PART 3: Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

March 24, 2017

This discussion is now closed. Thank you for your participation.

Moderators:

  • 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: Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

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.


Main Topic A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

Featured Comment ()
Joseph D’Cruz – Discussion Moderator, UNDP from Thailand
Mon, July 11, 2016 at 02.22 pm

Dear Participants,
Thank you for an interesting and informative discussion. Ed has provided a valuable final reflection below. As a final note, let me pick up on the submission Lucy Stevens made on behalf of Practical Action, which highlights the many issues faced by the urban poor and the challenge of managing trade-offs between the needs of the urban poor and the drive to develop infrastructure, strengthen the municipal fiscal base, etc.

Cities are, by their very nature, dynamic places that grow, evolve and develop at a fast pace, particularly in the developing world. In that sense urban development itself needs little assistance: urban areas will grow and develop out of their own momentum. The challenge is to ensure that this development is *sustainable* and *inclusive*.

As we all know, sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without undermining the opportunity for future generations to meet their own needs. Inclusiveness means meeting the needs and aspirations of all urban dwellers; the poor as well as the rich, migrants and marginalized as well as established residents. This is the challenge that needs careful thought, planning and collaborative effort.

The many comments and submissions in this discussion have proposed a range of ideas and suggestions for how to make urban development more sustainable and inclusive. Balancing these various options and approaches requires that we acknowledge the many trade-offs that development brings. As city leaders, residents and entrepreneurs struggle to respond to the dynamic growth of cities, it is easy to fall into the trap of meeting the needs of the present at the cost of the future (e.g. by making short-term choices in infrastructure development) or by neglecting the needs of the poor and marginalized while trying to meet the demands of those with stronger voices (especially elites). Sustainable and inclusive development means that we should resist these pressures as much as possible and take a more inclusive, longer-term view of urban development. This is the challenge that the New Urban Agenda will need to meet.

Our thanks for the many contributions you have made to help us create such a sustainable and inclusive agenda. We look forward to seeing what comes out of the intergovernmental process, and the negotiations that will take place in Surabaya in two weeks’ time.

The New Urban Agenda that is agreed at Habitat-III will only be the start of the journey. We look forward to continuing that journey with all of you, and the many others committed to sustainable urbanization.

With best wishes,
Joseph D’Cruz, Urbanization Task Team Lead, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Featured Comment ()
Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Sun, July 10, 2016 at 12.20 pm

Dear Participants,

      Thank you all for your contributions during the third round of the Dialogue. 
      The discussion started on a slow pace but picked up speed and concluded with a wide range of contributions, from very specific suggestions of language for given paragraphs, to highlights of topics that should still be brought on board, to a critique of substantive points of the Agenda. 
      Themes highlighted during the debate encompassed, inter alia,  the urban environment including more focus on nature and on land; cultural heritage, informal work, public spaces and safety, homelessness, minorities. There was more emphasis on the environmental aspects of the transformative commitments, although the other aspects were also noted, including HIC’s advocacy for an overall social and human rights based approach. 
      A challenge for the Agenda, as noted in previous rounds, is how to integrate all the specific issues in a comprehensive and coherent way.  To recap the words of Joseph D’Cruz: 
      …”The draft outcome document is now with the UN Member states to agree on… all the inputs provided       here are available to member states and other parties to adopt as they wish, and good ideas often       make their way through in the end”…
      Human settlements are meeting places and loci of dialogue. It is therefore pertinent and important that the Habitat III process itself – which will lead to global policies for human settlements – is shaped through dialogue among actors from different walks of life, being the present debate part of it. 
      Thanks again for your contributions and I hope that you continue to be engaged throughout the road to Surabaya and Quito, always remembering that it is in cities and towns that the rubber hits the road. 
RB Singh Professor from India
Thu, July 21, 2016 at 01.34 pm

Suggestions for

PLANNING & MANAGING URBAN SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT

Point 77: The matter should be included under umbrella theme of “Integrated Settlement System Development by Providing Smart Infrastructure from Small Towns to Mega city”

Point 85: Art as a tool for Heritage Renewal and Urban Sustainability: Art has the ability to connect and amplify the attachment of people to cultural heritage by enhancing the visibility of existing culture, traditions and monuments in urban spaces. The urban planners can consider heritage renewal through use of art as a tool for restoration of old monuments and cultural sites for development of tourism activities.

Point 86: Environmental Zoning and Urban Heat Island based Land use Planning for organizing city territorial spatial structure.

Point 89: Isolator should be installed between building and ground to reduce the vibration during earthquake and saving lives in high density city spaces 

Point 92: Development of ‘Urban Niche’ as far as possible to reduce carbon footprint from transport sector

Point 99: Include Pedestrian Safety like Special lanes for pedestrians and bicycles

Other Points to be included:

  • Developing Concept of Urban Support Land under perspective plan in order to mitigate problems created by land hungry people towards land speculation.
  • Curriculum initiatives on Sustainable Cities particularly focusing on air pollution based Health modeling; Urban industrial impact on food safety particularly vegetable and fruit cultivation in peri-urban zone; Ecological footprint mapping of emerging cities and their neighborhoods.
  • Gender Equality, Safety & Peaceful Urban Environment: Government and communities should work together for prevention of all forms of violence against women, children including sexual harassment in public places.
  • SmartnessPromotesCityResilience:Vulnerability Assessment of critical infrastructures (power supply, communication, water supply, transport, etc.) to disaster events

Professor R.B. Singh, Vice-President, International Geographical Union, and Member, ICSU-Scientific Committee on Urban Health and Wellbeing, Department of Geography, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi, Delhi -110007 (rbsgeo@hotmail.com; Mobile: 9971950226)

GEORGES RADJOU from France
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 10.46 pm

Friends,

All of this are very interesting. I hope we succeed for the future generations for full access to decent housing and leaving no one behind.

As I can see we have the technical means to make the dream house becomes true. Much more is needed in term of controlling and coordinating. Moving all from old thinking about housing to new lifestyles. Housing in an important element of the generation sacred living story. For some peoples it is a life story, for others it is just thought in term of opportunities.

Also, cities have long histories with owners and ownerships and lobbies, as these cannot be changed. The housing change will remain a challenge and a scourge in someways for those sleeping rough or in slumps with no access to water hygiene, sanitation. The house is an element of people vulnerability. How often do you see people moving a house, when they are nor forces to make so? How often do risk increases when you do not have  a roof to protect your properties. Unless, you want to live your life naked (or like nomads), in such case, maybe a house is not just design for you. They are other appropriate forms of shelters.

We hope to have good discussion and exchange during the coming days and share visions and values, which is in the draft agenda. Housing transmission through the generations and taxes are also an important tool to leverage descent housing for all.

Thank you.

BIRD

Gladys Huchu Consultant, Water and Sanitation Projects Management from Kenya
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 03.31 pm

I propse Paragraph 83 should read as follows:83. We will implement integrated, polycentric, and balanced territorial development policies and plans, encouraging cooperation and mutual support among different scales of cities and human settlements, strengthening the role of small and intermediate cities and towns in enhancing food security and nutrition systems, providing access to housing, infrastructure and urban basic services, and facilitate effective trade links, across
the urban-rural continuum, ensuring that small scale farmers and fishers are linked to regional and global value chains and markets. We will also support urban agriculture and farming as well as responsible local sustainable consumption and production, and social interactions through enabling accessible networks of local markets and commerce as an option to contribute to sustainability and food security.

Gladys Huchu Consultant, Water and Sanitation Projects Management from Kenya
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 03.20 pm

I propose Paragraph 28 , 30 should read as follows:  

28. We commit to ensure equitable and affordable access to basic physical and social infrastructure and services for all, without any form of discrimination, including affordable serviced land, housing, energy, safe drinking water and sanitation, nutritious food, waste disposal, sustainable mobility, healthcare and family planning, education, culture, and information and communication technologies. We further commit to ensure that these services are responsive to the rights and needs of women, children and youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, and other persons in vulnerable situations such as refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants, regardless of migration status. In this regard, we encourage the elimination of legal, institutional, socio-economic, or physical barriers.

30.We commit to promote appropriate measures in cities and human settlements that facilitate access for persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with other, to the physical environment of cities, in particular to urban basic services such as public spaces, public transport, housing, education and health facilities, to public information and communication, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public.


Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Fri, July 8, 2016 at 04.21 pm
It is also a necessity to contain crime and promote intelligence to a better society.Mafia gangs thrive in cities on others earnings.Families alone will not be able to tackle unless community policing and proper dialogue across sections is arrived at.
Diana Muñoz Architect & Urban Planner from Colombia
Fri, July 8, 2016 at 02.48 am

Dear Colleagues,

Comparing the review of the draft in its versions (June and May), it is observed that in the version of May, the public space had a special section and moving on to the June version this section changed and the subject is dispersed. To this extent, we (The Department of Advocacy of Public Space of Bogota – DADEP) consider that there is a need to highlight the role that public space has as an integral element of the city and human settlements, as an axis and transverse support of the different dimensions, the social, environmental, economic, among others. 

On the other hand, it would be important to complement the commitment to promote safer cities and human settlements with civic culture and the use of the inhabitants of their public spaces and create livable urban spaces, that support the social relationships, communication at different levels, exchange and the generation of capacities.

It also stands out the importance of including the recognition of the role of informal work in urban economics associated to the areas of influence of cities and human settlements and the networks that they create between each other.


We thank you for this opportunitto give a feedback on the Zero Draft, wehope that our contributions provide complementary information to be included in this great initiative.
Climate Change Centre Reading
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 10.10 pm

Light pollution not only stops us from seeing the Milky Way—it also impacts animals’ and plants’ lives. For thousands of years, humans have peered into the night sky..
https://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/light-pollution-impact-on-animals-and-plants

https://www.sciencealert.com/spring-is-arriving-earlier-than-ever-thanks-to-light-pollution 
https://luxreview.com/article/2016/06/light-pollution-is-hot-wiring-spring-scientists-say-
https://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/2016/06/28/light-pollution-tricks-tree-buds-into-bursting-early

https://www.irishexaminer.com/examviral/technology-and-gaming/are-led-street-lights-bad-for-your-health-406581.html

Dear all,

As you know its hard to navigate through the night sky, or even find the stars nowadays!

One campaigner in Reading has great knowledge this matter. Do I do hope for have your support for another post here in Sub-topic 3. Environmentally sound & resilient urban development.

Risk of local solution mainstreaming aquire in local governance to allways have prepardness to unlock a given parameter. The right to instant change of pathway! Like e.g. from silicon to perovskite (solar panel material).

Light pollution is new urban plauge that need a hard scrutiny in safeguarding new and old environment. 

/Carl
HabitatCO2lutions
Reading, UK

Light pollution – Blue Light should not get the Green Light!

Light affects our health and well-being in more ways than one, not to mention the aesthetic component. Cool-white (blue-rich) LED’s are being rolled out over the country at an alarming pace, often without proper health- or environmental impact assessments. These cool-white LED’s are detrimental to human and wildlife circadian rhythms as well as the view of the night sky. They urgently need to be changed to warm-white (red-rich) LED’s with a CCT (Correlated Colour Temperature) of no higher than 3000K (ideally 2700K) for the benefit of Public Health, Ecology, Road Safety and Sky Glow. . 

There are currently very few solutions that successfully combine an understanding of the physiological effects of light with efficiency and aesthetics. The below link is to a document called “The Future of Outdoor Lighting”. It makes interesting reading and is crucial to absorb if we want to get benign, safe and pleasant lighting in our outdoor environment. 

 https://volt.orghttps://uploads.habitat3.org/hb3/2014/09/PAS-Memo_MayJune2014_cr.pdf

Below follows the Document’s main conclusion:

The Future of Outdoor Lighting 

From the discussion above, it should be clear to planners that outdoor lighting has a multitude of often detrimental effects on the built and natural environments as well as on our health. New lighting technologies offer exciting advances in energy efficiency and cost savings, but also come with potential costs. If existing standards are not adjusted to account for the spectral characteristics of the LED lighting being created and promoted by the lighting industry today, we could, ironically, be faced with higher levels of light pollution, glare, and overlighting. 

Outdoor lighting should be installed to minimize its effect on the environment. Good, ecologically responsible outdoor lighting will employ color temperatures that are as “warm” as feasible, while also eliminating glare and light trespass. While consumer preference may favor “white” light over HPS and low pressure sodium (LPS) light sources, evidence also clearly shows that the public dislikes blue-rich white light. Fortunately, LED technology is capable of providing all of these requirements efficiently. 

Good LED lighting design illuminates the nighttime environment while reducing light pollution and energy waste.  LED technology allows us to dynamically “tune” the spectrum of the fixture to minimize its impact on the environment, including human health. Therefore, a reasonable balance between maximum energy efficiency and adverse ecological impact can be achieved. Being “green” is not just a question of energy savings. New ecologically responsible developments in LED include amber LED and filtered LED that removes blue light by eliminating wavelengths below 500 nanometers. These technologies, along with the use of fully shielded LPS, should be used in and around ecologically sensitive areas, optical astronomy facilities, and in communities with a high degree of awareness and concern for the environment. 

The choice is clear: we can use responsible standards to guide lighting design, or we can continue to allow uncontrolled lighting to degrade our quality of life and negatively impact human health and ecology. Planners have important roles to play in making the former scenario a reality in their communities. 

About the Author:

Bob Parks is the owner of Smart Lighting Associates. He is a Lighting Certified (LC) lighting designer and consultant specializing in ecologically responsible outdoor lighting. He is the former executive director of the International Dark-Sky Association and is a member of the IES. He worked on the original IDA/IES Model Lighting Ordinance Task Force that developed the MLO and is part of the current IDA MLO committee that is currently revising it. 

CPRE published its own Document “Shedding Light” in 2014

Its below recommendations are particularly relevant to the situation on the Isle of Wight, where the wrong CCT has been installed, and there was little or no public consultation nor any trials prior to implementation. In Reading Borough Council they are currently planning to install streetlights with a CCT of 4000K, which is still well above the recommended level of 2700K. In contrast, good examples of responsible lighting implementation can be found in Cardiff and Westminster Council, pioneers in the country which should be followed closely.

o   Local authorities should give careful consideration to the type of Light- Emitting Diode (LED) lighting they use and consider the potential impacts that higher temperature blue rich lighting has on ecology and on human health


o   New street lighting should be tested ‘in situ’ before a lighting scheme is rolled out across a wider area to ensure that it is the minimum required for the task and does not cause a nuisance to residents

Finally, the IDA (International Dark Sky Association) recommends a CCT of maximum 3000K to minimise Sky Glow.

For more information, please see: 

https://www.mondoarc.com/report-finds-human-factor-important-in-led-use/

PDF]DECLARATION ON THE USE OF BLUE-RICH WHITE LIGHT SOURCES FOR NIGHTTIME LIGHTING

https://fluxometer.com/rainbow/#!id=iPad%20Pro/6500K-iPad%20Pro

http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/opposition-calls-for-suspension-of-montreals-led-streetlights-project

https://onthewight.com/2016/04/28/isle-of-wights-led-street-lighting-lessons-for-mainland-council-say-iw-green-party/ 

https://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/news/led-street-light-focus-for-green-party-94729.aspx 

https://allagainstbluewhiteledstreetlights.webs.com/ 

https://www.getreading.co.uk/news/reading-berkshire-news/tilehurst-dog-walker-says-new-11220460

https://www.flagstaffdarkskies.org/for-wonks/lamp-spectrum-light-pollution/

Https://Chuffed.Org/Project/Lightaware

https://spie.org/newsroom/technical-articles/1015-led-light-pollution

https://www.ledsmagazine.com/articles/print/volume-12/issue-10/features/street-lights/light-pollution-depends-on-the-light-source-cct.html

https://www.johanneroby.net/uploads/3/0/8/8/30887717/lptmm2015-manage-roby.pdf

These are more “in depth”

https://www.dynamics.org/~altenber/PROJECTS/MAUI/STARRY_NIGHTS/ARTICLES/Falchi+Cinzano++Haim_limiting.2011.pdf

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0067798

https://ac.els-cdn.com/S0022407313004792/1-s2.0-S0022407313004792-main.pdf?_tid=7bf42068-d7de-11e5-a91e-00000aab0f27&acdnat=1455978806_760c3c2fb3a9a152a11f2bb7e0682337

https://www.cpre.org.uk/resources/countryside/dark-skies/item/3608-shedding-light

https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreals-push-for-outdoor-led-lights-isnt-just-a-night-sky-problem-its-unhealthy-scientists-warn

which includes the following comment:

“if anyone thinks Montreal is going reduce its light pollution by adopting white LEDs, they’re wrong, says Sébastien Giguère, scientific coordinator at the Mont-Mégantic International Dark-Sky Reserve. The white LED 4000K lights that will be used to light up Montreal’s streets will increase light pollution by at least 250-per-cent more than the bulbs they are replacing”.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/streetlights-disrupt-sleep_us_56d51092e4b03260bf780136?ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

https://wraltechwire.com/cree-aims-to-please-street-light-critics-with-warmer-leds/15466951

https://darksky.org/led-retrofit-revolution/ 

https://www.britastro.org/dark-skies/cfds_issues.php?topic=bluerich 

https://darksky.org/ida-issues-new-standards-on-blue-light-at-night/

https://uk.businessinsider.com/astronaut-photos-light-polution-led-nasa-esa-2015-8

https://www.ledpollution.com

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Fri, July 8, 2016 at 04.25 pm

It is really interesting and shall me more applicable for India also where LED light of a particularly are patronized.

Lucy Stevens Lucy Stevens from United Kingdom
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 09.36 pm

Practical Action submission on Revised Zero Draft, Habitat III

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.

Based on our engagement with communities of the urban poor, we welcome the revised zero draft. In the spirit of the SDGs we are glad to see an overarching principle of ‘leave no-one behind’, and to see that that there is recognition of the role slum dwellers can and should take in shaping their own development; and of the contribution that informal sector workers make to a city’s prosperity. 

We note that while there is alignment with SDG11, there is a lack clarity about the extent to which commitments in the Declaration simply elaborate on the agreements of the SDGs, the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework, and which are new and go beyond that.

Trade-offs

There is little recognition of potentially conflicting commitments. For example, while there is a commitment to equity, there is also a recognition that local governments need to expand their revenue base by applying and collecting user charges (p.112). Mentioning that poor households should not be ‘disproportionately affected’ does not address the fact that many poor households already pay far more for their water, sanitation, waste and energy services than richer households. There may be other trade-offs between, for example, investing in infrastructure to promote greater prosperity for the city, and protecting and promoting the interests of the poor (who may be evicted or whose livelihoods can be damaged by such large projects).

Safely managed sanitation and water

The urban sanitation crisis is significant, in particular as it affects the urban poor. While SDG 11 commits to ‘adequate, safe and affordable… basic services’, SDG6, target 6.2 on sanitation will be measured as the percentage of the population using “safely managed” sanitation services. This is of vital importance in urban contexts where the health of millions and the environmental pollution of whole ecosystems is being affected by the absence of safe on-site sanitation and faecal sludge management which meets the needs of poor communities.

Where sanitation is referenced in the declaration currently, it is only as ‘basic sanitation’ (e.g. paragraph 43) or ‘adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all’ (paragraph 100). A reference to ‘safely managed’ sanitation ‘would significantly strengthen this element of the declaration. Similarly there is limited discussion of water quality aspects of access to ‘safe’ drinking water. The fact that only one short paragraph deals with all the elements related to SDG6 (paragraph 100) is disappointing in comparison with, for example, the far greater emphasis and space given to transport (paragraphs 94-99). 

The SacoSan Declaration of 2016 provides a good model for integration of these issues with its call to “address sanitation and hygiene gaps especially in underserved or unserved settlements and poor urban neighbourhoods; solid and liquid waste management, faecal sludge management and the involvement of urban local bodies and communities”.

Too many commitments?

Already as part of the SDGs and other frameworks nations are tasked with considerable monitoring tasks. We would like to avoid the situation where the Habitat III declaration is so comprehensive, with so many new commitments, that it cannot be implemented in its entirety or effectively monitored. Even monitoring against the SDG targets will be a significant task when we consider the need to monitor at different scales (national and city-levels), as well as disaggregating between social groups and between rich and poor areas within cities. We urge negotiators to ensure that strong commitments are made which can be effectively monitored so that civil society organisations can play their part in holding governments to account, and the New Urban Agenda can thus make a real difference to the actions of local and national governments and the lives of urban citizens.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Fri, July 8, 2016 at 04.36 pm

We are in to Technology for betterment of society,and urban growth.We definitely want to concentrate more on moderate towns and growing towns ,which also offer innovation and job opportunities.We definitely want the overpopulated cities to think of further plans after next 20 years when a generation with lots of properties will pass away and there may not be many heirs or takers for such[Read about London for instance on housing available now and the vacant rich house in Guardian paper].This will be the phase when cities have to come to terms for planning for more urban open spaces at say 10 sft for 20% population on any given day.

The other is  power,and transport systems,which are job creators.Industrial concentrations have to be isolated including service providers away from the developmental area.In this aspect even Phoneix or L.A of USA is not in good in planning about industries location away from population.

Asociación de Fundaciones Empresariales AFE
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 08.00 pm

3c902c7cb70cab7550d89990feef7b0e1c6077c4THE NEW URBAN AGENDA: TOWARDS CITIES THAT ARE MORE INCLUSIVE, EQUAL, AND RESILIENT FOR ALL

For the Association of Corporate and Family Foundations – AFE Colombia-, an entity that currently gathers 64 of the best known and committed family and corporate foundations in Colombia, it is a priority to participate in defining the New Urban Agenda. We received with keen interest the invitation from the United Nations to take part in the Assembly of Partners –GAP-.

At AFE, we are aware that humanity faces challenges of high magnitude and complexity. This encourages the design, effective implementation, and the measuring and monitoring of commitments made to transform the agenda of urban centres.  Climate change, the migration of people from rural to urban areas, internal displacement, the expansion of urban centers, inequality, poverty and extreme poverty, the lack of integrated habitats, are just some of the challenges involved in the development agenda.

Looking ahead towards the Third Conference of the United Nations on housing and sustainable urban development -Habitat III- and within the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals –SDGs-, especially SDG 11, AFE recognizes the importance of urban development with a territorial focus and strengthening communities to improve peoples’ welfare and thus achieve adequate living conditions in cities and human settlements so that they are inclusive, resilient and sustainable.

To influence in the New Urban Agenda, we are convinced that a committed effort is required from all sectors of society, as well as the need to promote and facilitate the effective exercise of human rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights that should be at the center of the New Urban Agenda.

With the knowledge and experience of working with and for communities, AFE Foundations reiterate that is it possible to achieve better cities when national and local governments, the private sector, academia, civil society, foundations, philanthropists and other interested parties promote coalitions and coordinated interventions through ways that have collective impact.

AFE and its foundations recognise that collective action allows better coordination to arise. It also creates impact and an integral vision towards solving problems in order to generate social and sustainable transformation over the medium and long term. As such it is for this reason, based on our experience and working together, that we can create conditions to consolidate cities as drivers of growth and development, providing spaces and mechanisms that promote the construction of integrated and sustainable communities. For AFE, such processes, along with requiring leadership at the local government level, should also have guidelines and the active participation of national governments to ensure the transformation of areas of land, incorporating social, economic and environmental aspects in ways that are clear and measurable.

The dialogue in urban areas can be supported by Foundations because of the independence, flexibility, management capacity and long-term vision they have, and their ability to connect different actors and agendas in the pursuit of inter-sectoral and cross-cutting interventions. This allows a commitment towards a new Habitat to be understood based on recognising areas of land and respect towards communities and individuals.

Foundations can innovate, take risks, and through collective commitments, they can develop models of intervention that can be applied and shared especially with governments, to improve and expand the impact of public policy on Habitat. Part of our proposal is to inspire and facilitate processes that transform lives and ones that can become guidelines for public policy that encourages in others the need to build better places for everyone.

Currently, AFE Foundations that facilitate processes involved in building inclusive, integrated and sustainable communities, believe that homes need to come with integral urban development that allow, along with quality designs that promote the market value of a home,  to include recreational spaces, green areas, communal service areas, access to transport, shops, health, education, and in general spaces that give new meaning for citizens and a community, as well as strategies that strengthen income generation for the most vulnerable families. This among other aspects, and in addition to all of the above, needs to come with community links and participation and an active dialogue with communities, who need to participate and play a key role in the construction of a sustainable agenda in terms of Habitat.

For AFE and its associated Foundations it is imperative that the New Urban Agenda takes into account the following points:

●    Urban centers need initiatives to be developed that are linked with particular areas of land and their communities, based on their reality and an understanding of their needs and legitimate interests.  Communities need to be put at the heart of the debate, which is key to ensure the success of any strategy to do with sustainable urban development.

●    Building and strengthening the social fabric is fundamental in the concept of Habitat. The notion of urbanism, social infrastructure and social support need to be in the New Urban Agenda in order to build cities and human settlements that are inclusive, safe, sustainable and resilient as the Development Agenda – ODS 11 –  demands.

●    The New Urban Agenda presents a historic moment to strengthen systems found in cities and in urban metropolitan areas, supported by commitments made by national and local governments to work as a network and to share knowledge that can be put into practice. Implementing ways that have collective impact that are multi-sectoral and have innovative intervention strategies should be the way forward to achieve real transformation.

●    The New Urban Agenda means re-defining the concept of Habitat, its links with urbanism and housing, while equipping and developing social infrastructure and strengthening communities as part of a unique group of people who are given equal consideration. Communities need to actively participate in the decisions that affect their lives and their decisions need to be taken into account.

●    It is necessary to promote a paradigm shift that has at its core human beings, and one that integrates different aspects, like jobs with decent conditions, inclusive and urban economies, as well as recognising and developing small and medium-sized businesses.

●    Integrating diverse populations, especially the most vulnerable, like young children, women, LGBTI people, those working in the informal sector, elder people, and people with disabilities, they all must be linked to the Habitat processes and actively participate in it, based on a community and differential focus. This requires not only affordable and decent housing but also conditions so that people can enjoy their surroundings and open spaces, which allows services and public amenities to be integrated effectively so that their fundamental rights, development, mobility and productivity are respected.

●    A New Urban Agenda needs to have strong institutions in order for them to be able to carry out the integral management of areas of land, which contributes to identifying the necessary capital needed to finance this. This is based on solid institutions, mechanisms and an architecture that allow innovative participation so that resources supported by local, national and multilateral governments can reach beneficiaries. It is necessary that resources are invested thinking about impact over the long term, with clear and transparent mechanisms, which generate confidence and promote  capital coming in with high rates of return in terms of sustainable impact.

●    The New Urban Agenda needs to have favorable conditions so that the financial sector makes commitments. This is based on developing or strengthening an institutional financial infrastructure that is transparent and is designed over the long term, and one that is supported by governments so that risks are minimized and that the Agenda is brought closer to the beneficiaries.

●    The New Urban Agenda needs to ensure the creation of integrated urban environments that are accessible for all people. This needs to be developed in an eco-friendly way, integrating health and education services, job opportunities, recreational spaces, sport and culture to include all people, in particular, elder people and people with disabilities, where huge gaps in access to services for these people exist.

●    The New Urban Agenda needs a structure that recognises civil society as a catalyst of citizen demands, who need to create links and virtuous cycles of interaction in the cities in which they live in that result in promoting everyone’s welfare. Appropriate mechanisms need to be established to communicate and raise awareness among communities to ensure they can participate, and that governance can emerge, incorporating cultural values.

Briefly:

1.    A new urban agenda prompts a rethinking of the notion of Habitat, one that is inclusive and accessible, linked to housing, social infrastructure and strengthening the community as part of a group of issues that need to be addressed in an integral way.

2.    Land must be used as a driver of development for environmental, social and economic purposes, and as an instrument to achieve sustainable development in a community.

3.    A collective commitment between the public sector – at the national and regional level – private and civil society sectors and effective joint coordination through the structuring and implementation of mechanisms towards collective impact are all critical to providing social services, and as such to achieve more inclusive and equal communities.

4.    Habitat initiatives should be developed in conjunction with specific areas of land and their communities, according to their realities and an understanding of their unique needs and interests. Communities and individuals should be at the center of discussions, decisions and actions.

5.    Local governments need to work in a coordinated way with national governments to guarantee the transformation of inclusive areas, incorporating social, economic and environmental aspects.

6.    Foundations have experience, are independent, have a long-term vision, flexibility and they work with different actors, which makes them excellent partners with which to achieve the New Urban Agenda objectives.

7.    Foundations can innovate, take risks and pilot their models to respond directly to problems and they can share with third parties, in particular with governments, to build and improve public policy on habitat.

8.    As well as incorporating the SDGs into their work, Foundations share the vision of building a better future to guarantee that no one is left behind and that development can create benefits for all Colombians.

9.    The relative value of land, in addition to other parts, must be for and by communities, and the value of land needs to be above speculation market prices.

Contact Details:

AFE COLOMBIA: www.afecolombia.org

Twitter: @AfeColombia

Maria Carolina Suarez, CEO AFE – carolina.suarez@afecolombia.org

Erika Marcucci, AFE Knowledge Management Coordinador, – erika.m@afecolombia.org

Hooshmand Alizadeh Associate Professor of Urban design, Dept. of urban planning and design, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj from Iran
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 01.55 pm

Here are a couple of comments concerning economic values of green spaces and parks concern Habitat III how to make cities viable places, giving inhabitants employment, work and income.

Apart from intrinsic environmental, social, aesthetic, recreation and sport benefits to our cities, green spaces and parks are also a source of positive economic benefits. They enhance property values, increase municipal revenue, bring in homebuyers and workers, and attract retirees, meaning greater wealth for residents and increased revenues for cities. Numerous studies have shown that appraised property values of homes that are adjacent to parks and open spaces are typically about 8 percent to 20 percent more than comparable properties elsewhere.  These values are capitalized when property taxes are assessed or when taxes are paid on a property sale and more importantly the tax revenue to the city by tourists who visit primarily because of the city’s parks. The pioneer example of this is the work of Frederick Law Olmsted’s analysis on the value of property immediately adjacent to Central Park which shows the real dollar amount impact of parks in different aspects. In addition to indirect benefits, the other factors can be classified in line with direct savings of the city residents including residents’ use of the parks and its recreation opportunities, which saves them from having to purchase these items in the marketplace, the health benefit—savings in medical costs—due to the beneficial aspects of exercise in the parks, and its role in strengthening community cohesion concerning the neighborhood parks which helps ward off antisocial problems that would otherwise cost the city more in police and fire protection, prisons, counseling, and rehabilitation. For direct saving, three more factors can be mentioned as environmental savings concerning the retention of rainfall which reduce the cost of managing urban stormwater, removal of air pollution as an expensive urban problem of today’s urbanization, and reduce the costs of cooling built environment.

Considering all these benefits, understanding the economic impacts of urban parks are essential in planning system for city park advocates. These can help decision makers to uncover solid justification to strategically acquire parkland in balance with community development projects and better evaluate the creation and maintenance of urban parks. Therefore, public investment in the urban parks system is necessary, and the return on investment is high.



Crompton, J. L. (2001). The Impact of Parks and Open Space On Property Values and the Property Tax Base. Ashburn, VA: National Recreation and Park Association.

Park-based social capital make great neighborhoods

Harnik, P. and B. J. Welle (2009). Measuring the economic value of a city park system, Trust for Public Land.

Patricia M. O’Donnell Landscape Architect, Urban Planner from United States
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 12.44 pm

Reviewing the Transformative Commitments I find that economy is at the core of nearly every statement #19 to 34. To achieve sustainable urban development a balance of economy-environment-society must be achieved. All three aspects of sustainability should be interwoven within these statements of committment.
Personal wealth is measured in quality of life, which includes useful work, fair pay, access to employment, but also encompasses the urban environment with clean air and water, biodiversity supporting habitats for a wealth of lifeforms, access to uplifting healthful public spaces and nature reserves, that improve resilience to climate change, and offer many additional benefits. Economic prosperity alone will not uplift and sustain urban life. Quality of urban life includes access to and appreciation for heritage and culture as public assets and resources such as parks, trails, urban reserves, museums, theaters, creative venues, and more. Heritage and culture are mentioned only once in these 17 items in 21, and there not as valued sources of knowledge, learning, enrichment and social cohesion, but rather as local resources for building economies.
Stepping back after reading these transformative commitments I suggest that the cities and territories they would shape are not well integrated with humanity in balance with place resources and assets, rather we continue the model of people taking more than they give back to their cities, countries and the earth. In this urban century habitat is not simply place of dwelling it is the larger vessel of inclusive cities expressing respect for our shared urban heritage, stewardship of the urban environment and systems as these evolve to support the city populace, the rural populace and linkages forming vibrant living cities and human settlements of all sizes. For humanity to survive and thrive the implementation of the new urban agenda must focus on the integration of biodiversity and cultural diversity, building on our urban heritage toward sustainable futures based in unique diverse cultures, with economy-society-environment in balance.

With appreciation for this most important endeavor toward a sustainable future,
I offer these thoughts for consideration. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.

International Road Transport Union (IRU)
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 09.18 am

Good morning. Here are a couple of comments on the Zero Draft text, which we find in general well balanced ans streamlined.

In particular, we appreciate the contents of paras 94-99, dealing with mobility issues.

We would suggest some minor modifications, such as:

a) in paragraph 94, to add an indicative target to reduce the number of fatalities and injured, such a halving their number over a specific period, say 10 years. Such a target has been introduced in the European Union some time ago, with impressive results.

b) in pargraph 9, d), to add “urban freight delivery” in the scope, since completely forgotten in the text. The text could ten read “… sustainable urban mobility systems for people and freight…”

c) in paragraph 98, the policy objective of “doubling the use of collective passenger transport” could also be introduced, including in relation to the national and local sustainable mobility plans. A policy objective of this kind, to be achieved over a given preiod of time, i.e. 10 years, creates much needed favourable legal, fiscal, admisnitrative etc. framworks to achieve it.

d) Again, in paragraph 98, the need to promote professional training needs to mentioned, under capacity building, since essential to meet key economic, mobility, safety etc. objectives.

The IRU is preparing a report, which will be published on the occasion of Habitat III event in October.

Oleg Kamberski

Head Passenger Transport, IRU

Kalpana Chaudhari ISDR,India from India
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 05.21 am
Digital Governance for  Sustainable Urban Development:- 
The Urban population of developing countries is predicted to rise from one third in 1990 to over
50% by 2025. In 1950 the world’s total urban population was 734 million, of whom 448 million
were living in developed countries and remaining 286 were in developing region. By 1980, the
world’s total urban population had increased to 1.8 billion of whom the majority, 958 million
were living in developing countries. The corresponding figures for the year 2000 are more than
3.2 billion. On the basis of these figures and other global trends, it would appear that Africa and
Asia will have the highest share of world’s urban growth in next 25 years, resulting consideration
rise of large number of metropolitan cities. Therefore large number of public- private, social
institutions will be required to accomplish the task of provision of socio economic services such
as water and environment services creating organizational, operational and financial management
problems in urban social system. Over the next generation of greatest increase in population, in
production and in poverty will occur in cities, causing the social, economic, financial,
organizational problems for socio-economic and urban management in these cities. Due to this
rapid urbanization and industrialization, the problems of organizational management, which often
include, management of different urban services, disaster management and financial resources
mobilization for sustainable urban transformation will need better planning to mitigate the
climate change, therefore it would be necessary to study the urban policies for social-economical-
ecological and political dimensions and its impacts on the sustainable development
.The  electronic governance and information and communication technologies can be effectively utilised
for sustainable urban development and servises management  for  local economic development.
Urban areas are under extremely dynamic development with rapidly growing populations. The
role of local government in services provision like energy, transport, telecommunications and
water supply and sanitation etc is becoming critical day by day. These factors are responsible for
climate change in urban regions. The role of transformation is complex for urban climate
change. Therefor focuse must be on community based transformations required for mitigating climate
change in urban region. The increasing pressure due to population rise, lack of good governance
and effective public policy, inadequate financial resources, global climate change are some of the
main causes of poor quality of services provisions to end users and thereby deterioration in
social – economic development which needs extensive capacity building for sustainable urban
transformation . This is the main reason why the research on urban transformation initiatives and
is needed for effective and efficient environmental management, improving and managing the
services using local resources economically ,strategically and systematically focusing social-
economical and political transformation through  digital governance.
Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 12.17 pm

Apathy and colossal attitudes for passing governments to deal with dead cities[not populations in the area] are a bottle neck in development.The monies in circulation world over are leaving huge currency at some political heads hands.The currency intention of reaching all corners and all poor is not happening.The towns that play vital in trade and distribution are not geared up for e-banking and e-commerce.That leaves huge data of persons who needs to be reached.

Scott Edmondson Strategic Urban Sustainability Planning from United States
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 04.12 am

Comments on:  – Sub-topic 3. Environmentally sound & resilient urban development > Achieving these comments will need to directly address the 5 key end-of-industrial-age challenges and do so at the same time that we’re pivoting from net negative, do-less-harm, business-as-usual mitigation and degeneration to net postive, regenerative, sustainability by creating an ecological economy in 20-short years that is 5x more productive, at least, than our current economy to create abundance and dignified life for all. See an overvirew here:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/h9s1rb4zz4fq55b/APA_Regeneration%20Presentation_FINAL2016-4-4_UPLOADED.pdf?dl=0

Scott Edmondson Strategic Urban Sustainability Planning from United States
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 03.55 am

Comments on:  – Sub-topic 2. Sustainable urban development for social inclusion & poverty eradication >  These are noble sentiments, but will not achieve sustainability.  In fact, princples that assert such and such an approach will be a sustainable approach, without defining sustainability in the first place, simply becomes an undefined and empty tautology.  

In addition, these statements presume a benign business as usual no change scenario, when we know that the trajectory we’re on will cause invreasingly difficult, harsh, and extreme environmental conditions within which to create human sustenance and value.  Without changing our capacity and the design parameters that condition the behavior of system components, we will continue to produce the resulst that we do, which are opposite of those conditions in this sectino’s value and goal statements.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 04.09 am

The most important things are finding ways for [1]economical minimum carbon emission transport systems that do not affect the dynamics of earth[2]Find the spread of towns,and limiting each town development[3]Generation next to the generations now have to find a mobility in terms of education and work out side the present perceived development.This will make him to independently work and live instead of a non-salable single manhattan unit inherited by each of the wards.Thus becoming a redundant proponents of development.

Scott Edmondson Strategic Urban Sustainability Planning from United States
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 03.44 am

Comments on:  – Sub-topic 1. Sustainable & Inclusive Urban Prosperity & Opportunities for All > These are all noble sentiments, but without specifying mechanisms for achieving them, they may have limited utiltiy other than outlinine the desired result without indicating how they will be achieved. In addition, if we continue using the same socioeconomic-legal system we’ve been using to date, there’s limited chance for the system changes that could produce thie indicated results.  

In addiition, the specified sentiments don’t actually describe what will be required to acheive sustainability or the design parameters that would actually tranform the performance of our socioeconomic system to produce sustainability, a systems condition.  We must pivot from degeneratie, do less harm, net negative mitigation and problem solving to regenerative, net positive, ecological economy that is the material baisis for a sustainable society in the biosphere.   Key principles are embodied in the Natural Step’s Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, Lovins’ & Haken’s Natural Capitalism, the practic of biomimicry and it’s extension from product and building design to bio”systems”mimicry or an ecosystems approach, including biophilic urban design and planning.  I can provide more resources here:  scott-e@sustainability2030.com, other resources under regenerative urbanism can be found here https://norcalapa.org/initiatives/sustainabilityabout-sustainability/  and here, https://norcalapa.org/sustainability-blog/ and here:  www.sustainability2030.com.  A presentation on the emerging new net postive paradigm for regnerative urban plannign and design can be found here:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/h9s1rb4zz4fq55b/APA_Regeneration%20Presentation_FINAL2016-4-4_UPLOADED.pdf?dl=0. 

GEORGES RADJOU from France
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 10.44 pm

Hello Friends,

My second topic is about cities, integration, poverty eradication, inclusiveness and justice for all with a technology called a bicycle.

With the new mountain bike, today it is much easier to travel long distance than in the past, in such a way, we should abandon cars as a way to travel for riding a bicycle. We should design and build highways for bicycles that can go on a small distances or a long distances. Decades ago, China had plenty bicycles, but people were not allow to cycle between cities (only in cities). So, they has not been able to enjoy long distance ride like westerners riders. For example Scandinavia and Germany have nice roads for cyclists. So, cycling is enjoyable and keep people fit. Myself, I was a rare person to have cycle around the world when there was no road, I could cross Sahara, climb mountains…All these things cars cannot make it and it is the best and safer ways to understand climate change, environmental management, and live in harmony with nature. Obviously, more and more cities are building their urban settlement around bicycle activities and rejecting the cars for healthy life. Also, riding bicycle helps to be a social entrepreneur, stable and balance in life, motivate and integrated in the society.

More and more young people are taking the 1-2 sabbatical years before their working life. There are also, professional who are contributed to renovation of architecture and they are travelling around their country or the world to promote their crafts.   Cycling could be a new way of life to discover cultures, meet wildlife and people, while learning to respect and give values to sacred items of life and sustainable sustained development. Everybody, can ride a bike…learn to read a map, navigate with a GPS, speak one or several languages, be innovative in housing and settlement. All these activities are not consuming energies and resources. it pays to to promote the bicycle as a new way of life in the new Urbanism agenda and human settlement. Thanks to the HIII team. Georges BIRD

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Thu, July 7, 2016 at 04.14 am

Yes,you are right,the cities needs to be integrated in to multi-tier,future technology transport systems[cost effective-sustaninable]and also accommodate the Small modular reactors of various types in offing for power generation.Climate smart agriculture in cities for growth of leafy vegetables and fruits is another issue.Open spaces quantification and land stress measurements are important for buildings and for water management.

spatial planner from Serbia
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 04.10 pm

[Sub-topic 2. Sustainable urban development for social inclusion & poverty eradication]

Point 43

Several other types of infrastructure should also be added such as social care, sports and recreation.

Point 45

Among public spaces listed in the first sentence “waterfronts” should be added.

Rosana Vecchi, Arquitecta , Amaestrando en Urbanismo, Universidad Tecnológica Nacional Regional Bahia Blanca from Argentina
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 04.09 pm

[Sub-topic 2. Sustainable urban development for social inclusion & poverty eradication]

Adhiero específicamente al articulado 49, que cita: ” Nos comprometemos a promover mecanismos institucionales, políticos y financieros sostenibles en las ciudades y los asentamientos humanos para que intervengan y plataformas democráticas inclusivas que permitan una participación significativa en los procesos de toma de decisiones y planificación.” por considerar que conlleva la Ciudad Inclusiva. Sin embargo lo redactaría de esta forma (y lo separaría del resto del artículo que le resta profundidad al postulado): “49. Nos comprometemos a promover mecanismos institucionales, políticos y financieros sostenibles en las ciudades y los asentamientos humanos para que intervengan la transformación del territorio a través de plataformas democráticas inclusivas que permitan una participación significativa en los procesos de toma de decisiones y planificación y garanticen el acceso equitativo al derecho a la Ciudad, solo permitiendo la consolidación urbana que construya Ciudad Inclusiva.”

La erradicación de la Pobreza, seguirá siendo solo un enunciado si no se genera una relación directa institucionalizada con el concepto que aborda la “función social de la propiedad” que debiera ser “constituyente” de todas nuestras cartas magnas nacionales. Solo desde la comprensión de este postulado el Estado tendrá siempre potestad y articulación eficiente de garantía de derechos sobre el “sistema de mercado”, que es en definitiva y sin menospreciar la complejidad y multi-dimensionalidad necesaria del enfoque, el generador de pobreza urbana.

Joseph D’Cruz – Discussion Moderator, UNDP from Thailand
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 03.59 pm

[Sub-topic 2. Sustainable urban development for social inclusion & poverty eradication]

Indeed, sustainable development strategies for cities will require a degree of certainty and commitment that spans beyond political cycles. What kind of processes and mechanisms can be use used to provide such predictability?

Cristhian Ortega, Economista, Desarrollo y Gestión Territorial Ltda. from Colombia
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 04.01 pm

Es posible que las lógicas políticas se mezclen con las condiciones administrativas gubernamentales, lo que implica que las estrategias generalmente se aplican a tales plazos. Sin embargo, con base en una construcción de lógica del manejo del territorio para hacer cumplir condiciones que deben asumirse en el largo plazo, es necesario reconocer que son transversales algunas fuerzas del mercado que permiten mantener a largo plazo condiciones para sus sustentabilidad. La idea de que algunas soluciones se den a través de procesos de competencia por los mercados y no de los mercados, permite garantizar condiciones de política a largo plazo. A través de asociaciones público privadas estos esquemas se pueden garantizar. Sin embargo, la rigurosidad del escenario público permite el cambio ante procesos que no garanticen el cumplimiento de los objetivos. Ante esto, esos procesos de gestión público privada debe ser dinámico ante las acciones pero constante ante las garantías.

Sería deseable que los compromisos de los elementos territoriales fueran política nacional de estricto cumplimiento local y que los gobiernos nacionales e comprometan a trasladar los recursos y competencia a las entidades locales para su cumplimiento.


María Luisa Cabral Bowling, Professor researcher, MIRA from Mexico
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 03.57 pm

[Sub-topic 2. Sustainable urban development for social inclusion & poverty eradication]

I suggest to add the text in capital letters in the following paragraphs:

45. We commit to develop universally safe, inclusive, accessible, green and quality public spaces, including streets, sidewalks, squares, gardens and parks that are multi-functional areas for social interaction, CONVIVIALITY and inclusion, economic exchange and cultural expression among a wide diversity of people, and which are designed and managed to ensure human INTEGRAL development, build peaceful and democratic societies, promote cultural diversity and reduce social exclusion.

47. We commit to leverage natural and cultural heritage, TANGIBLE AND INTANGIBLE, in cities through integrated urban policies and adequate investments, at both the national, sub-national and local levels, to safeguard and promote cultural infrastructures and sites, museums, as well as indigenous and traditional knowledge and the arts, highlighting the role that these play in the rehabilitation and revitalization of urban areas, as a way to strengthen social participation and the exercise of citizenship.

Francisco Pardo Tellez, Arquitecto from Colombia
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 03.51 pm

[Sub-topic 2. Sustainable urban development for social inclusion & poverty eradication]

Del acuerdo de voluntades creo hace falta un compromiso para que la toma de decisiones y definición de estrategias y proyectos tenga un tiempo de desarrollo y se pueda mantener inamovible, generando mecanismos para su revisión y ajuste. Esto garantizaría que la prospectiva y el esfuerzo se mantienen ajenos a los caprichos de los gobernantes de turno.


Rosana Vecchi, Arquitecta , Amaestrando en Urbanismo, Universidad Tecnológica Nacional Regional Bahia Blanca from Argentina
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 03.55 pm

Coincido con que el “talón de Aquiles” de nuestros esfuerzos por sistematizar instrumentos de planificación pasa por la institucionalización de espacios técnicos que superen las instancias inter-políticas de los gestores democráticamente elegidos. Creo que tenemos que avanzar en la implementación de estructuras institucionales que se sostengan en el tiempo, pero que no se constituyan en organismos rígidos y de poca eficiencia como generalmente se han sucedido , al menos en Argentina. Nuevas formas de institucionalizar la gestión o Gobernanza de la Planificación es prioritaria al fin de la ejecución y mantenimiento en el tiempo de los procesos de transformación territorial que nos planteamos en el inciso 49. Hay en curso ciertas figuras como las sociedades del Estado, que funcionan en forma autárquica y los fideicomisos urbanos, figura explicita en la nueva ley provincial local, pero sin instrumentar. El fideicomiso tiene la ventaja de desaparecer jurídicamente cuando se logra el objetivo de urbanización y la desventaja de no permanecer como observatorio de seguimiento. Creo que es prioritario avanzar en la creación de nuevas formas, como Agencias Barriales Integradas, u Observatorios inter-universitarios ligados a plataformas participativas Locales.

Mike McDermott International Land Policy Consultant and Valuer from Australia
Wed, July 6, 2016 at 06.13 am

I think the draft is excellent. Here are some points which, I hope, will help make it even better

Article 10 (a):      “Preventing land speculation”. I have mulled over this for many years. The problem is that the cures are often worse than the disease. From my experience, I would change this to “taxing land speculation”. This marries with value capture policy as mentioned in Articles 116 and 128, and can be achieved by land and capital gains taxes, for example with 11 (b) iv.

10 (c):    More clarity required. Does that mean monetarily valuing, or valuing in the sense of nature being values in its own right, not merely as a resource to be plundered, as in article 55? If both, that should be articulated.

28           Science has established a nexus between natural environments and mental health. If one is to reduce everything to the monological gaze of economic rationalists, perhaps the costs of mental illnesses should be factored in?

40           Security of tenure is one thing, fungibility is another. Do you also want people to be able to buy and sell their houses? That is implied by Article 68. That will require security of tenure, but more besides.

88-90     These articles are ones close to my core professional expertise. I think they are good, but with further reflection and debate there could still be room for improvement.

136        Because of the massive costs involved in retro-fitting infrastructure, I submit you should encourage pro-active rather than reactive spatial planning such that rurtal to urban migrants go to Area A, tenure and infrastructure will eventually be theirs, but if they go to Area B, neither will. There could be sticks as well as carrots applied in the context.  

150        Insert a space between “Strengthens” and “it”.

Thank you,

Mike McDermott

Global Property Advisory

Saripalli Suryanarayana Engineer writer of two novels based on Infrastructure development from India
Mon, July 4, 2016 at 05.52 pm

When ever i see the wooden houses of USA or say in some near countries in region i belive we can do some thing better for world as civil engineer.I do not talk about my novel 9202020,but i say cement can be replaced to avoid heat of hydration,and heat release over years.Same we can displace bitumen to avoid dispersal and absorption of sun heat by pavements.

Well structures stand for more than 200/300 years with small maintenace but houses have only 40 years life first 20 years no depreciation,and latter 20 years 5% per annum.

If the life of buildings [which is now 60 years] can be declared by govenments lots of financial burdens on Financing institutions[NPA] will decrease and people get a relief in apying the monies a,nd enjoy the development.

That i feel is sustainable,and economical and can be met financially.After all huge monies are with banks and individuals.

Going for urban tram like less speed,safe but reaching all corners of city,they can ask each family to own a share in development to be repaid slowly to the finacing authority.

Let me discuss this more in my next novel due now. 

CSOs Caucus on Habitat III Agenda – Kenya Urban Development from Kenya
Mon, July 4, 2016 at 12.05 pm

Kenya Civil Society Habitat III Caucus Joint Statement on the Habitat III-Zero Draft Agenda

4 July 2016

PART 3: Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

We the Civil Society Organization Habitat III Caucus in Kenya, welcome the HABITAT III Zero Draft for the New Urban Agendasuggested by the HABITAT III Bureau and the various processes of engagement among various stakeholders and state parties. During the past two years, we have participated variously as a CSOs caucus or individually at local, national, regional and international platforms negotiating the HABITAT III agenda.

Our participation has reflected on the urban agenda and the much larger theme of land and human settlement in our local context, region of East Africa and how that links with the ongoing movement towards the forthcoming HABITAT III debate.  Our engagement with the subject of the New Urban Agenda is therefore situated in our context, global experiences and imagination of a just future. In our local experience, we have reviewed the zero draft text in relation to the following on goings (1) The emergence of various mega projects in Africa with great opportunities but which threaten to displace and disenfranchise many poor urban citizens in Africa, (2) The requirement for inclusive and participatory urban governance on whose basis right to the city can be secured for all (3) The proliferation of informal settlements and indignity is such settlements in Africa and (4) the progressive contributions and limitations of the disciplines of built environment whose discourse and process continue to foster inequalities in the urban areas.

In these sessions and in our various discussions in preparatory sessions, we have emphasised that the structure and content of the HABITAT III meeting and its ultimate declarations must be back grounded on the unfulfilled agenda of HABITAT II declaration and fore grounded on the much larger understanding of the HABITAT III convening as the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The key words here are Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which ought not be displaced or submersed in the theme New Urban Agenda that is a rallying call for the HABITAT III.

We appreciate that the zero draft resolution has accommodated decisions and guidelines provided by other United Nations agencies and Rapporteur. More specifically, we welcome the incorporation of suggestions by, Raquel Rolnik the immediate former Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. Her suggestions as incorporated in the draft resolution open ways for possible land reforms that are the bedrock of accessing right to housing as well as Sustainable Urban Development. Similar progress has been made in the recommendation to adopt participatory urban planning and a method and discourse towards realizing the New Urban Agenda.

We are however concerned that in the preparatory sessions towards the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and the subsequent HABITAT III Zero Draft for the New Urban Agenda, resolution that is currently in circulation has tended to be silent on this critical housing question. Even more so, in appreciating participatory urban planning, the drafters have taken useful steps, which have potential to promote self governance as well as more inclusive urban governance. Yet, we hold that much more should have been done to link geographies, history and current disparities between rural and urban areas. We further hold that the spirit of the present drafting does not lay sufficient premium on the social capital of the urban citizenry, particularly that inherent amongst the disadvantaged social class.

The zero draft has embraced the notion of partnership that does not take into account the role played by various State policies in triggering and perpetuating socio-economic inequality globally. We are worried that the HABITAT III Zero Draft has adopted the language of partnership to create a presumption of homogeneity that aims at silencing the many poor who are marginalized. The idea of partnership suggested in the document is also aimed at muting the hierarchies and position’s of those who have benefitted from political and economic systems of inequality. It further promotes paternalistic leadership well captured in the notion ‘leaving no one behind’ which runs throughout the draft. We also take exception to the attempts to envelope responsibility of duty bearers responsible in development of asymmetries that disadvantage many urban residents.   

The proposed New Urban Agenda is also characterized with marginal talk of social transformation. We are tempted to believe that the use of the term ‘inequality’ only once (see paragraph 20) is an indicator of the marginal place to which it has been allocated. The CSOs Habitat III Caucus in Kenya hold the position that the proposed new urban agenda and a world where all its inhabitants have access to housing cannot be realized without interventions that can reverse the current global, regional and national governance trends that displace and disposes the majority. We suggest that for the notion of urban transformation to be realized, there is need for more concise appreciation and commitment to reversing inequality.

It must also be underscored that, the New Urban Agenda must be framed in the context of the ongoing surge to build what has been referred to as ‘competitive cities’ that rarely promote equity, justice and integration. The large, high modernists’ infrastructural investment that is now common in most developing countries have been ignored in the entire document. Equally, the document fails to engage city governance and the ongoing debate of re-imagining and reorganizing cities that were established as racialized human settlements. There has most recently been a crisis in the heritage and spatial configuration of these cities, which cannot escape the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development.

While we welcome the understanding that the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development is a state led commitment, we hold that much more can be done to make the idea of partnership in this commitment more meaningful. Such meaning can be realized if we adopt a clear and unambiguous conceptual framing of what we mean by New Urban Agenda.

We as Civil Society Organizations Habitat III Caucus believe that the works of the Nobel Laureate, Amartya Sen is useful in making the much needed conceptual clarity on where we want to go. Like Sen, we believe that for the New Urban Agenda to benefit all of us, we cannot rely on partnership framed in transcendental approach (of John Rawls), Rather the idea of partnership and interpretation of what is now called the New Urban Agenda must be centered on a comparative approach that shall enables us to ask and respond to the question- Why has urbanization this far left too many people behind? We believe that true partnership should be that which promotes more avenues for public reasoning and availability of democratic institutions. We have found this lacking as well.

We understand the primary intent of the forthcoming UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to be that of building partnerships and inclusive policy framework.  We however hold that it is not possible to realize that objective without first using the Istanbul resolution of HABITAT II as the basis for current reflection and future negotiations.Most important, we hold that it is only through such an approach that seeks to evaluate itself and embrace the language of social justice and human rights that the HABITAT III agenda shall live to its promise.

Cecile Pilot Human rights advocate from France
Mon, July 4, 2016 at 10.16 am
Dear Habitat III Secretariat, supporting teams and participants,


I would like to congratulate you for all your efforts on the road to Quito and wish you the best of luck for upcoming PrepCom 3!

Please find below my feedback regarding the new Zero Draft as it is a true honour to participate.

Main Topic A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

– Sub-topic 1. Sustainable & Inclusive Urban Prosperity & Opportunities for All >

34. –> Great  to read youth access to education and skills development is now in the draft. I think youth entrepreneurship also deserves to be included.  

– Sub-topic 2. Sustainable urban development for social inclusion & poverty eradication >

43. –> Homeless and minorities and indigenous peoples are missing in this paragraph. If it is not aimed at improving the lives of those living in poverty, in appalling conditions in ever-growing informal settlements, for who is therefore the New Urban Agenda? Without a strong commitment to human rights protections in the New Urban Agenda, we will simply see more of the same: exclusion and marginalization. Too little attention is paid to the impact of urban growth on poor people and groups in extremely vulnerable situations like homeless people, minorities and indigenous peoples. 

49. –> The wording is a bit passive and negative (‘needs’ ‘vulnerable’) regarding the different groups mentionned. For example, a more positive narrative could be developed to recognize their key role and full inclusion in decision-making linked to urban development. Children & youth are also actors and changemakers in their cities. 

Thakur National Adpatation Plan Formulation Process, Theme Expert – Public Health and WASH from Nepal
Mon, July 4, 2016 at 01.08 am

The document has been drafted with consideration of all possible aspects required for a sustainable urban developemnet and maintenance in the light of emerging and expanding urban areas and complexities related to infrastructures, social securitiy, and emplyoment oportunities. However, as a development scholar of civil engineering, anthropology, climate change and WASH, I would lime to suggest for improvement by considering the following:

– Simple and short statements by merging several overlapping aspects in many sub-chapters for more clarity and quick understanding by the concerned government officials and the general public. Trsnlating the whole document in the form of key messages would be another option. 

– If to mention about the context of Nepal, the major issues to highlight and clearly reflect in the document and messages are, especially: job opportunities, governance, public-private invetsment, protection of drinking water sources, land pooling for sanitation and green parks, family focused programs, promote functional links between rural and urban settlements through ecotourism, food security, quality of health services , quality of urban infarstructure, master planning of infrastructures with consideration of climate change risks. 

– I have been advocating for these points in the local level urban policues. 

Sylvia Briggs Educator
Sun, July 3, 2016 at 09.19 pm

It is of essence we recognise the contribution of informal business activities to sustainable urban development. On this premise, section B paragraph 80 be amended to  accomodate or add “harness  informal business activities ” after “facilitate effective trade links” . 

Grethel Castellanos ARQUITECTA PLANIFICADORA TERRITORIAL ….AMBIENTAL from Dominican Republic
Sun, July 3, 2016 at 12.25 am

Me gustaria saber si es factible obtener una version actualizada en espanol  en vista de que, aun cuando puedo leer y ecribir en ingles, existen terminos y conceptos que es preferible poder tener la opcion de comentar en espanol debido a su complejidad ….. Gracias

Pienso que tendre mas participacion en este ultimo tramo debido a que pertenezco al grupo responsable de darle seguimiento a nuedtro Borrador por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de R, Dominicana.

Grethel Castellanos ARQUITECTA PLANIFICADORA TERRITORIAL ….AMBIENTAL from Dominican Republic
Sun, July 3, 2016 at 12.25 am

Me gustaria saber si es factible obtener una version actualizada en espanol  en vista de que, aun cuando puedo leer y ecribir en ingles, existen terminos y conceptos que es preferible poder tener la opcion de comentar en espanol debido a su complejidad ….. Gracias

Pienso que tendre mas participacion en este ultimo tramo debido a que pertenezco al grupo responsable de darle seguimiento a nuedtro Borrador por el Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores de R, Dominicana.

Stella Tarnay Urban Planner and Environmental Educator from United States
Sat, July 2, 2016 at 08.55 pm
Dear Habitat III Discussion Group:
I am very encouraged by points 45 and 47, and 53-55 that touch on the importance of healthy natural environments in the city. I am a member of the Biophilic Cities Network (www.biophiliccities.org) and co-founder of the local Biophilic DC project. I think it needs to be said more explicitly how important the natural environment is to urban residents. With the majority of people on the way to becoming urban dwellers, the only experience of nature will soon be in an urban context. 
A growing body of evidence from public heath, neurology, and social science shows that the presence of the natural world: trees, gardens, parks—especially with deep layers of biodiversity—supports individual and community heath. Conversely, nature-poor neighborhoods in cities have higher rates of childhood asthma, attention deficit disorder, poor cardiovascular health, and shorter lifespans in general. A recent study by the University of Chicago is just one example of the research I refer to: 
From a human health and wellbeing point of view it is important to recognize the important role of nature in sustainable cities. I recommend the following new points:
We recognize that connection with the natural world is an inalienable human right, and that the experience of healthy nature is necessary for human health. We recognize that without connection to a healthy environment, urban residents will not thrive. Given that so much of the human population is living, and will be living in urban areas, and that urban areas will in the future be the only places where people may experience nature, it will be increasingly important that cities include natural, biodiverse areas as part of their living infrastructure.
We commit to providing healthy, accessible nature to our urban residents (especially to children and the elderly, and those who are under stress from poverty, social upheaval, and displacement) in the form of parks, green streets, trees, green infrastructure, and opportunities to participate in urban gardening. Integration of nature-ful environments for the health and wellbeing of our residents will be integral to our sustainable development strategies.

From a planetary sustainability point of view, it is equally important to recognize the important role of nature in sustainable cities. I recommend the following new points:
We recognize that in order to feel kinship with the natural world, urban residents need to experience it in their daily lives. Further, we recognize that in order for urban residents to have empathy for large global challenges such as deforestation, wildlife conservation, and environmental degradation, and to develop an ethic of stewardship, they need regular experiences with and understanding of nature and its cycles.

We commit to providing urban residents with opportunities to engage with, understand, and support nature in their daily lives so that they can more readily become stewards of the local, regional and planetary environment. 

I support David Hopman’s suggestion to include language for native plants and ecologically appropriate green spaces in urban areas.
The group may be interested in several programs that seek to develop understanding and practices for biophilic cities and urban environments:
https://www.biophiliccities.org
Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I welcome your response.
Stella
Param from United States
Fri, July 1, 2016 at 08.49 pm
Proposed Amendments
Para 3
-After “basic services,” add “health,”
Para 7:
-After “accessible,” add, “healthy,”
Para 9a: 
-After “public spaces,” add “information,”
Para 9b
-After “embrace diversity,” add “share data and information,”
Para 9f
-After “respect,” add “nurture,”
Para 10b
-After “nutrition,” add “supplying access to affordable healthcare, providing disease management, and maintaining public health, and furnishing access to education” 
Para 10c
-After “sound,” add “healthy,”
Para 15
-After “fear,” add “violence,”
Para 22
-After “savings,” add “spending, consumption and production patterns”
Para 23
-After “dialogue,” add “infrastructure development and goods and services management and development”
Para 24bis
-After Para 23 add 24bis: “We commit to protect the land and its inhabitants. We recognize the land is an ecosystem that provides shelter, nutrition and livelihoods to biodiversity. The pursuit of promoting efficient use of land and natural resources, providing supplies and value chains must not infringe upon the inalienable rights and use of space by plants, animals, and indigenous people. Similarly, we commit to protect water bodies in cities. We commit to maintain fertile land and provide irrigation systems to support livelihoods, agricultural development, and maritime trade.”
Para 29
-After “pollution,” add “and depletion of the ozone layer,”
-After “settlements,” add “making transportation systems and energy resources/consumption accessible and affordable to these communities,”
Para 30
-After “public services,” add “and public assistance,”
-After “healthcare,” add “food markets,”
-After “education,” add “legal clinics and human rights”
Para 31
-After “fair,” add “healthy,”
-After “principles of”, add “accountability, equality, respect, law-abiding, human rights-abiding, and valuing human dignity (which is inclusive of citizenship),”
Para 32
-After “support services,” add “such as health, education and culture,”
Para 33
-After “activities,” add “STEM, and finance,”
Para 34
-After “skills development,” add “internship/job placement,”
Para 36
-After “realization of,” add “protection”
-After discrimination,” add “violence and abuse,”
-After “our cities,” add new sentence, “We aim to provide human rights clinics and public services that will help people restore and protect their human rights and maintain a sense of justice. This preservation of human rights will protect people in all functions and sectors of society.”
Para 39
-After “discrimination,” add “and violations of human rights and dignity,”
Para 42
-After “cultural,” add “human rights and human dignity,”
Para 43
-After “communication technologies,” add “and human rights and justice, legal support and political participation,”
Para 44
-After “technologies and systems,” add “public assistance, legal support, observance of human rights, and political participation,”
Para 45
-After “inclusion,” add “information exchange,”
Para 46
-After “intercultural understanding,” add “protection of human rights and dignity,”
Para 47
-After “sites,” add “artifacts,”
Para 49
-After “dialogue,” add “voting,”
Para 50
-After “resources,” add “goods and services,”
Para 51
-After “flooding,” add “el ninos,”
Para 53
-After “landscapes,” add “and protect in-city water bodies.”
Para 56
-After “proximity,” add “availability,”
Para 57
-After “water,” add “air,”
Para 69
-After “competences,” add “services,”
Para 72
-After “metropolitan,” add “political participation and voting,”
Para 80
-After “infrastructure,” add “goods,”
Para 81
-After “development,” add “support social development.”
Para 84
-After “security,” add “access to public assistance, political participation, and observance of human dignity,”
Para 89
-After “segregation,” add “maintain justice and peace.”
Para 91
-After “basic,” add “support,”
-After “public spaces,” add ‘public assistance,”
Para 103
-After “design,” add “ultimately providing clean and safe drinking water.”
Para 150
-After the first bullet, make this following sentence the new second bullet, “Recognizing the significance of children and youth and marginalized populations in maintaining the New Urban Agenda, and highlighting their role in the establishment and maintenance of sustainable urban development.”
Param
Fri, July 1, 2016 at 08.49 pm
Proposed Amendments
Para 3
-After “basic services,” add “health,”
Para 7:
-After “accessible,” add, “healthy,”
Para 9a: 
-After “public spaces,” add “information,”
Para 9b
-After “embrace diversity,” add “share data and information,”
Para 9f
-After “respect,” add “nurture,”
Para 10b
-After “nutrition,” add “supplying access to affordable healthcare, providing disease management, and maintaining public health, and furnishing access to education” 
Para 10c
-After “sound,” add “healthy,”
Para 15
-After “fear,” add “violence,”
Para 22
-After “savings,” add “spending, consumption and production patterns”
Para 23
-After “dialogue,” add “infrastructure development and goods and services management and development”
Para 24bis
-After Para 23 add 24bis: “We commit to protect the land and its inhabitants. We recognize the land is an ecosystem that provides shelter, nutrition and livelihoods to biodiversity. The pursuit of promoting efficient use of land and natural resources, providing supplies and value chains must not infringe upon the inalienable rights and use of space by plants, animals, and indigenous people. Similarly, we commit to protect water bodies in cities. We commit to maintain fertile land and provide irrigation systems to support livelihoods, agricultural development, and maritime trade.”
Para 29
-After “pollution,” add “and depletion of the ozone layer,”
-After “settlements,” add “making transportation systems and energy resources/consumption accessible and affordable to these communities,”
Para 30
-After “public services,” add “and public assistance,”
-After “healthcare,” add “food markets,”
-After “education,” add “legal clinics and human rights”
Para 31
-After “fair,” add “healthy,”
-After “principles of”, add “accountability, equality, respect, law-abiding, human rights-abiding, and valuing human dignity (which is inclusive of citizenship),”
Para 32
-After “support services,” add “such as health, education and culture,”
Para 33
-After “activities,” add “STEM, and finance,”
Para 34
-After “skills development,” add “internship/job placement,”
Para 36
-After “realization of,” add “protection”
-After discrimination,” add “violence and abuse,”
-After “our cities,” add new sentence, “We aim to provide human rights clinics and public services that will help people restore and protect their human rights and maintain a sense of justice. This preservation of human rights will protect people in all functions and sectors of society.”
Para 39
-After “discrimination,” add “and violations of human rights and dignity,”
Para 42
-After “cultural,” add “human rights and human dignity,”
Para 43
-After “communication technologies,” add “and human rights and justice, legal support and political participation,”
Para 44
-After “technologies and systems,” add “public assistance, legal support, observance of human rights, and political participation,”
Para 45
-After “inclusion,” add “information exchange,”
Para 46
-After “intercultural understanding,” add “protection of human rights and dignity,”
Para 47
-After “sites,” add “artifacts,”
Para 49
-After “dialogue,” add “voting,”
Para 50
-After “resources,” add “goods and services,”
Para 51
-After “flooding,” add “el ninos,”
Para 53
-After “landscapes,” add “and protect in-city water bodies.”
Para 56
-After “proximity,” add “availability,”
Para 57
-After “water,” add “air,”
Para 69
-After “competences,” add “services,”
Para 72
-After “metropolitan,” add “political participation and voting,”
Para 80
-After “infrastructure,” add “goods,”
Para 81
-After “development,” add “support social development.”
Para 84
-After “security,” add “access to public assistance, political participation, and observance of human dignity,”
Para 89
-After “segregation,” add “maintain justice and peace.”
Para 91
-After “basic,” add “support,”
-After “public spaces,” add ‘public assistance,”
Para 103
-After “design,” add “ultimately providing clean and safe drinking water.”
Para 150
-After the first bullet, make this following sentence the new second bullet, “Recognizing the significance of children and youth and marginalized populations in maintaining the New Urban Agenda, and highlighting their role in the establishment and maintenance of sustainable urban development.”
Param
Fri, July 1, 2016 at 08.49 pm
Proposed Amendments
Para 3
-After “basic services,” add “health,”
Para 7:
-After “accessible,” add, “healthy,”
Para 9a: 
-After “public spaces,” add “information,”
Para 9b
-After “embrace diversity,” add “share data and information,”
Para 9f
-After “respect,” add “nurture,”
Para 10b
-After “nutrition,” add “supplying access to affordable healthcare, providing disease management, and maintaining public health, and furnishing access to education” 
Para 10c
-After “sound,” add “healthy,”
Para 15
-After “fear,” add “violence,”
Para 22
-After “savings,” add “spending, consumption and production patterns”
Para 23
-After “dialogue,” add “infrastructure development and goods and services management and development”
Para 24bis
-After Para 23 add 24bis: “We commit to protect the land and its inhabitants. We recognize the land is an ecosystem that provides shelter, nutrition and livelihoods to biodiversity. The pursuit of promoting efficient use of land and natural resources, providing supplies and value chains must not infringe upon the inalienable rights and use of space by plants, animals, and indigenous people. Similarly, we commit to protect water bodies in cities. We commit to maintain fertile land and provide irrigation systems to support livelihoods, agricultural development, and maritime trade.”
Para 29
-After “pollution,” add “and depletion of the ozone layer,”
-After “settlements,” add “making transportation systems and energy resources/consumption accessible and affordable to these communities,”
Para 30
-After “public services,” add “and public assistance,”
-After “healthcare,” add “food markets,”
-After “education,” add “legal clinics and human rights”
Para 31
-After “fair,” add “healthy,”
-After “principles of”, add “accountability, equality, respect, law-abiding, human rights-abiding, and valuing human dignity (which is inclusive of citizenship),”
Para 32
-After “support services,” add “such as health, education and culture,”
Para 33
-After “activities,” add “STEM, and finance,”
Para 34
-After “skills development,” add “internship/job placement,”
Para 36
-After “realization of,” add “protection”
-After discrimination,” add “violence and abuse,”
-After “our cities,” add new sentence, “We aim to provide human rights clinics and public services that will help people restore and protect their human rights and maintain a sense of justice. This preservation of human rights will protect people in all functions and sectors of society.”
Para 39
-After “discrimination,” add “and violations of human rights and dignity,”
Para 42
-After “cultural,” add “human rights and human dignity,”
Para 43
-After “communication technologies,” add “and human rights and justice, legal support and political participation,”
Para 44
-After “technologies and systems,” add “public assistance, legal support, observance of human rights, and political participation,”
Para 45
-After “inclusion,” add “information exchange,”
Para 46
-After “intercultural understanding,” add “protection of human rights and dignity,”
Para 47
-After “sites,” add “artifacts,”
Para 49
-After “dialogue,” add “voting,”
Para 50
-After “resources,” add “goods and services,”
Para 51
-After “flooding,” add “el ninos,”
Para 53
-After “landscapes,” add “and protect in-city water bodies.”
Para 56
-After “proximity,” add “availability,”
Para 57
-After “water,” add “air,”
Para 69
-After “competences,” add “services,”
Para 72
-After “metropolitan,” add “political participation and voting,”
Para 80
-After “infrastructure,” add “goods,”
Para 81
-After “development,” add “support social development.”
Para 84
-After “security,” add “access to public assistance, political participation, and observance of human dignity,”
Para 89
-After “segregation,” add “maintain justice and peace.”
Para 91
-After “basic,” add “support,”
-After “public spaces,” add ‘public assistance,”
Para 103
-After “design,” add “ultimately providing clean and safe drinking water.”
Para 150
-After the first bullet, make this following sentence the new second bullet, “Recognizing the significance of children and youth and marginalized populations in maintaining the New Urban Agenda, and highlighting their role in the establishment and maintenance of sustainable urban development.”
Alvaro Puertas Habitat International Coalition (HIC) / General Secretary from Egypt
Fri, July 1, 2016 at 04.47 pm

Habitat International Coalition was born out of, and—for two generations now—has faithfully upheld the Habitat Agenda as a cornerstone of its global platform. Over the last generation, HIC has cautioned about the erosion and abandonment of the core human rights commitments and recognized obligations enshrined in Habitat II. Accordingly, the current Habitat III processes and, in particular, its outcome documents now cause us deep concern.

We have borne witness to the progressive amnesia about the Habitat Agenda and its integrated commitments through the lack of monitoring and reporting against them, despite annual report bearing disingenuous titles such as “Implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II)” and “Coordinated implementation of the Habitat Agenda.” In the same 20 years, we have seen parts of the Habitat Agenda selectively spun off as campaigns or projects. However, even after belated formal commitment of UN-Habitat, human rights have been deliberately relegated to a side project, without operationalizing human rights consistent with the mandate of a UN Charter-based specialized organization.

While participating in all relevant forums involving UN Habitat, HIC Members have twice voted to remain critically outside of the normatively hollow and unprincipled World Urban Campaign, as it further reflects and consolidates UN Habitat’s abandonment of the core principles and commitments of the Habitat Agenda. This pattern of stripping away the Habitat Agenda values is now manifest in the latest iteration of the revised Habitat III draft outcome document.

The present draft has retained some unprecedentedly positive features. However, the overall trend is not headed in the right direction.

The “radical paradigm shift” referred to in the previous draft—now unstated—already has happened, but not in a positive sense. We had hoped that the New Agenda would reflect more coherence with current global policy processes and standing commitments, not least the habitat approach and commitment to balanced rural and urban development within a framework of human rights and related international instruments. Nonetheless, we all, as contributors to this new global policy, can still put the New Agenda back on a principled track, while also addressing some of the shortcomings of the previous Agendas, with greater knowledge and experience over their 40 years, and with greater relevance to current and emerging challenges.

We welcome the reference to the right to the city; however, would prefer to have its meaning and contents also appear in the form of commitments. As GPR2C has pointed out, R2C is independent of other human rights, but certainly does not replace the bundle of human rights applicable in human habitat. R2C rather complements the content and already binding obligations to human rights, which, alone, do not adequately address such contextual issues as spatial justice.

Meanwhile, as R2C remains in the current text (presumably because it aligns with the shift to a narrower “urban” agenda), other specific human rights are now deliberately left out (e.g., water and other indispensable process rights). Only vague and inoperable references to human rights appear in a couple of instances as mere decoration. The expression “shared systematization of existing rights” is not meaningful, nor does it explicitly refer to human rights.

We appreciate also the vision of cities and human settlements fulfilling their social function, including the social function of land, ensuring the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing. However, that preambular reference does not properly cite the “human” right, leaving it open to interpretation as a mere property right, and is not reflected in any operative section of the draft. We welcome the “recognition” of the [human] “right to adequate housing” in para. 39, and seek to develop this beyond mere recognition into operable commitments consistent with state obligations.

Meanwhile, in the same paragraph, we find the singular references to preventing forced evictions and the needs of the homeless and persons in vulnerable situations. This language is far weaker than the three firm —although tragically unheeded—Habitat II commitments to “prevent and remedy” forced evictions, and the present text is out of alignment with the corresponding norms developed since Habitat II. We favor also the logical extension of rights to remedy and reparations to victims in the case of such “gross violations” of human rights. Also “combatting homelessness” must be restored as a Habitat III commitment to rectify root causes, as, like forced eviction, states did not sufficiently uphold their Habitat II commitments to resolve such scourges, and they remain highly relevant to the renewal of global policy today.

 HIC welcomes also the reference to the spectrum of “cities, town and villages” as an attempt to restore the territorial approach, if even contradicting the draft’s more narrowly and exclusively expressed “urban” title. However, it omits the prior Habitat Agenda commitments to balance and the explicit regional and cross-sectoral habitat approach to human settlements planning, emphasizing rural/urban linkages and treating villages and cities as points along a human settlements continuum in a common ecosystem.

Nowhere do we find acknowledgment of anything like an international macro-economic order or financial system, conveniently forgetting recent lessons and dissolving previous Habitat Agenda commitments—however unheeded—to maintaining just macroeconomic policies consistent with the Habitat Agenda. Rather than address global wealth inequality and the broken financial superstructure, the revised draft only invites World Bank and regional development bank support for the New business-as-usual Agenda.

 The good-governance commitments of Habitat II have disappeared, and democracy appears only once in the current draft. The remaining language on local government is now even weaker than the previous draft. The present portrayal of subsidiarity and local governments as mere implementers of national policy promote a hierarchical, stratified concept of government, with central governments at the top, and local governments at the conceptual bottom.

We favor keeping “democratic local governments as our closest partners” in implementing the New Agenda, but also with a clear recognition that we seek that partnership not merely with local “authorities,” but actual local “government” in the participatory democratic sense. We also join other partners in promoting the vision of governments operating within “spheres,” not stratified tiers, which aligns with the international law view of the state as a legal personality constituting territory, people and the whole of its constituent government parts with common-but-differentiated obligations.

The economic dimension of human settlements dominates the perspective reflected in the current draft. Numerous ideological turns of phrase give the impression that the social, environmental, human rights and related governance dimensions are subordinated to a business model of urban development.

While HIC recognized the role of the private sector in sustainable development generally, privately interested actors should not be the principle reference and driver of public policy, locally or globally. HIC Members have long advocated—and practiced—more people-driven processes, as adopted in the key recommendations of the UTC “Housing in the City We Want,” Barcelona, November 2015.  That gathering called for “the renewal of standing Habitat Agenda commitments to combat homelessness and to state-supported social production of habitat (SSSPH), implementing public policies that guarantee appropriate access to land, adequate financing schemes and technical assistance.” This vision also perceives urban planning as a social good and element of the contemporary human right to adequate housing.

We also support other inputs from civil society Partners that deserve inclusion in the New Agenda. This is the case with social solidarity economy, the social regulation of real estate markets,  stronger commitments to gender equality and women’s rights, ensuring easy access and full participation for people with disabilities, and the call for effective measures to end the habitat destruction of conflict, war and occupation, among others.

Restoring these elements to a New Habitat Agenda would go far to ensure us the habitat we need for the next generation.

Habitat International Coalition (HIC) 28 June 2016



 “Commitment to the human rights-based approach to development,” HSP/GC/24/2/Add.7, 11 February 2013. While claiming to “mainstream” the human rights commitment, the executive director has decided to relegate human rights to a unit in the UN Habitat Project Office. See also: “Local Government and Human Rights Reach the UN,” Land Times No. (May 2016), at: https://landtimes.landpedia.org/newsdes.php?id=pGtn&amp%3Bcatid=pQ==&amp%3Bedition=qg==.

 Para. 7.

 CESCR, General Comment No. 7: “forced evictions,” 20 May 1997, at: https://www.hlrn.org/img/documents/GC7.pdf.

See also: Commission on Human Rights resolution 1993/77 “forced evictions,” 10 March 1993, para. 1, at: https://www.hlrn.org/img/documents/ECN4199377%20en.pdf; and “Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a Remedy and Reparation for Victims of Gross Violations of International Human Rights Law and Serious Violations of International Humanitarian Law,” A/RES/60/147, 21 March 2006, at: https://www.hlrn.org/img/documents/A_RES_60_147 remedy reparation en.pdf.

   Istanbul Declaration, para. 4; The Habitat Agenda, paras. 8; 11; 38; 40(l); 61(c)(iv), 61 (d); 115; 119(k) and 204(y).

  “Recommendations on the Rights of Homeless / Street Residents in the New Urban and Habitat Agenda,” Barcelona, 5 April 2016; HIC-HLRN, “Bearing Witness to Forced Evictions: Habitat II’s Broken Promise, Habitat III’s Missing Link,” 6 October, 2014, at: https://www.hlrn.org/img/publications/WHD2014report.pdf.

  Para. 15.

  Habitat 2, para. 104.

  Ibid., paras. 40(a), 62, 65, 67(b) 115, 186(d), 189(b) and 201(b).

 Paras. 124, 142.

Para. 45.

(Montevideo) Convention on Rights and Duties of States (inter–American), Treaty Series 881, 49 Stat. 3097, 26 December 1933; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) each stipulate that: “The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.” International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) each stipulate that: “The provisions of the present Covenant shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.” The International Law Commission also has confirmed that the conduct of any State organ shall be considered an act of that State under international law, whether the organ exercises legislative, executive, judicial or any other functions, whatever position it holds in the organization of the State, and whatever its character as an organ of the central government or of a territorial unit of the State.” Draft articles on Responsibility of States for internationally wrongful acts, A/56/10 (2001), at: https://www.un.org/documents/ga/docs/56/a5610.pdf; and Commentaries, at:

https://www.eydner.org/dokumente/darsiwa_comm_e.pdf.

“H O U S I N G in The City We Need Report: Barcelona Urban Thinkers Campus,” a World Urban Campaign Event, Barcelona, 16–18 November 2015, at: https://www.hlrn.org/img/documents/UTC%20Report.pdf.

See also: “Social and Solidarity Economy must be a key component of the New Agenda”, 20 June 2016, at:

https://www.hic-gs.org/document.php?pid=6820.

See also: “Habitat for people, not for profit! – Open letter against financialization of cities and for Human Rights in the New Habitat Agenda”, 14 June 2016, at: https://www.hic-gs.org/news.php?pid=6805.

See also: “Huairou Commission report of the expert group meeting (EGM) on engendering the new urban agenda,” 9 March 2016, at: https://huairou.org/Engender-Habitat3

Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Thu, June 30, 2016 at 01.54 pm
Many thanks to the new contributors, Mahua, Carl, Filippo, Zaheer, Aldemar and David, for bringing a range of issues into the discussion and adding speed to it. 
Most (although not all) contributions paid more attention to – Sub-topic 3. Environmentally sound & resilient urban development, which is of course a fundamental topic. It would be interesting to explore and discuss interfaces with Sub-topic 1. Sustainable & Inclusive Urban Prosperity & Opportunities for All. I.e. how to link environmental conservation with the promotion of livelihoods – using the concept of green jobs and also bearing in mind that a well-prepared labourforce is a pre-condition for technological change (in this case towards urban resilience). 
Zaheer shifted the attention to cultural heritage, which is also an important topic and the reference to the ‘sense of belonging’ is well acknowledged. It is also opportune to combine this with (decent) employment creation, which will promote a virtuous cycle, also bearing in mind that labour-engagement in the preservation of cultural heritage will enhance the ‘sense of belonging’. Architectural restoration can be a way to provide immediate income to unemployed breadwinners and for new skill-building programmes that would increase the employability of workers in new fields. Restoration is a highly labour intensive activity based on the manual work of skilled and unskilled workers. It is founded upon the use of local materials and locally produced architectural details, and not only provides onsite jobs for workers, but generates income into the local economy. To this end, conservation can be a vehicle for change, recognizing the holistic aspirations of local communities in all of its restoration work. Job creation programmes can be built around labour-intensive guidelines that minimize mechanized work, maximize the use of manual work, revive building related handicrafts, intensify the use of traditional details and enforce the use of domestic materials. Projects should include a training site where new workers learn and refine new skills, including traditional pointing, plastering, stone cutting and stone building; this supports long term employability, reinforces communities, and contributes to the local economy. 

Aldemar, in turn, highlighted an integrated territorial approach. This is fine, while bearing in mind that the Habitat III Agenda has to be specific around issues of human settlements. 

Carl elaborated on the role of the military in urban development. This is definitely a new approach as far as I know in the discussion, yet I am not sure if I fully understood or if I agree with it. For example, is Carl in favour or against demilitarization? If his argument means lending the weight of the military forces to promote different activities of urban development, I can understand, considering that army personnel have collectively and individually technical capacities that can be used in favour of civil society – for example, during or after natural disasters. Yet, I personally tend to avoid a military approach (or at least what I understand as a military approach) to urban development, hoping that we should strive for a future in which we would not need armed forces at all. This is my personal opinion. 
Mahua Mukherjee from India
Thu, June 30, 2016 at 03.44 am

For Part 1, Subtheme 3:

please add the followings:

*NEW 54*. We commit to promote the creation Green Resilient Infrastructure
with *performance-oriented engineering detailing* based on natural
processes to provide ecosystem services and resiliency for intense and
complex urban risks.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Sat, July 2, 2016 at 01.15 pm

Comment on the Zero Draft from Climate Change Centre Reading pre “Prepcom3” regional event in Surabaya

Main Topic A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

– Sub-topic 1. Sustainable & Inclusive Urban Prosperity & Opportunities for All >

In preparation for the UN Habitat III Conference, the Prepcom3 regional consultative event that will take place in Surabaya in July. As one very important Conference, with more than 1000 participants representing governments, professional, non-profit, and civic organizations, and many side events.

The Zero Draft for the New Urban Agenda seems to be well connected and embraced by the global community, yet is the balance there? One word missing in the draft is military.

For a holistic approach point of view, we need to discuss how urban sustainable development and the military force can collaborate for a modern safe peaceful future and further secure and safeguard the New Urban Agenda.

In our achieving to accomplish tasks and system governance our cities new important networks and partnerships being formed. In collaboration these can create urban miracle development over nation borders. Cities may also need to take bold military decisions on how interaction can create and generate new civil/military urban tasks and functions. Within the goal11 to downsize the military sector and divert it into maintenance and support areas for sustainable urban development. City leaders and planners are via its position as responsible as any to “demilitarization” and submit Urban Solutions as best the city we need practice towards the world we want..

For the Prepcom3 regional event in Surabaya, Climate Change Centre Reading will continue its engagement in the UN Habitat III global campaign, by applying for one of the side events, in time to present conclusions and contributions to the Habitat III conference.

One topic for the Zero Draft is the role and the future of military urban support action in relation to urban sustainable development for the New Urban Agenda (NUA).

Issues to address:

Military for urban action to support the working poor in the informal economy as contributors and
legitimate actors of the urban economies, including the unpaid and domestic workers. A gradual approach to formalisation will be developed to preserve and enhance informal livelihoods while extending access to legal and social protections, as well as support services to the informal workforce.

Military for urban action to facilitate and support urban development in a manner that preserves rapidly diminishing natural resources, protects and improves the urban ecosystem and environmental services, promotes disaster risk reduction, while promoting sustainable economic development and people’s well-being, through environmentally sound planning, infrastructure and basic services, enhancing the quality of life of the inhabitants.

Military for urban action to promote and support the creation of well-connected and well-distributed networks of open, multipurpose, safe and green public spaces, including the creation of ecological corridors, to improve the resilience of cities to disasters and climate change, reducing flood risks and heat waves, and improving food security and nutrition, physical and mental health, household and ambient air quality, and attractive and liveable urban landscapes.”

Military for urban action to shift from reactive to more proactive risk-based, all-hazards and all-of-society approaches, while also ensuring timely and effective local disaster response to address the immediate needs of inhabitants following a disaster, as well as supporting the integration of the ‘’Build Back Better’’ principles in the post-disaster recovery process to integrate the lessons from past disasters into future planning and resilience-building measures.

Military for urban action will encourage and support 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.

Military for urban action will support access to different multilateral funds, including the Green Climate Fund, for cities to secure resources for climate change adaptation and mitigation plans, policies, programmes and actions. We will collaborate with local financial institutions to develop climate finance infrastructure solutions and to create appropriate mechanisms to identify catalytic financial instruments. We will collaborate with national and international insurance and reinsurance institutions to develop feasible solutions for future climate risks in cities, with regard to investments in urban infrastructures, urban assets as well as for local populations to secure their shelter and economic needs.

Military for urban action will strengthen cooperation between sub-national and local governments and civil society as well as their existing networks to deliver on capacity development programmes by means of peer-to-peer learning, subject-matter related partnerships, and collaborative action such as inter-municipal cooperation, including the establishment of practitioners’ networks and other science-policy interface mechanisms.

Military for urban action will support institutionalized mechanisms for sharing and exchanging information, knowledge and expertise, including the collection, analysis and dissemination of geographically-based, community-collected and disaggregated data by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national and local contexts, as well as ensuring a robust science-policy interface in urban policy formulation.

Military for urban action will foster and support the creation, promotion, and enhancement of open and participatory data platforms using technological and social tools available to transfer and share knowledge among national, sub-national, and local governments and other stakeholders, including non-state actors and people to enhance effective urban planning and management, efficiency, and transparency through e-governance, ICT-assisted approaches.”

 The list can go on…

The United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (UNCHS) — commonly known as Habitat II — was held on the 20th anniversary of the original Habitat Conference held in Vancouver in 1976.

It designated the Commission on Human Settlements, a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), as the governing body. Habitat II met in Istanbul, Turkey, 3–14 June 1996. Habitat II received its impetus from the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio.

Habitat I was a product of the UN Conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972. Whereas Stockholm was about international environmental problems, Habitat I was convened to address local environmental problems, such as housing, shelter, infrastructure, water, sewage, transport, etc. In a similar fashion.

The term Habitat I refers to the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, in Vancouver, Canada, May 31 – June 11, 1976, which was convened by the United Nations as governments began to recognize the magnitude and consequences of rapid urbanization.

On 16 December 1976 the General Assembly adopted resolution 31/109. [1]. It took note of the conference report, [2],the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements,[3].which carried an action plan with 64 recommendations for National Action. As a further outcome of the conference, in 1977 a General Assembly resolution 36/162 [4] established the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements – UNCHS (Habitat).

Who will form / shape the New Urban Agenda, which parties can be trusted?

Growing mismatch when not all stake holders are present to offer sufficient inclusiveness in the NUA negotiations. Apart from the stereo typical urban societies as planners, architects, engineers, and scientists, we need them all, as well as an experienced urban demilitarized task force. Transformed with transferable civil skills, medical, mechanical, outdoor, HR, finance, intelligence, IT & comms, management, partnership/teamwork, logistics & support and musical, ceremonial. Committed to problem solving.

Local government – Quick cultural background

If we go back in time and compare with an interesting time in society development and who was the clergy let’s say 400 years ago?

The four social classes;

Chivalry and nobility, The stalls, the composition and activities first organized, was the Nobility. It maintained the obligation of every noble to appear before the national day, the obligation of the nobility periodically managed to get replaced by sending representatives, but in the deliberations and decisions of the Nobility would only be one of each family selected principal to participate. Aristocracy guaranteed a predominant influence through voting by classes, and the President, the so-called rural marshal, the king would appoint. Who is the King today?

Clergy, The Parliament stipulated that the first archbishop at the opening of Parliament would bring the word to all the noble estates, and he became the natural president of the clergy.

The first general legislation on the untitled estates composition was given of Government : the clergy would be under this form of bishops and superintendents , two representatives of each dioesan and one for the clergy “of each two counties.” What is the faith today?

Burghers, Burghers would consist of a mayor and a bailie other distinguished citizens from each city.

The peasantry, The peasantry would be represented by a farmer from each district. No one got to be a member of parliament, who was not a resident.

The point is – all the same today as we have two groups, as above the landowners and then the landless residents, the people. We have had the above landowner groups who influenced all decisions and who have all used the military as an instrument. We have had this concerned groups as landless urban/rural city residents the people. What has changed in 400 years, is it the citizens, or..?

The New Local Government the new urban glue (the mediators)

How does habitat III ensure BINGOS LGMAS FARMERS RINGOS ENGOS IPOS W&GS YOUNGOS TUNGOS and many more give inclusive sufficient voice and influence (in Togethernessship). Where in the NUA and What is the Urban/Rural role of the military, representing millions of engineers and an army of soldiers?  How can a modern military force fill the capacity gap missing in forming an inhabitable globe?

Partners, stakeholders, actors, military etc. all to be inclusive anywhere the global smart city network. New city structures more resettled populations. The mixed-use trick is how to shuffling population groups between territories to benefit and trigger responders to sustainable develop the ultimate Net-Zero society!

Will Habitat IV have army support for safeguarding urban development or will there be a territorial army multi-function?

A good showcase example is Ecuador where the military has stepped in, not only to protect and rescue but are now a big part of its mordernisation of a whole nations infrastructure planning, offering solutions and helping supporting urban reconstruction development upgrading in different environments. Education opportunity at the very spot in Quito!

Concluding remarks

Military readiness can compliment planning strategy.

I think the New Urban Agenda would benefit from military precision, military indicators and military efficiency for real urban transformation in the post-2015 future.

The military’s new role can charge mobility, rural transportation and transport between cities?

Is the military’s new responsibility to leading and carrying the new urban movement?

It’s likely a necessity a military force protect our green belts by controlling territorial expansion.

Soldiers can be deployed as urban men committed to prepare our cities for new challenges.

Protection, there’s already a great need to protect 10 000 “smart cities”, this is a huge responsibility.

Army reservists are with training ready to serve, first alongside the regular army.

What will the military’s role look like in the Habitat3 agreement?

Many thanks! 
Carl Emerson-Dam

HabitatCO2lutions.org
competition manager/umbrella task

Filippo Boselli Policy Officer from Germany
Tue, June 28, 2016 at 02.26 pm

 World Future Council Comments: 

  • Comment 1

Page 2, Point 9(f):

“We envisage cities and human settlements that: …protect, respect and value their ecosystems, natural habitats and biodiversity, and NOT ONLY reduce their environmental impact but IMPROVE and REGENERATE the ecosystems and natural resources they depend on.”

A conceptual shift is here needed. It is NOT simply about REDUCING the environmental impact; it is NOT ONLY about DOING LESS BAD but, most importantly, about DOING MORE GOOD. This conceptual difference is critical to emphasize how cities can in fact thrive with nature and that can (and must) symbiotically prosper in harmony with it. We need to offer an alternative to the dominant dualistic vision that sees natural and men-made systems as opposite, conflicting, and antagonistic elements. The New Urban Agenda should highlight the need for a shift from seeing urban settlements as separate from nature to seeing them as part of an integrated, co-evolving whole, where cities thrive in symbiosis with their surrounding natural habitats. The terminology Regenerative serves this need and specifically indicates how cities can actually prosper in partnership with the environment and can have a distinctive value-adding role to play within nature.  In other words, “Regenerative” urban development, as opposed to simply “Sustainable”, indicates a type of development where cities are designed to thrive symbiotically with surrounding ecosystems, and not only to minimize their negative impacts but regenerate the natural resources they consume and actively contribute to the improvement of the ecosystem services they depend on.

  • Comment 2

Page 2, Point 10(c)

“Achieve environmentally sound, REGENERATIVE, and resilient cities and human settlements”

Again, more emphasis should be placed on the need to move towards a “regenerative” type of urban development, whose focus shifts from simply minimizing the impact of urban development onto the environment to a understand cities and urban settlements as much more integrated systems that can actually prosper symbiotically with their surrounding natural environment. Instead of being parasitic, consuming and polluting entities, cities can actually positively enhance the ecosystems from which they depend. 

  • Comment 3

Page 2, Point 10 (c)

“…and implementing sustainable consumption and production patters, SHIFTING INCREASINGLY TOWARDS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY”

A systemic shift in the way cities and urban settlements deal with resources is needed, and this should be further and better emphasized within the guiding principles and commitments of the New Urban Agenda. Given an ever increasing demand for material goods on a planet of finite resources, this will require a switch in paradigm away from the old linear, wasteful metabolism (produce, use and discard) to a new circular metabolism (produce, use, re-use). As such, cities need to mimic the circular metabolic model found in nature where all waste becomes organic nutrients for new growth. This will mean finding value in outputs that are conventionally regarded as waste and using them as resource inputs in local and regional production systems.

  • Comment 4

Page 7, Point 52

 We commit to facilitate and support urban development in a manner that preserves and REGENERATES rapidly diminishing natural resources, protects and improves the urban ecosystem and environmental services…”

Again, this could be another entry point to highlight the need for a shift in approach and to point out the need for Regenerative development. Moving beyond the concept of preserving, sustaining something which is already damaged and compromised, to the concept of active regeneration and renewal of our urban ecosystem services and natural resources. A Regenerative type of urban development is able to transform cities from systems that only deplete resources and damage ecosystems to dynamic entities that restore a positive, symbiotic relationship with the surrounding environment. Just to reiterate, this conceptual distinction between sustaining and regenerating is important to emphasize the need to understand human settlements and nature in a much more dynamic, integrated, mutually interdependent way instead of seeing human settlement and nature as two separate, fragmented, clashing systems. Cities can be designed and planned to thrive and co-evolve with natural systems in a way that generates mutual benefits and a greater expression of life and resilience.

  • Comment 5

Page 7, Point (60)

“We commit to promote environmentally sound waste management, reaffirming reduction, re-uses andrecycling of waste, setting zero-landfill and ZERO WASTE targets, and converting to energy only the waste that cannot berecycled.”

We need to be more ambitious in setting our targets.  The New Urban Agenda needs to be clear on what it is envisaged in the long-term. Targets need to show the final, shared aspirations of sustainable development. Zero Waste polices should be promoted to set a clear path and a common direction.  Ultimately, we need to create societies where waste is always conceived as a by-product that is not simply discarded but that can continually re-enter the resource cycle.  This is a fundamental requirement for any sustainable society. Considering that 70% of waste is produced in cities, this could not be more relevant for a visionary, long-term focused New Urban Agenda.

  • Comment 6

Page 7, Point (61)

“We commit to support local authorities to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency which are essential to enable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, achieve sustainable consumption and production patterns, and create new jobs, improve public health, and reduce the costs of energy supply. In particular, we call on governments to set ambitious and visionary targets such as the 100% renewable energy target”.

Again, it is crucial to set visionary targets and to emphasize the key role of an energy transition based on renewable energy sources. Only with a full transition to renewable energy, the world will be able to effectively mitigate the 2 degrees goal agreed at the COP 21 in Paris.

  • Comment 7

Page 8, Point (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. In particular, we support the establishment of institutionalized bodies in charge of coordinating national urban policies, improving multi-level governance and ensure consistency, coherence and coordination between national, regional and municipal governments.

In order to effectively implement national urban policies as well as the recommendations highlighted in the New Urban Agenda, we support the creation of institutionalized bodies, which could be called National Urban Policy Commissions (NUPC). These would be cross-ministerial commissions led by national governments that would bring together different members from across levels of governments. These multi-level commissions 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). In summary, these bodies would be in charge of improving multi-level governance by coordinating collaboration and communication across government departments and across levels of government (from the national down to the municipal). They would also be in charge of supervising the implementation of National Urban Policies (whose fundamental role has already been extensively highlighted within the current Zero Draft). Lastly, NUPCs could also play the role of a national taskforce that would ensure the implementation of the recommendations contained within New Urban Agenda. 

Zaheer Allam Urban Thinker from Mauritius
Tue, June 28, 2016 at 10.13 am

Dear All,

Glad to join this discussion. When reading point 47; we notice the mention of encouragement of cultural heritage in cities. But heritage can be broadly classified in two forms; tangible and intangible… As we focus on the built environment, can we look closely on physical heritage through the built environment?

Our city and streetscape are the visual narators of our history, and we need to ensure that our architectural language can be read as intristic to specific locations.  By encouraging this approach we may be able to truly promote local culture and welcoming a sense of belonging to both the city and its people. We face the threat that modernism and architectural uniformity eliminate local identities in various parts of the world. 

Social inclusion would be easier with the approach further building on one’s ‘sense of belonging’ to their city.

Best,

Zaheer

Aldemar Palacio Hernández Administrador de Empresas, Diplomado en Gestión Participativa del Desarrollo, Asesor en Planeación del Desarrollo Territorial. from Colombia
Mon, June 27, 2016 at 09.06 pm

Hola, es un placer participar de este foro y estar ya inscrito para el evento en Quito.

Entrando en materia, me parece fundamental que enterminos del desarrollo urbano y de la vivienda, los gobiernos asuman la planeación y el desarrollo de las diferentes obras desde una dimensión de desarrollo integral por ejemplo “Desarrollo Fisico Espacial e Integral de Habitat” y que se interiorice el concepto, de esta forma al planear vivienda esta debera estar acompañada siempre de urbanismos completos y con espacios para la prestación de servicios que implican un desarrollo de vivienda, Salud, Educación, Vias, Recreación, Cultura entre otros.

Tambien y muy importante, sobre todo  para los paises en desarrollo como los nuestros en centro y sur america, donde la mayor parte del territorio es rural, con relieves accidentados y muy mal planificados, (por no decir abandonados) incluir nuevos conceptos territoriales (Espacio+Gente+Cultura+Desarrollo Integral) que permita cerrar las brechas urbano-rurales y generar ordenamientos territoriales que planifiquen de manera eficiente y sostenible el desarrollo rural, como base de un buen desarrollo urbano.

Se hace tambien necesario que se revisen las politicas territoriales al rededor de la asignación de recursos y traslado de competencias a lo entes territoriales, en Colombia nuestros municipios son 7 categorias (Especial, 1,2,3,4,5,6) entre los que las diferencias presupuestales son bastante altas y las obligaciones de atención son las mismas, e incluso mayores en los territorios de menos recursos, con poblaciones distantes y especiales.

Es pues importante la mirada integral que la conferencia pueda hacer y que indique a los gobiernos locales y nacionales la necesidad de mirar el habitat desde la integralidad del espacio y de quien lo habitará.

Un abrazo y mil gracias por el espacio.

David Hopman Professor of Landscape Architecture from United States
Sat, June 25, 2016 at 02.37 pm

Many thanks to all for working on this important project.

I propose that some language be added that will reinforce the use of native plants since this is VERY rarely adopted as part of a future viable urban agenda. It is important to actually use the words native so as to separate the local biome from ecological services which can be provided by a wide variety of both native and exotic species. The specific wording is:

52. We commit to facilitate and support urban development in a manner that preserves rapidly diminishing natural resources, protects and improves the urban ecosystem and environmental services WITH THE USE OF APPROPRIATE PLANTS NATIVE TO THE ECOREGION, promotes disaster risk reduction, while promoting sustainable economic development and people’s well-being, through environmentally sound planning, infrastructure and basic services, enhancing the quality of life of the inhabitants.

53. We commit to promote the creation of well-connected and well-distributed networks of open, multipurpose, safe and green public spaces, including the creation of ecological corridors APPROPRIATE TO THE BIOREGION, to improve the resilience of cities to disasters and climate change, reducing flood risks and heat waves, and improving food security and nutrition, physical and mental health, household and ambient air quality, and attractive and livable urban landscapes.

David Hopman, ASLA

Joseph D’CRUZ – Discussion Moderator from
Mon, June 27, 2016 at 05.19 am

Thanks David.  As we indicated in the response to Mira, amendments to the draft text that are suggested here will not be taken up by the negotiators directly, however I’m sure the discussion will help to enrich their deliberations.

Having said that, I’m glad that you raised an issue that’s a good kick-off for sub-topic 3 on environmental sustainability.  I’m sure that you’re familiar with the McKinney Bioscience article back in 2002 that was one of the first pieces to talk about the loss of native species and the risk of biotic homogenization in urban and suburban areas.  In the years since then there has been a much greater recognition of the importance of native species, particularly in water-scarce regions where the introduction of thirsty non-native plants can often significantly increase household water consumption for garden maintenance.  I believe that there was a demonstration of this in California (Santa Monica?) that ASLA were involved with.  Are you familiar with that work?  Can you tell us more about it?

Joseph D’CRUZ – Discussion Moderator from
Mon, June 27, 2016 at 05.35 am

And as a post-script: let’s not forget the importance of landscaping and urban greenery in the first place.  There was a good article about this in the Washington Post last year, which I just managed to dig up:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/05/26/vie…

David Hopman Professor of Landscape Architecture from United States
Sat, June 25, 2016 at 02.37 pm

Many thanks to all for working on this important project.

I propose that some language be added that will reinforce the use of native plants since this is VERY rarely adopted as part of a future viable urban agenda. It is important to actually use the words native so as to separate the local biome from ecological services which can be provided by a wide variety of both native and exotic species. The specific wording is:

52. We commit to facilitate and support urban development in a manner that preserves rapidly diminishing natural resources, protects and improves the urban ecosystem and environmental services WITH THE USE OF APPROPRIATE PLANTS NATIVE TO THE ECOREGION, promotes disaster risk reduction, while promoting sustainable economic development and people’s well-being, through environmentally sound planning, infrastructure and basic services, enhancing the quality of life of the inhabitants.

53. We commit to promote the creation of well-connected and well-distributed networks of open, multipurpose, safe and green public spaces, including the creation of ecological corridors APPROPRIATE TO THE BIOREGION, to improve the resilience of cities to disasters and climate change, reducing flood risks and heat waves, and improving food security and nutrition, physical and mental health, household and ambient air quality, and attractive and livable urban landscapes.

David Hopman, ASLA

Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, June 24, 2016 at 06.11 pm

Dear Mira, 

Thanks also from my side for such detailed comments and suggestions. Joseph provided you general orientation. May I reiterate the importance of exploring the transformative potential of a new Habitat  Agenda, and how it can add value to the current body of policies and practice. 

I also take the opportunity to note that it would still be timely and useful to recap issues discussed in the previous rounds. There were many good points, that would deserve elaboration and cross-fertilization. I invite again the contributors to revisit the debates with additions.  
New topics are of course also very much welcome, bearing in mind Joseph’s orientations. 
MIRA
Tue, June 21, 2016 at 01.48 am

NEW  Zero Draft: 18 June – Section B. Effective Implementation

PLANNING & MANAGING URBAN SPATIAL DEVELOPMENT

Isuggest to add the text in bold letters in the followin paragraphs:

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 and social participative mechanisms, with accountability and transparency as effective instruments to perform municipal administrative tasks, deliver public services and promote local development.

………….

85.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 social interaction and 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.

……………………………

87. We will integrate measures for urban safety and violence, and crime prevention into all urban participative 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.

……………………….

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 preventing financial speculation. 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. 

……………….

95. 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, taking into account the special needs of women, children, old and disabled persons in particular through:

………………..

97.  We will support the development of frameworks, based on sustainable and affordable 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 with transparency and accountability

………………….

 100.  We will support………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. ……..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, with transparency and accountability.

Joseph D’CRUZ – Discussion Moderator from
Tue, June 21, 2016 at 07.07 am

Dear Mira, 

Thank you for the detailed and thoughtful set of suggestions on the draft document.  The draft outcome document is now with the UN Member states to agree on, and those of us facilitating this online dialogue do not have the scope to propose specific language directly.  However all the inputs provided here are available to member states and other parties to adopt as they wish, and good ideas often make their way through in the end.

For this dialogue we are particularly interested in how the commitments in the draft Outcome Document can be translated into action, and implemented in an effective way.  I hope that you will also find time to share your thoughts on these issues, in any of the three sub-discussions listed.

Thanks again for your inputs, and we look forward to hearing more!

jd

MIRA
Tue, June 21, 2016 at 12.41 am

NEW  Zero Draft: 18 June – Section B. Effective Implementation

BUILDING THE URBAN GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE: ESTABLISHING A SUPPORTIVE FRAMEWORK

I suggest to add the text in bold letters in the following paragraphs

71.  We will ensure that legal and policy frameworks, based on the principles of equality, non-discrimination and social participative planning 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. 

72. 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 and accountable mechanisms.

73. 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 and social sector to develop and manage basic services and infrastructure with clear defined accountability mechanismsand with transparency and social consensus.

……

75. 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 and enabling participative planning before making any amendments, as appropriate.

MIRA
Tue, June 21, 2016 at 12.21 am

ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND & RESILIENT URBAN DEVELOPMENT

I suggest to add the text in bold letters in the following paragraphs

58.  We commit to urban planning processes that incorporate integrated water resources planning and management, considering urban-rural linkages, at the local and territorial scales, ensuring the participation of multiple sectors, stakeholders, and communities in participative planning and decision making and with accountability mechanisms.

MIRA
Tue, June 21, 2016 at 12.11 am

SUSTAINABLE URBAN DEVELOPMENT FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION & POVERTY ERADICATION

I suggest to add the text in bold letters in the following paragraphs.

……………………………

45.  We commit to develop universally safe, inclusive, accessible, green and quality public spaces, including streets, sidewalks, squares, gardens and parks that are multi-functional areas for social interaction, conviviality and inclusion, economic exchange and cultural expression among a wide diversity of people, and which are designed and managed to ensure human integral development, build peaceful and democratic societies, promote cultural diversity and reduce social exclusion. 

………………………..

47.  We commit to leverage natural and cultural heritage, tangible and intangible, in cities through integrated urban policies and adequate investments, at both the national, sub-national and local levels, to safeguard and promote cultural infrastructures and sites, museums, as well as indigenous and traditional knowledge and the arts, highlighting the role that these play in the rehabilitation and revitalization of urban areas, as a way to strengthen social participation and the exercise of citizenship.

MIRA
Mon, June 20, 2016 at 11.42 pm

SUSTAINABLE & INCLUSIVE URBAN PROSPERITY & OPPORTUNITIES FOR ALL

I suggest to add the text in bold letters in the following paragraphs. 

22. We commit to strengthen the role of housing in economic development and as the fundamental factor to ensure the welfare of the city inhabitants and the contribution of the sector in stimulating productivity in other economic sectors, recognizing that housing enhances capital formation, labor productivity, income, employment generation and savings and can contribute to driving inclusive economic transformation at the local and national levels preventing real estate speculation.

………

27.  We commit to develop urban spatial frameworks, including urban planning and design instruments that promote efficient use of land, compactness, polycentrism, mixed uses, and appropriate density, according to the needs and characteristics of every city or village, through infill or planned extension strategies, to trigger economies of scale and agglomeration, and enhance resource efficiency.

28.  We also commit to promote public spaces as drivers of economic development, leveraging their potential to generate increased property value, and to facilitate business and livelihoods opportunities both in the formal and informal sectors as they are safeguard as a common social good.

………

30.  We commit to promote a healthy society and labor force with the knowledge and skills to contribute to an innovative and competitive urban economy, by ensuring universal access to adequate and quality public services, social infrastructure and facilities, such as healthcare, culture and education facilities, among others. We commit to generate productive employment, decent work, and livelihood opportunities in cities and human settlements including community, social and cooperative economic activities and community business centers with special attention to the needs and potential of women, youth and persons with disabilities, in particular the poorest and most vulnerable, and to ensure that all people have access to income-earning opportunities, respecting and leveraging culture and territorial specificity.

31.  We commit to create an enabling, fair and responsible business environment, based on the principles of environmental sustainability and inclusivity, promoting investments, innovations, and individual and collective and entrepreneurships. We also commit to address the challenges faced by local business communities, through supporting micro, small and medium -enterprises and cooperatives, in particular businesses and enterprises in the social and solidarity economy, operating in both the formal and informal sectors.

…………………

34. We commit to harness the urban demographic dividend, where applicable, and promote access for youth to education and individual and social skills development, as critical to achieve increased productivity and shared prosperity in cities. We also commit to address the social, economic and spatial implications of ageing populations, where applicable, and harness the ageing factor as an opportunity for new jobs and growth, while improving the quality of life of a significant share of the urban population. We further commit to empowerment of all women and girls in order to enable their effective, full, and equal participation in the urban economy. 

Joseph D’CRUZ – Discussion Moderator from
Mon, June 20, 2016 at 03.13 pm

Dear colleagues,

And let me add my voice to Lowie and Ed’s in welcoming you to this online discussion.  We are fortunate that the revised zero draft of the New Urban Agenda just been released, giving us a timely starting-point for our discussions.  Ed has posted some interesting opening comments for the discussion on livelihoods and labour, which I encourage you to respond to.  Let me add a couple of thoughts on the second sub-topic, particularly on the aspect of poverty eradication.

The draft NUA highlights “the persistence of multiple forms and dimensions of poverty” (para 35), as one of the major challenges facing the world today.  But the fact that poverty has “multiple forms and dimensions” is itself an important challenge.  The globally-accepted international poverty line as currently set at $1.90 per person per day, according to the World Bank. But what does $1.90 per day buy for a city dweller?  How can an urban resident afford many of the necessities of urban life (housing, transportation, food, healthcare) on $1.90 per day or its local equivalent? And is it fair to say that an urban dweller earning $2 per day is ‘not poor’?

If we are to meet the New Urban Agenda’s Transformative Commitment to poverty eradication, then we must first ensure that we have accurate, inclusive ways to identify and measure poverty, so that we know who the urban poor are, where they live and what drives poverty in urban areas.  What tools, approaches and experiences do we have for this important task?  Do you have ideas or examples to share in sub-topic 2?

I look forward to hearing them!

with warm regards;

jd

Ed Werna – Discussion Moderator from
Mon, June 20, 2016 at 11.24 am
Dear Participants, 

Welcome also from my side to the third round of the online discussion seeking feedback on the Zero Draft of the Habitat III Outcome document. I am delighted to be moderating this discussion and look forward to hearing from you.
While having an interest in the Agenda as a whole, I have a particular interest in Sub-topic 2 ‘Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Prosperity and Opportunities for all’ and I look forward to receiving your comments on this area. Let me start the discussion by saying that the theme of livelihoods is a fundamental part of the Summit. Habitat III emphasizes the need for sustainability. Labour cuts-across its three pillars: social, economic and ecological. Cities and towns will not be sustainable if the livelihoods of their residents are not properly addressed. Initiatives such as infrastructure provision, slum upgrading and inner-city regeneration will be viable and will lead to growth when employment-generation and working conditions come into the equation. Well-trained entrepreneurs and labour force, working in adequate conditions, constitute a crucial asset for promoting housing and urban development.
I look forward to a useful discussion.
UN- Habitat
Mon, June 20, 2016 at 06.21 am

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 how we can translate the “transformative  commitments” outlined in the New Urban Agenda into “effective implementation” on the ground; please share your ideas, examples and suggestions of good practices and policies.

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!