Sub-topic 1. Building the urban governance structure: Establishing a supportive framework

March 24, 2017

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  • 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

Sub-topic 1. Building the urban governance structure: Establishing a supportive framework


67.  We reaffirm and reiterate the principles and strategies agreed upon in the International Guidelines on Decentralization and Access to Basic Services for all, adopted by the Governing Council of UN-Habitat in 2007.

68.  We will anchor the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda on inclusive and implementable national urban policies, including land and housing policies, to guide sustainable urban development as an integral part of the national development strategy, supported by appropriate national, sub-national and local institutional and regulatory frameworks, ensuring that they are adequately linked to finance mechanisms and sound urban planning guidelines.

69.  We will foster stronger coordination between national, sub-national, and local governments including through formal multi-level consultation mechanisms and by clearly defining the respective competences, tools and resources for each level of government.

70.  We will ensure coherence between goals and measures of sectorial policies at different levels and scales of political administration in order to strengthen integrated approaches to urbanization and implement urban planning strategies that factor them in.

71.  We will ensure that legal and policy frameworks, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, are established to enable local authorities to effectively implement national urban policies and to empower them as policy and decision makers, ensuring appropriate fiscal, political, and administrative decentralization based on the principle of subsidiarity and the respect for local self-government. 

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  1. We recognize that the realization of the transformative commitments set out in the New Urban Agenda will require national, sub-national, and local governments to ensure an enabling policy framework, integrated by planning and management of urban spatial development, and effective means of implementation at the national, sub-national, and local levels, complemented and supported by international cooperation. 

  1. We will support strengthening the capacity of sub-national governments to implement effective local and metropolitan governance, ensuring the involvement of both local and regional governments in decision making, providing them with authority over critical metropolitan concerns. We will promote metropolitan governance that encompasses democratic legitimacy, legal frameworks, and reliable financing mechanisms.

  2. We will support local authorities in determining their own administrative and management structures in order to adapt to local needs. We will encourage appropriate regulatory frameworks and support to local governments in partnering with communities and the private sector to develop and manage basic services and infrastructure.

  3. We will promote participatory approaches at all stages of the urban policy and planning processes, from conceptualization to design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and evaluation routed in new forms of direct partnership between governments and civil society through well-resourced permanent mechanisms and platforms open to all.

  4. We will put in place broad-based platforms and mechanisms for cooperation, consultation and review processes that create ownership among different stakeholders, for the elaboration, monitoring and continuous review of urban policies, including land and housing policies, with the goal of informing any amendments, as appropriate.

  5. We will develop national housing policies encompassing participatory planning and the principles of social inclusion, economic effectiveness, environmental protection, resilience and cultural adequacy, in order to address the provision of qualitative, sustainable and affordable housing at scale which remains a key challenge in most countries.

77.  We will encourage applying the principle of subsidiarity in the implementation of national housing policies through subnational and decentralized structures in order to ensure the coherence between national and local urban development strategies, land policies, and housing supply. 

78.  We will implement partnerships in a multi-level governance structure, with the open, democratic and inclusive participation of stakeholders at all levels, recognizing that the successful realization of sustainable urban development in all areas considered by this New Urban Agenda strongly depends on the combined and coordinated effort of all stakeholders involved, both governmental and non-governmental.