization of both technical and social infrastructure and in enhancing financial management capacities at all levels of government.
I am sorry, but it seems to me that the global enterprise set in train by Habitat I has wandered well off the tracks. The first action resolution of Habitat I in 1976 was “to adopt bold, meaningful and effective human settlement policies and spatial planning strategies (…) considering human settlements as an instrument and object of development.” The current draft of the New Urban Agenda looks about as bold as a management plan for a completed cemetery.
Here we are, exactly half way through the greatest project in history, the arrival of 7 billion people in cities. There are still 3.5 million people who will need housing, planning, services and jobs. Where is the excitement and opportunity that should be attendant on this enterprise? Where is it even mentioned in the NUA? In the end, the success or otherwise of the NUA will be and should be measured by the extent to which it meets this target while making up for the substantial shortfall incurred during the first half of the giant Global Urbanisation Project.
Under the strategies of the predecessor documents, Global Shelter Strategy (GSS) and Habitat Agenda (HA), many good pilot programmes were undertaken, so that we now have an excellent idea what does and doesn’t work. However, the good ones were never replicated, so these strategies failed to make any dent in the housing and planning shortfall. The problem was that the documents told national governments to do nothing, assuming they would continuously enable the sector. Only national governments had the power or resources to replicate the many useful trial projects that came out of GSS and HA, and they were effectively discouraged from doing so. Without promises or targets or any real inducement or encouragement national governments did – nothing – and slowly dropped housing from their policy apparatus (see Issues Paper 20). Only a few countries like China and South Africa who largely ignored UN documents for good or bad made any progress in meeting urban demand.
The private sector operating unaided within cities delivers exactly what it has done for the past five hundred years– quality housing for the rich, and slums and informal settlements for the poor. Without government intervention or incentives, formal private activity will always go where the money is to be made – luxury housing for elites. For the informal private sector, any money goes into overcrowded unserviced tenements or shacks. In fact, In the developing world where the risk factor is high, the money may not even be there for luxury or middle class housing.
The Millennium Project Target II Costing study showed that slum settlements of 100 million inhabitants could be improved and new settlements provided for a further700 million people for $200 billion on-ground costs. This is a fraction of what was spent on the Iraq War, and a tiny drop next to what was sunk into the Global Financial Crisis. There is no doubt that if even a few larger donors and the recipient governments were serious, the slums of the world could be ‘fixed’ and basic housing provided for all the new arrivals.
Governments can build houses, directly or indirectly, where the private sector cannot. All it requires is political will. We accept that national governments have made and continue to make mistakes providing housing in pursuit of narrow objectives that are sectoral and not pro-poor. While many of the larger scale building programmes have had problems or were poorly executed, with better design and planning using relatively small amounts of extra expenditure, new communities can be built attractively and sustainably. Housing and infrastructure does not have to be built directly by governments – China built and rebuilt 50 million houses in an entirely decentralised fashion through enterprises by applying the proper incentives.
The New Urban Agenda is a kindlier, more inclusive document than its predecessors, and it contains clauses we support
a. §88 supports conducting detailed surveys.
b. §89 supports mixed income developments.
c. §90 supports collective tenures and a reduced emphasis on ownership.
d. §91 embeds slums in cities, directing resources to upgrading and social improvements
e. §92 supports building and planning codes
f. §93 wants affordable housing at the centre of the city
g. §95 supports integrated mobility plans and public transport, and opposes displacing the poor
§114-119 are strong sections on fiscal devolution, municipal borrowing and value capture.
Nevertheless, NUA does not give the impression of being serious about housing or new construction generally, compared with the GSS or HA.
- It contains nothing on preparing for the arrival of more than 3 billion people in the cities of the developing world. Much of this future growth will be internal to the cities and may provide good investment returns, at a time when returns are drying up in the West where little population increase is expected.
- The NUA is to be ratified at the Conference for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (with Housing placed first) – yet the clauses related to housing are disorganised and diluted. Not till clause 93 does it bother to mention in passing that “housing is at the center of the strategy”].
- It does not require commitments or move in the direction of setting targets for anticipated future activity, or even suggest performance measures.
At a time when almost every country is constructing far less housing than demand or need would dictate, and when investment opportunities are beginning to arise throughout the developing world, it is injudicious for the United Nations make an about turn and dilute its involvement in the housing and urban development business as it appears to be doing.
Dear Madam/Sir, I would like to stress the need for a simple assessment of the performance of cities, e.g. with our City Blueprint approach, not only to assess the current situation in municipalities and regions (the baseline assessment), but also to measure progress of the transitions in e.g. 5 years time. To collect this info is a matter of days. In this way goals and implementation become SMARTER.
Our publication in Environment, Development and Sustainability (DOI 10.1007/s10668-016-9760-4) written together with my colleague Stef Koop is an introduction for politicians, mayors, companies, citizens, NGOs and all other persons interested in the challenges of water in the next decades. The paper can also be used as background for the upcoming HABITAT-III meeting and is available here. A summary presentation is available too. The paper can be summarized in 10 bullet points:
1. Relevance. Cities play a prominent role in our economic development as more than 80 % of the gross world product (GWP) comes from cities.
2. Challenges in cities. Climate change and urbanization are among the most significant trends of the twenty-first century, affecting global natural resources such as water, economic development and human well-being. Water infrastructure is very expensive. Water infrastructure, which underlies urban water security in many developed countries, is generally ageing and requires upgrading, in some cases urgently and extensively.
3. Transitioning and developing countries. Particularly at risk are cities in transitional and developing countries, where the trends and pressures of urbanization, economic growth and climate change, a lack of awareness and readiness, or the lack of ambition and government effectiveness, or limited financial resources for infrastructure construction and maintenance are immense challenges.
4. Cities and Citizens. Cities are the major problem holders. Municipal action can provide the local solutions for the global challenges we face. The local urban level is the relevant scale. It is the CITIZEN, the volunteer, the voter who provides and guarantees the continuity required for successful urban transitions. CONCENSUS is the framework for that essential participation. Active civil societies including the private sector with visionary local government can cope with most water challenges.
5. Water Governance. “Before fixing the urban water pipes, fix the institutions”. This recent quote of the OECD, highlights the relevance of water governance to improve Urban Water Cycle Services (UWCS). Water governance is the range of political, institutional and administrative rules, practices and processes (formal and informal) through which decisions are taken and implemented, stakeholders can articulate their interests and have their concerns considered, and decision makers are held accountable for water management.
6. City- to-city learning. The challenges require a multi-level water governance approach, a long-term strategy, a bottom-up approach and collaboration among cities and regions. Cities are encouraged to participate in learning alliances to actively share knowledge and experiences on implementation of state-of-the-art technologies (city-to-city learning). This is the most efficient way to improve UWCS.
7. Smarter Cities. Cities require a long-term framing of their sectorial challenges into a proactive and coherent Urban Agenda to maximize the co-benefits and to minimize their cost. We need smarter cities:
- Smarter cities are cities with a coherent long-term social, economic and ecological agenda.
- Smarter cities are water-wise cities that integrate their sectorial agendas on water, wastewater, energy, solid waste, transport, ICT, climate adaptation and nature into a forward-looking, coherent Urban Agenda to maximize co-benefits and to minimize the cost.
- Smarter cities implement a circular economy, focus on social innovation and, last but not least, greatly improve on governance.
8. SMART goals. Cities should develop a cohesive set of long-term objectives that should be SMART:
- Specific (target a specific area for improvement),
- Measurable (quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress),
- Assignable (specify who will do it),
- Realistic (state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources),
- Time-related (specify when the result(s) can be achieved).
(NB. SMART goals will be included in the Leeuwarden Declaration; see also my previous post).
9. Implementation matters. Regular benchmarking, with e.g. the City Blueprint approach, based on SMART goals is needed to monitor progress of the transition process towards water-wise UWCS in cities.
10. Sense of Urgency. The time window to implement a smarter city approach is narrow and rapidly closing. The longer political leaders wait, the more expensive adaptation will become and the danger to citizens and the economy will increase. This together with the high costs for water infrastructure and its maintenance make water a high priority, where PROCRASTINATION, i.e. the avoidance of doing tasks which need to be accomplished, will not do. Mahatma Gandhi has raised this too: ‘The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world’s problems’
Have a look at this post and other post on my linkedin and our review paper:
Proposed by David Harold Chester
The proposals for the implementation of these worthy ideals have failed to recognize the significance of land ownership and its three ill effects on the community and national economy. These are namely:
a) ability to withhold the opportunities for performing useful work and the provision of suitable family accommodation that the land provides,
b) the speculation in the growing value of land in a developing urban community, which rightly should belong to that community and
c) the income in the form of ground rent, which such an owner enjoys and which by moral right of land being a gift of nature (if not of God), should be justly shared.
The Georgist proposal to introduce a single form of taxation on land values, as a socially just solution to these objections, has met with little favor in government because it is politically unsound and unpopular in so far as it is:
a) another tax burden which nobody wants to pay and
b) a move to reduce the benefits which a comparatively small but politically strong number of land owners have been enjoying and don’t want to loose.
In this writer’s opinion, the way to overcome these problems for implementation should be achieved without the introduction of added taxation nor should the advantage which land ownership bestows, be removed directly from these owners when they can act as a body having political influence. The method to be adopted would logically and unfailingly pass laws that enable the government, acting for the whole country, to purchase at the market price any urban site of land which is for sale, or for which the registration is to change hands, with the new owner necessarily paying the existing inheritance (or new ownership) tax. Since many inheritors of sites of urban land have not the means for covering the current taxes on it, the obligatory sale of these sites to the government will enable said taxes to be paid in full, and still leave the bequeathed owner with a tidy sum for use in any way he/she desires. Thus the previous objection in having to face a loss is eliminated. The government, having obtained legal and socially just rights to the land, the sites should be leased out to would-be owners/users, whilst the first refusal for such leases must be given to the previous owner. This allows for any buildings or other permanent structure which was owned by the past land owner, to stay in his possession (and right for access) and to have the chance to continue to enjoy its further use. Regarding the lease fee, its duration and magnitude, a separate government department whose job includes the valuation of the sites and the setting of their monetary matters, to be introduced, whose officers will eventual replace those currently within the army of tax inspectors and other officials, with a long-term view to reducing the costs of the maintenance of such a taxation department (since land ownership and its occupation are very difficult to deny or hide, compared to earnings, sales, capital gains, etc.) The knowledge of the values of this nationalized land and its leasing fees shall become public which includes the publication of land value maps etc.
When such a site of land belongs to a publically funded company, the transfer of its shares will include by necessity a proportion of the total land value, so the same principle shall be applied to the individual owners who will get an increased “dividend” on shares transfer.
Thus instead of causing the present land owners to oppose the changed laws, this new arrangement would allow them to be treated fairly, as if their property were capital goods (which is how they see it), although this is an incorrect view held by many who do not own land.
Yes,as much we are now trying to value business and establishments,that serious we are with property and Land.We know that Intellectual Property Rights needs a protection in cities more than in country side.But the one issue is that Land owners to convert to any such professions such as engineers and doctors,are almost taking 3 generations.Earlier India along with many countires took away land from owners and straight away gave to tillers.
But the constitution directions as underlined by the supreme court took almost 18 years to award a compensation.But in 180 on wards we also recognised the need to give livelihood to such people whose lands are totally needed for any projects for development.This also did not show proper substance,and land for land and giving extra for displacement has become a necessity[so that the cultivation continues for some more years in family.]Land tenure,ownership is essential even in gender equality so that women primarily get their share of property,so that they can look after family in rare circumstances.
There has been an improvement since the first Habitat in 1976 (Vancouver), however emerging issues are remaining with the pressure of population dynamics.
I can see several reasons, which are clearly explained- For example, in the claim of 8 billion people living in cities by 2050- Cities initially in Europe, before industrial revolutions were separated from the countrysides by walls. When farmers flocked to cities to find jobs, these walls have been destroyed to create new social infrastructure to accommodate the urban settlement. Possibly, today it is not happening in cities, which are supersaturated with already existing services. Also, one needs to ensure that these cities are not mega poles ( more than 10 billion people) or big cities that are interconnected and globalization, but all cities including small cities of 10, 000 peoples, in order to reduce fears. Beside the risks there are opportunities for job creation, services and technology development in new urban small cities or in the countryside. One should also think about the ownership of cities. Who owns cities? Are they the builders, the municipalities, peoples, banks…? Maybe the need for better regulation to promote the right incentives for the right urbanism. In such a way social housing are not occupied by rich people and so on. Most of the cities of the world are in fact shaped by the development of the cars and technology to commute. It is important to move away from the car civilization to implement a revolution in urban development and human settlement. Also, the way we are working, and commuting could be change with new work places and distance working or paying more attention to working distance. For example, how people spend their time when commuting from the house to the workplace. Again, it is an opportunity for various creative industries, so there are less time lose and effectiveness in the working distance relationship. Theses new cities will add more values to what is known today.
Cities and risks: a good number of cities are sinking in the world (Mexico, Bangkok, Beijing, Veneto….). In the past there has been mistake in planning heavy and light industrial activities. As these cities were often built on aquifers or dry lakes, they are sinking today under the pressure of urbanism. Maybe lighter urbanism is also needed with more horizontal cities rather than vertical cities. it depends….
Last is about the salvages of the environment. When building a city, the tendency is to flatten earth surface, moutains slope, cut forest and trees…in such a way later, there is no natural buffers when there is strong wind, flood…and it is a source of disasters. We should integrate in the cost of urbanism the global cost, which is taking into account future impacts on the environment. So, urban planners do more urban prevention than urban reparation or settlement after a catastrophic event. There are also issue with logistics of urban workers, which are not following construction codes….
In summary, new urban agenda implementation to be effective need to take into account more variables than the link between increase population and the number of roofs needed. Thanks Georges BIRD
Land has to bear the stress of buildings,but it also has to bear the stress of water[rain,waste,and supply ]If we do not arrive at a population density index verses,transport availability in terms of peak time transport on a 200 ft,10 lane road will have a 200000 populated apartment blocks will congest the land.
Let us put mathematical equations on transport,water,electricity ,height of buildings,and also extent of concrete and bitumen use.Limit state stress as civil engineers call for concrete it is for human culture where it cracks.
How can you implement the New Urban Agenda without recognizing that people live together in families, and it is in families that the grassroots involvement begins. The family, together as a unit, can be empowered to accomplish the goals of the agenda. Without recognizing the family, the government is responsible for every individual — an impossible task.
At the very least, the family, or parents, should be listed along with “children and youth.” Who will help the children and youth accomplish goals? The parents! They have the long-term best interest of their children, and care greatly about the city their children are raised in.
Please include the “basic unit of society” — as specified in many of the UN treaties and conference documents — including Habitat II.
Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society
We are calling for open spaces for all,we are not specifying how to zone[region a city]and extent of open space [say for 10,00,000 persons @20% holidaying we need on holidays @100 sft for each .It gives the figures.Unless we spell a guideline[not mandatory] there will be no implementation.These open spaces can be malls,theaters,exhibitions,parks,Zoo,or hill tracks but they are public spaces.
Comment to what is said about urbanization and joint family destruction,it is also leading to culture and heritage left over or forgotten.Hence the public spaces needs to offer the required in puts on culture,heritage and joint family living
For Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Carribean islands ( all former colonies of the world ), unless Planning Legislations are reviewed, the ideals of Habitat 111 may not be attained.
The countries look for legislation like they look for god from somewhere and rain from the sky.It is essential to have certain reforms in their municipal acts.
Absolutely, Mr Saripalli. The single most important barrier to the attainment of the ideals of Habitat 1 and Habitat 11 (and now threatening) Habitat 111, is the twin Planning and Land legislations in Africa, Asia and Latin America, particularly the Anglophone. The twins ensure the legal grabbing of peasant lands, without adequate compensation and inclusion in urban development. The Planning legislation ensures that the majority are excluded from legal participation in urban development through professional technicalities and financial requirements that are beyond the means of the majority.
The summary is that instead of providing access to land for the majority, the legislations combine to rather demolish the homes and businesses of the poor majority and evicting them.
The example of one of these planning legislations in Nigeria, is treated in another contribution above.
The main purpose of the 1917 Township Act……”was to establish the broad principle of municipal responsibility, graduated according to the importance of the community…..one major feature of the Township Ordinance was the emphasis on the community”……
In physical planning terms, the Act was the first nationwide legislation in the country. It set the tone of spatial segregation in the Planning system, which has continued to date, 99 years after!. It is the origin of the ‘GRA-and-the-rest’ syndrome in the Planning system. This is the basic spatial configuration of the entire urban scape in Nigeria. The Govt. reserved area (GRA), is provided with all the Infrastructure of urban growth and development (planned development), while the rest grow organically, into huge slums. The latter areas are periodically illegalized (by legal provisions) and demolished. They are usually said to be crime-infested areas. The evicted move elsewhere to found new homes, through land invasion and/or land subdivision. Over decades, as the land value of these slums increase geometrically, they are marked illegal and demolished again. This is the recurring decimal of the Planning system in Nigeria. The result is that most of the touted urban population in the towns and cities, reside under horrible slum conditions.
Planning legislation is a fundamental key in the implementation of the ideals of Habitat 111, in the former colonies of the world.
I always feel i can participate one of these discussions while in USA.I attend some seminars at Texas for Underground construction.I was happy to be in the discussion “E-discussion: Building the future we want with science, technology and innovation (STI) and culture: 18 February – 19 March 2013”.I was citing my experiences of Project managent of Infrastructure companies in India,Arabian Gulf,and in some countires of Africa and yes in USA.My impressions may not fit in to the way you may need ,but they are here.
B: Effective Implementation– Sub-topic 1. Building the urban governance structure: Establishing a supportive framework ;Most of the developed countries the Frame work is made and the implemntation,and inspection are from various agencies,whom the officials oversee.The problem with large democratic countries is, as we discussed in Science,technology and innovation for the Development we want,the involvement of the benificiaries.Identifying such who are either benifitted or the loser.They have to be shown long term benifit,with out losing identity,cu,ture and Heritage,which normally changes once Uranisation starts.
Sub-topic 2. Planning & managing urban spatial development -Well in the world the Urbanisation shall not lead to congestion,it can not also lead to the death of a living area.The end results can be deavasting with so much technology with in their reach but finacing education,transportation planning do not meet the living people requiremnts.We have recorded earlier the Urban voilence of Nairobi and Mubai,typically the same in the Urban setting.Greedyness,and competation for recognision can be meaningless competations which can make the politicians lose one over the other.
– Sub-topic 3. Means of implementation -Finding parties on PPP or on project operation may be possible but Finding suitable finances,empowering the people to be able to pay for development.Finding wrong decision makers and punishing them,legally,what ever their position can be,stopping graft and containg and making an international mechanism for reporting movent of nameless monies overnight is a requiremnt.Keeping commited and possibly honest persons for completing a project in a span of 5 years also a requiremnt
PART 3: Effective Implementation
Section C of the document deals with the Follow-up and Review of the New Urban agenda, we have additional emphasis to point out to its deficits and what ought to be done for the new urban agenda to be realized. The current Section C does not represent a cohesive proposal on the post-2016 institutional arrangements in the field of human settlements at the international, i.e. United Nations level and the Partners place in them as it lacks an organizational or political plan and strategy to effectively implement the New Urban Agenda [NUA] once finalized and endorsed by the General Assembly.
We believe that while the UN-Habitat and its Governing Council has been given the mandate to implement the NUA, such commitment shall be hollow unless it is accompanied with expansion of the membership to the Governing Council and expanded role for Habitat partners and partner groups. This should go hand in hand with making the work of UN-Habitat more knowledge based.
The implementation, framework and plan, including the role of the World Urban Forum (WUF) should also be made more clear and move beyond mere meeting points and become instead an advisory body to the Assembly on technical aspects of the implementation, making recommendations.
Finally, the implementation of the NUA shall require proper financing as well as more structured model for global as well as country assessments. We suggest that the period should be defined as bi-annual and could benefit from Voluntary Assessed Contributions (VAC) for members of the new Assembly similar to what was done at UNEP.
Main Topic B: Effective Implementation
– Sub-topic 3. Means of implementation >
130. –> The sentence ‘support capacity development initiatives to empower and strengthen skills and abilities’ is too vague. How do we want to support these initiatives concretely? Through technical and financial support? How do we want to strengthen the skills and abilities of the groups mentionned? Through formal education (literacy)/ informal education/ TVET? Need to be further elaborated and again homeless and minorities are invisible, forgotten in this paragraph.
Finally I would like to thank you again for your time and consideration.
The Zero Draft provides a more inclusive and comprehensive agenda in dealing with complex urban issues and problems. However, the agenda needs also to present how urban policies will take shape on the ground which providing more applicable solutions and alternatives for urban development policy makers and practitioners. This addresses the following questions:
A. If urban development is directed to be more inclusive, there should be more options on implementation schemes, including non-regular approaches. Then how to embrace non-regular options in the mainstream urban policy and development?
B. If urban informality is acknowledged as the driver of rapid urbanisation, particularly in developing countries, are there any doable policy options beside formalising the informality?
C. If urban development is directed to be contextual, then is there any need to centralise urban agenda and aligning sets of national urban policy? Then at what stage the contextual policies can be embraced to enhance the contextual improvement (as government-led urban development planning and budgeting process is considered hiearchical and rigid)?
Again, for Main Topic B: Effective Implementation
– Sub-topic 3. Means of implementation
Role of academic Institutions for generating evidences on performances of interventions need to be included in 135.
For Section B., and Subtheme 2.
I suggest to add the important GRI aspect as :
NEW 100. We will support local authorities to develop Green and Resilient Infrastructure as an alternative or complementary to engineered infrastructure.
Dear UN Habitat,
Thank you for your efforts to reflect the need for affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport in the New Urban Agenda.
However, the Agenda still lacks a focus on protecting vulnerable populations such as children, and implementation via connection to other UN processes. As such, we strongly recommend the following, underlined language to be added to paragraph 94.
94. We will take measures to improve road safety and integrate it into mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design. We will promote the ‘safe system’ approach called for in the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety, and implementation of the United Nations vehicle safety regulations, accompanied by awareness raising initiatives, with special attention to the needs of all women and girls, as well as children and youth, older persons and persons with disabilities and those in vulnerable situations. We will promote a safe and healthy journey to school for every child as a priority in line with UN Convention of the Rights of the Child.
The Agenda makes reference to other Decades and UN processes. The Decade of Action for Road Safety calls for a ‘safe system’ approach, which is critical to include in the Agenda to bridge the gap between policy and implementation.
Thank you again for providing such an open and transparent process, and for the opportunity to provide comments.
I completely agree and endorse Ms. Draisin’s suggestion to the text.
The zero draft recognizes the importance of green spaces in cities, but not to the extent needed. Green spaces and parks will function as inclusion platforms by providing spaces in which citizens of the cities may meet on an equitable basis. Green spaces and parks will provide opportunities for recreation and sports equal for all and for free, provided they are public. Green spaces and parks will alleviate the heat islands effect and lower temperature when temperatures rise due to global warming, thus help saving lives. Green spaces and parks will absorb storm water and thus mitigate the flooding of cities and land slides. Green spaces will help cities provide its inhabitants with fresh, clean water. And much more.
All of this is touched upon in the zero draft. But what is lacking is the aknowledgment that in order for these benefits to accrue, green spaces and parks must be of sufficient size. In the text of the draft it should be recognized that what is needed in cities, large and small, but more important in large cities, is large green spaces and large urban parks. By that is meant large segments of natural landscape or large, man-made parks.
Large is relative to the size of the city. Out of the area of the city a large proportion – 10, 20 or even 30 percent – should be green. The larger the city the larger the proportion must be, compensating for the greater distance to the surrounding landscape in the larger city.
The world has witnessed recognition of the importance of large green spaces in a few cities already many years ago: Central Park in New York and Bois de Boulogne in Paris. A number of other cities, especially in the rich parts of the world, have set aside larger segments of green, or limited expansion into the surrounding landscape, thus creating peri-urban parks. But on the whole, green infrastructure is regarded as coating of the cake rather than as a natural and essential part of the city.
Therefore, planning must be directed at preserving or creating green structures on par with planning for buildings, residents, offices and factories. Absolutely essential is the control of land by the city or the regional government, either through ownership or through regulation. Spontaneous, profit based development will set aside far too little greenery. Only by vigorous town planning is it possible to have a chance to achieve this.
Chair Large Urban Parks
World Urban Parks
Welcome to the online discussion seeking feedback on the Zero Draft of the Habitat III Outcome document, taking place in advance of and throughout the informal intergovernmental meetings in New York this week.
I’m delighted to be moderating this third and final round of the discussion and looking forward to hearing from you. In
particular, I’m interested in sub topic 1: Building the urban governance stucture: establishing a supportive framework, and sub topic 2: planning and managing urban spatial development; please share your ideas, examples and suggestions of good practices and policies around theset two topics.
Your comments are most appreciated, especially now as the the revised version of the zero draft has been completed and shared to the public in June 18, 2016. Your expertise and experiences in making the NUA alive will be very informative to member-states as they come close to the Preparatory Committee Meeting 3 in Surabaya, Indonesia and the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador.
I hope we will have a productive discussion in the next two weeks. Cheers!
Practical Action Submission on Revised Zero Draft
Practical Action is an international NGO that has worked on issues affecting the urban poor over the last 20 years in many cities and human settlements across Africa, Asia and Latin America. We strive to achieve technology justice and find ways in which technology can challenge poverty – with a particular focus in the last few years around access to basic services: water, sanitation and waste management; and to issues of urban governance and resilience.
We have already commented under the ‘Transformative Commitments’ thread, but will add one more point here which is particularly relevant to ‘Effective Implementation’.
Urban Poverty Lines and Disaggregation of Data
We welcome the commitment to collecting disaggregated data that will help to highlight urban inequalities including those based on ‘geographic location’. It would be helpful to identify slums or informal settlements more explicitly in this commitment. We note that SDG1 target 1.1 commits to eradicating extreme poverty based on $1.25 per person per day. Because of the greater costs of urban living, those living on more than this may still find themselves in extreme poverty. Target 1.2 allows for measuring the proportion of the population living below a national poverty line. The New Urban Agenda needs to be clear that urban-relevant poverty lines must be established and national levels and targets set for the eradication of poverty that truly ‘leaves no-one behind’.
Beyond this, we remain concerned that too many commitments (as good as they are) will leave the New Urban Agenda too difficult to implement with too many inherent trade-offs which are not recognised in the text so far. Without some streamlining of commitments, and without a system against which those will be reported, there is little chance that the New Urban Agenda will make much difference to the lives of most people – and in particular to the poor and marginalised.
Whether it is by national governments making their own voluntary commitments (as in the Paris Climate Agreement, or with the Sanitation and Water for All process) or by global monitoring of a key set of goals and targets, these issues need to be clearly set out and transparency assured. That way, at all levels from the neighbourhood to the city to the nation, citizens themselves, and civil society organisations, can play their role in holding governments to account and driving forward progress.