Sub-topic 2. Planning & managing urban spatial development

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 2. Planning & managing urban spatial development


79.  We reaffirm and reiterate the principles and strategies for urban and territorial planning agreed upon in the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning, adopted by the Governing Council of UN-Habitat at its 25th session in April 2015.

80.  We will implement polycentric and balanced territorial development policies and plans, strengthening the role of small and intermediate cities in enhancing food security and nutrition systems, providing access to housing, infrastructure and services, and facilitate effective trade links, ensuring that small scale farmers are linked to larger supply chains. We will also support urban agriculture and farming as an option to contribute to food security.

81.  We will implement urban and territorial plans including city-region and metropolitan plans, to encourage synergies and interactions between and among separate urban areas, and their surroundings, including the cross-border ones and develop regional infrastructure projects that stimulate sustainable economic productivity, promoting equitable growth of regions. In this regard we will promote urban-rural partnerships and inter-municipal cooperation mechanisms as effective instruments to perform municipal administrative tasks, deliver public services and promote local development.

82.  We will implement planned urban extensions, infill, as well as regeneration, upgrading and retrofitting of urban areas, as appropriate, including in informal settlements, ensuring integrated and participatory approaches involving all stakeholders and inhabitants, avoiding gentrification and reducing spatial and socio-economic segregation, while preserving cultural heritage. 

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  1. We will promote urban and territorial planning based on the principles of efficient use of land and natural resources, compactness, adequate density and connectivity, multiple use of space, as well as mixed economic uses in the built up areas, to prevent sprawl, to reduce mobility needs, service delivery costs per capita, and harness density, economies of scale and agglomeration.

  2. We will support the implementation of urban planning strategies that facilitate a social mix through the provision of affordable housing options with access to quality public spaces, enhancing safety and security, favoring social and intergenerational interaction and the appreciation of diversity.

  3. We will support the provision of well-designed networks of quality, safe and accessible public spaces and streets, considering measures that allow for the best possible commercial use of street-level floors, fostering local markets and commerce, both formal and informal, promoting walkability and cycling towards improving health and well-being.

  4. We will integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation considerations and measures into urban development and planning processes, including resilience-based design of spaces, services and infrastructure and promoting cooperation and coordination across sectors.

  5. We will integrate measures for urban safety and violence, and crime prevention into all urban planning efforts, including in informal areas, and pay particular attention to vulnerability and cultural factors in the development of public security policies, including by eliminating the stigmatization of certain groups as security threats.

88.  We will promote compliance with legal requirements through strong land management frameworks and institutions that deal with land registration and governance, applying a transparent and efficient land use, property registration, and sound financial system. We will support local authorities and stakeholders in developing and using basic land inventory information, such as a cadaster, valuation maps, as well as land and housing price records to generate the high-quality, timely and reliable disaggregated data by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national context, needed to assess changes in land values. 

89.  We will foster the realization of the right to adequate housing by all appropriate means and to the maximum of our available resources, individually and through international assistance and cooperation, especially economic and technical, including the adoption of legislative measures. We will also enhance the public supply of affordable land for housing, including land in central and consolidated areas of cities, and encourage mixed-income development to offset segregation.

90.  We will develop policies that promote a wide range of alternative housing options and consider shifting from a predominantly private ownership to other rental and tenure options, including cooperative solutions such as co-housing, community land trust, and other forms of collective tenure, in order to improve the supply of affordable housing. This will include support to incremental housing and informal settlements upgrading programs.

91.  We will increase the allocation of financial and human resources for inclusive slum upgrading and prevention strategies that go beyond physical and environmental improvements and ensure that slums are integrated into the political, social, cultural, and economic dimensions of cities. These strategies should include, as applicable, access to basic services and quality public spaces, as well as support to regularization and promotion of security of tenure, as well as measures for conflict prevention and mediation.

92.  We will promote the development of adequate and enforceable regulations in the housing sector, including building codes, standards, development permits, land use by-laws and ordinances, and planning regulations, ensuring quality, safety and resilience. We will also promote differentiated analysis of housing supply and demand based on high-quality, timely, and reliable disaggregated data at national, sub-national and local levels, considering specific social, economic, and cultural dimensions. 

93.  We will implement housing and urban development programs with housing at the center of the strategy and to the extent possible, situated at the center of the city, prioritizing well-located and well-distributed housing schemes in order to avoid peripheral and isolated mass housing developments detached from the urban system. 

  1. We will take measures to improve road safety and integrate it into mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design. We will promote the 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, .

  2. We will provide access for all to safe, affordable, sustainable urban mobility and transport systems, enabling meaningful participation in social and economic activities in cities and human settlements, by integrating mobility plans into overall urban plans and promoting a wide range of mobility and transport options, in particular through:

    1. (a)  Supporting a significant increase in accessible public transport infrastructure as well as non- motorized options such as walking and cycling;

    2. (b)  Supporting equitable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) that minimizes the displacement in particular of the poor and features affordable housing and a mix of jobs and services;

    3. (c)  Supporting better and coordinated transport-land use planning, including waterways and transport planning, especially for small island developing states and coastal cities.

  3. We will develop mechanisms and common frameworks at the national, sub-national and local levels to appraise the wider benefits of urban transport schemes, including impacts on the economy, quality of life, accessibility, and road safety, among others. We will also consider establishing urban transport infrastructure funds at the national level, based on a diversity of funding sources, ranging from public grants to contributions from other public entities and the private sector.

97.  We will support the development of frameworks, based on sustainable national urban transport and mobility policies, for the organization, procurement, and regulation of transport and mobility services in urban and metropolitan areas, including new technology that enables shared mobility services, as well as the development of clear contractual relationships between local authorities and transport and mobility providers which define mutual obligations. 

98.  We will support better coordination and mutual understanding between transport and urban planning departments at the local level as well as between planning and policy frameworks at national, sub-national and local levels, including through National Urban Mobility Plans. We will provide support to local authorities to develop the necessary knowledge and capacity to implement integrated transport plans, including the provision of guidelines and the legal capacity to enforce plans upon adoption.

99.  We will support local authorities to develop financing instruments, enabling them to improve their transport infrastructure by public transport systems, such as Bus Rapid Transit systems, city trains, cycling lines, and technology based innovations in transport systems to reduce congestion and pollution while improving efficiency.

100.  We will support adequate investments in infrastructure and service provision systems for water, hygiene and sanitation, sewage, solid waste management, urban drainage, and storm water management to improve health and ensure universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, as well as adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all. We will further ensure that this infrastructure forms part of integrated urban development plans, including housing and mobility, among others, and is implemented in a participatory manner, considering innovative, accessible, context specific, and culturally sensitive solutions. We will equip public water utilities as a means to promote the universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all and adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all, as well as to promote sustainable water management through capacity development, including knowledge sharing and peer learning partnerships. We will also promote financial and operational strengthening of global, regional, national, and local mechanisms to fill the capacity gap in this regard and meet ambitious development objectives. 

  1. We will promote energy efficiency and support local governments in taking advantage of their direct control, where applicable, of local infrastructure and codes, to foster more efficient use of energy in end-use sectors, such as buildings, industry, transport, waste and sanitation.

  2. We will support coupled infrastructures and energy management, including the application of net metering standards, renewable portfolio standards, and public procurement policies on energy, among other modalities to achieve energy efficiency targets. Smart grid and district energy systems should also be prioritized to improve synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency.

  3. We will support universal access to sustainable waste management systems, based on the principle of de- centralization in decisions on alternatives to unregulated waste disposal. We will support the promotion of extended producer responsibility schemes, including waste generators and producers in the financing of urban waste management systems and reducing the hazards of waste streams and increasing recycling rates through better product design.

  4. We will promote the integration of food and nutrition needs of urban residents, particularly the urban poor, in urban development planning, contributing to the elimination of hunger and malnutrition. We will promote coordination of food security and agriculture policies across rural, peri-urban, and urban areas to facilitate the production, storage, transport, and marketing of food to consumers. We will further promote the coordination of food policies with energy, water, transport, and other policies in urban areas to maximize efficiencies and minimize waste, recognizing the food-water-energy nexus.

  5. We will make urban culture a priority component of urban plans and strategies through the adoption of planning instruments, including master plans, zoning guidelines, building code requirements, and strategic growth policies that safeguard a diverse range of tangible and intangible cultural assets and landscapes, and will avoid or mitigate potential disruptive impacts of urban development.

106. We will support leveraging cultural heritage for sustainable urban development, and recognize its role in stimulating participation and responsibility, and promote the new use of architectural monuments and sites with the intention of value creation, through respectful restoration and adaptation. We will further support the undertaking of comprehensive inventories and mapping of tangible and intangible assets, utilizing both new and traditional technologies and techniques and involving local communities, as appropriate.