PART 4: Effective Implementation

March 24, 2017

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


  • Claudio Torres Slum Upgrading Consultant, Housing and Slum Upgrading Branch. UN-Habitat
  • Pireh Otieno Human Settlements Officer, Urban Basic Services Branch - UN-Habitat
  • Kulwant Singh Regional Advisor - UN-Habitat
  • Marcus Mayr Urban Planner, Climate Change Planning Unit, UN-Habitat
  • Edmundo Werna Head of Unit at Sectoral Policies Dept. ILO

PART 4: Effective Implementation

Throughout the 3rd Preparatory Committee meeting in Surabaya, Indonesia (25 – 27 July 2016), participants are invited to review the following sections of the latest Draft New Urban Agenda and share your feedback. This forum was open for comments until 28 July.

Main Topic B: Effective Implementation

Stephen Gwynne – Birmingham Resilience Network
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 09.42 pm

I think if there is one measure to enable effective implementation it is to democratise the planning and development plan process. Too often communities are left disempowered despite varying degrees of consultation with the result that communities are not given the democratic choice as to whether they want development of a certain kind. Without a democratic mandate, much development from government and big business is not acceptable and so its effective implementation is minimised.

In this, sustainable development has always needed to incorporate a political dimension so that we have economic development, social development, ecological development and political development. Moreover these four dimensions of sustainable development need to be encapsulated within an overarching cultural development so communities can discuss and debate and so reshape their identities and values towards the goal of a sustainable future for all.

So for example what does it mean to be a global citizen. How do cities share resources responsibly. How do cities cooperate to manage human, financial and ecological resource flows between them. This new culture must be the basis of any effective implementation of the NUA. In other words, the NUA must first seek to create a shared global culture from which citizens can begin to re-imagine their traditional ties with nation-hood. It was the failure of the European Union to endeavour towards a shared european culture that has lead to its demise. We must not make the same mistake. 

Observer from Indonesia
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 07.39 am

I would like to highlight the NUA is missing on financial markets that enable implementation. Financial markets are locally built-executed, globally tied together. Moreover, financial markets are enablers of such initiatives in urban planning, in particular to this commentary post, I would like to emphasize importance of an agreed pathway towards a working financial market for housing to the poorest decile.

NUA already has pointed out the importance of housing, formally and informally formed. And we all agree that the needs of housing needs executed centric-integrated with other urban policies. Housing affordability has been mentioned in the NUA, but what does it really mean? Actually, what rapidly urbanizing and developing countries struggle with, is how to enable the market to execute solutions that make housing affordable. Provision of affordable housing cannot work with only government subsidies-nor government giving out free houses (we can refer to South Africa as a lesson learned in how free houses dysfunctions the housing market), but we need to integrate housing initiatives with a financial market that works to penetrate the lowest decile.

A working financial market is influenced by the government by giving the right incentives and guarded by the prudent regulatory frameworks. We would need incentives to secure long-term funding for housing, formal and informal financial institutions to interact together, and ensure financing is attainable to all levels of income. Regulatory frameworks, simply, we do not want the 2008 global financial crisis to repeat in history. We acknowledge that financial markets in developing countries have different levels of development, some have only a primary mortgage market, some already advance to the secondary mortgage market, yet we can still find a middle ground of regulatory frameworks and incentives that work.

In conclusion, NUA needs to clarify the importance of market incentives and regulatory frameworks of housing finance in enabling housing solutions, to finally become affordable and reach the lowest decile.

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 01.31 pm

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the the City of Milan have published a joint position paper on achieving urban food and nutrition security with the New Urban Agenda. Read the full paper here: or below

Achieving Urban Food and Nutrition Security with the New Urban Agenda

Sunniva Bloem[1], Franca Roiatti2, Cinzia Tegoni[2], Michela Carcucci, Bonnie McClafferty1, Herbert Smorenburg¹, and Steve Godfrey1

This position paper is supported by: The City of Milan and The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)


I.Habitat III (United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development) will take place in Quito, Ecuador on 17-20 October 2016

II.  Habitat III will formulate the New Urban Agenda that will dictate the strategy on urbanization for the next 20 years

B Draft New Urban Agenda

I. We commend the fact that the Draft New Urban Agenda:

  1. Envisages cities and human settlements that provide equal access to goods and services surrounding food and nutrition security
  2. Is resolved to ensure poverty eradication and greater equity in urban areas by providing access to basic physical and social infrastructure for all including nutritious food and that these services are responsive to the rights and needs of women, children and youth and other particularly vulnerable populations.
  3. Promotes the creation of green public spaces, good management of urban deltas, the support of local provision of basic services, and the strengthening of sustainable management of resources in order to effectively promote food and nutrition security goals
  4. Will implement integrated, polycentric,  balanced territorial development policies and plans,
  5. a) encouraging cooperation and mutual support among citizens, different scales of cities and human settlements,
  6. b) strengthening the role of small and intermediate cities and towns in enhancing food systems for healthy food and nutrition security, providing access to housing, infrastructure, and services,
  7. c) facilitating 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.
  8. Supports urban agriculture that is environmentally responsible, healthy, and safe.
  9. Supports local commerce and markets as an option to contribute to sustainable urban food and nutrition security.
  10. Will promote the integration of food and nutrition to meet the needs of urban residents, particularly the urban poor, to end hunger and malnutrition.
  11. Will promote coordination of food security and agriculture policies across urban, peri-urban, and rural areas to facilitate the production, storage, transport, and marketing of safe and healthy food to consumers and to prevent food waste and conserve water and other resource use.

II.  These food and nutrition security goals in the Draft New Urban Agenda are appropriate, considering:

  1. the second Sustainable Development Goal is to: end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture;
  2. the eleventh Sustainable Development Goal is to: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable;
  3. over 100 cities from around the world have signed the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact that acknowledges 1) that there are many challenges posed to the current food system among which include: unbalanced distribution and access to scarce resources, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, climate change; 2) that hunger and malnutrition in its various forms exist within all cities, posing great burdens on individual health and well-being and thus generating major social and economic costs at household, community, municipality and national levels 3) that cities have a strategic role to play in developing sustainable food systems and promoting healthy diets;
  4. 12 urban areas over three continents will coordinate their food policy and their international cooperation activities as part of the Food Smart Cities for Development project where cities and civil society organizations will work together until the end of 2016, organizing activities that enhance the collaboration to create a coordinated urban food policy agenda and show the potential of the European Territorial Cooperation in fighting against poverty and hunger
  5. The Rome Declaration on Nutrition acknowledges that malnutrition, in all its forms, including undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight and obesity, not only affects people’s health and wellbeing by impacting negatively on human physical and cognitive development, compromising the immune system, increasing susceptibility to communicable and noncommunicable diseases, restricting the attainment of human potential and reducing productivity, but also poses a high burden in the form of negative social and economic consequences to individuals, families, communities and States.
  6. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed a UN Decade of Action on Nutrition that will run from 2016 to 2025
  7. The COP 21 Paris Agreement recognizes the fundamental priority of  safeguarding  food  security  and ending  hunger,  and  the  particular vulnerabilities of food production systems to the adverse impacts of climate change

C. We acknowledge that good nutrition is essential for equitable growth and that building sustainable food systems is key for responding to many of the challenges posed to growing cities.

I. We recommend that in order to achieve the food and nutrition security goals of the New Urban Agenda policy makers should:

  1. Acknowledge that feeding cities well is a complex challenge related to many other compelling issues such as tackling poverty and  social and economic inequalities, ensuring adequate housing and sanitation, providing access to health care and education,  planning resilient communities, enhancing environmental protection, land tenure, biodiversity conservation and boosting local economies;
  2. Acknowledge the importance of shaping urban food systems that are more resilient, safe and facilitate greater access to nutritious foods;
  3. Acknowledge the strategic role played by public institutions to promote healthy diets, reduce greenhouses gas emission, make the city’s food systems more safe and resilient to climate change prevent negative impact of potential disasters, and create jobs locally and across the region through effective policies, social safety net programs and public procurement;
  4. Promote municipal food policies as an effective means to address the above mentioned challenges of growing cities with a comprehensive, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional approach;
  5. Call for cities to undertake nutrition specific interventions particularly for its most vulnerable populations;
  6. Incorporate a nutrition sensitive lens when it comes to the development of urban infrastructures including water and sanitation facilities, energy, roads and transport, informal settlements, terminal and retail market infrastructure, as well as, informal and formal employment while facilitating food safety and good nutrition practices;
  7. Acknowledge that in order to achieve the goal of inclusive cities that are pro poor and pro youth, cities must help ensure all children have access to good nutrition, in particular infants during the first 1000 days of their life, women of a reproductive age and adolescent girls;
  8. Recognize poor urban consumer constraints and livelihoods challenges( and in particular the time burden of mothers and women of reproductive age) as a driver of food choices in urban areas;
  9. Call for cities to adopt people-centred policies, engage people in the definition of territorial planning, food and nutrition policies and goals;
  10. Incorporate within the spatial development framework a strategy to improve access to food and good nutrition with urban landscapes, reduce urban food deserts, and create public spaces that encourage exercise and movement;
  11. Call for cities to facilitate effective trade links, across the urban-rural continuum, ensuring that farmers and fishers, including small scale, are linked to cities and cities’ neighbourhoods in more efficient and sustainable ways, to improve access to nutritious food;
  12. Recognize that the urban poor in low and middle-income countries source a majority of their food from small and medium-scale enterprises (both formal and informal) and that these need to be strengthened;
  13. Recognize the interdependence of local, regional and global food systems as a key element which needs to be strengthened and promoted by the public sector in collaboration with all the key stakeholders;
  14. Call for cities to support safe urban agriculture and alternative supply chains to better connect producers with consumers and enhance responsible local sustainable consumption and production;
  15. Acknowledge that targeted, appealing and innovative food education and awareness programmes are imperative if we want to improve people’s quality of lives, reduce NCDs, and lighten the health care system’s expenditure;
  16. Work with public regulators and the private sector (both formal and informal) to promote proper food safety practices, such as appropriate and adequate food labelling that also highlights the nutritional value of food products;
  17. Acknowledge the food and nutrition data gap and invest in effective, systematic and regular measurement.

[1] Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

[2] Food Smart Cities for Development

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 10.37 pm

Promoting food security and nutrition security goals and strategies in the New Urban Agenda is an interesting proposition.  The post is rather long, depicting the elements of the position paper which encompasses many aspects ranging from rural-urban linkages to people centered policies and other spatial dimensions of this important and very actual subject.  There is obvious a policy implication when cities adopt a New Urban Agenda and at the same time responds to the demands implicit in food security strategies, let alone addressing nutrition elements.  

I would have liked to read the practical implications and suggestions on the implementation about how to integrate these concerns into a paradigm shift in urban planning and urban management that will lead cities and human settlements to a sustainable urban future.

Wed, July 27, 2016 at 03.41 pm


Today, in the food industry there are several risks. The major one is the water bill. However, it is neglected. Put food gardens in cities and harvest water. (water is in a nexus with energy, food). Also, it helps to reduce consumption. Obsesity in cities is the number one killer with other factors. There is 1/3 of food, which are produced, which goes directly from the farms to the bins. Ask government to make a law to give food to homeless people or food businesses should discount there food, when it is reaching the date limits to speed up the sales. Mind the food chain and the temperature control. More and more people get food poisoning (or killed).



Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 03.47 pm

Migration for work and migration for livelihood with increased population is making more pressure on the cities.

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 10.52 pm

International migration is a hot and big topic today.  Indeed, in some parts of the world, there is huge population of migrant workers who seek employment and better salaries in countries where such opportunities exist.  They work under certain rules and mostly treated as temporary workers.  Temporary may be stretched as word depending on the country and the economic activity the worker is involved.  Providing adequate housing, safety and welfare support fo this population who lives and works mostly in cities become an important theme to be addressed.  The question, in this dialogue, is whether the NUA is taking this into consideration and whether in its means of implementation something is said about it.  Perhaps not so directly.  The NUA advocates for planning, management and preparedness for increasing urbanization and demographic pressure that will exist for the years to come.  In this respect, absorbing this growth in a planned manner and within the rules and governance systems regulating urban land development is the greatest challenge of NUA.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 04.18 am

The world has encouraged Migration for betterment of people living in kingdom.Today countries like India has 30 million educated persons of various walks of engineering,soft ware,medical technologies,teachers etc are ready for migration.The sum total will go up to 60 million when they are married.They look to migrate to Australia,Canada,and may be some African countries.

Khurshid Zabin Hossain Taufique Deputy Director (Research & Coordination) from Bangladesh
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 04.41 am

Effective Implementation:

Comments from Professional side:

1) New Urban Agenda is composing of exhaustive 151 numbers of clauses which systematically cover all sort of issues, but all seems political statements under Global Politics.

2) There is one missing tool for this NUA which is very much urgent to dig out the Implicit Genetic Code of each cities of the globe. Therefore, it is necessary to add the following in the Effective Implementation:

                “It is necessary to find out the Implicit Urban Genetic Code of Each City, which is different for each city in the world by its political administration to materialize the NUA through delineates the Social Space of Each City in the Urbanized Global World.”

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 10.43 pm

It is a good point you make to look at the DNA of each city.  This means that the NUA will have to be localized and fit into the political and public admnistration environment under which cities are planned, managed and governed.  The more practical, the more transformative and provocative the NUA is the more it will trigger the debate about the adoption of its principles, values and propositions.  I would say that in places where there is an active civil society and strong institutions, the chances for advance and transform the NUA into an urban tranformation agenda will be higher.

knut speaker/coordinator from Germany
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 01.24 pm

Habitat for People – not for Profit!

Monday, 25 July 2016

Dear participants of the Habitat III prepcom in Surabaya!

We are writing to you as members of the international working group for the promotion of market regulation and market alternatives at Habitat III. Earlier, we published these two open letters on the Habitat III preparation.

Make social regulation of real estate markets an issue at Habitat III !

Statement on the “Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda”

In the new draft of the “New Urban Agenda”, which you are discussing in Surabaya, we appreciate the stronger focus on “ending poverty in all forms”, which in particular was achieved by some change in wording and a regrouping of content in section A. In this context we also welcome the prominent position of the human right to adequate housing and the focus on housing policies. We very much hope that these commitments will remain in the final document and thus can build a basis for further progress in achieving human settlements for all.

At the same time it is a really scandal that the document still keeps totally silent about the development of globalized markets, its crisis and all related economics. It fundamentally fails to address the needs to regulate financial and property markets, private corporations and the relations between the national economies at a global scale. It does not mention necessary instruments like rent control, taxation of transactions and private insolvency. We find nothing about the mortgage and housing crisis since 2007, nothing about public and municipal debt and poverty as a consequence of structural adjustment programs, privatisation and austerity.

We welcome that point 97 mentions building codes and deals with urban planning. But it is really shocking to find nothing about the necessary transnational regulation of mortgage securitisation, real estate private equity, REITs and land grabbing. It is a real progress that point 94 supports a shift from private homeowner policies to rental housing and market alternatives.  But without addressing the global financial this hardly will create more than a playground.

Without addressing the global economic frames of spatial developments well sounding “commitments” like “ending poverty” or “integrated urban management” will remain wishful thinking. We fear that Habitat III will produce nothing but hot air. The repetition of well- known “urbanist” phrases will have no real impact on the global spatial development.


Knut Unger, Witten Tenants Associations, Habitat Net, Germany,

Varghese Theckanath, Campaign for Housing and Tenurial Rights/MSI, India,

Cesare Ottollini, International Alliance of Inhabitants,

Laurent Muntlak, Association des Comités de Défense des Locataires), Paris, France,

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 11.11 pm

Indeed the NUA could have been more assertive on the global housing market crisis and its implications on cities, the impacts on the form, density and growth of urban areas and particularly the social economic impact on people.  By doing so, it would present a sound understanding of the city-housing nexus and provide responses to some of the fundamental elements of an urban strategy e.g. property markets, land markets, security of tenure and the issue of regulations.  Although one could think of transnational agreements to regulate mortgage securitisation and real estate private equity it would be very difficult to adopt and enforce locally and nationally given the variety of rules, regulations and bylaws in each country.  In this dialogue, we are trying to depict the means of implementation, so thinking of how these well placed concerns could be incorporated into the implementation strategy of NUA.  I totally agree that we should avoid the ‘wishful thinking’ type of agenda.  We should geer towards a plan of action and not a plan to regulate action.

Sun, July 24, 2016 at 05.25 am

Hello Pathak,

I was not at the meeting to draft the new agenda. However, my answer is quite general and related to implementation. The technical or political measures that are true for a supply chain are likely to match an urbanism construction. It is about the Just in Time and quality management, which is at stake and building back better.

All is embedded in the responsiveness of the organization, quality management and performance management. Let us be clear that changes can come only if managers are nurturing these values.

1- Prevention is better than reparation:

In principle it is better to prevent these risks than to repair damages (supply chain or urbanism construction). Also, bearing in mind that one has to integrate the global cost of environment in the architecture (due diligence or mitigation).

2- Engineering principles:

– Better controlling the discrepancies at the beginning of a process rather than at the end (the cost of reparation is much important at the end of a process than at the beginning).

– Also, use integrative management than piecemeal management

3- Examples of construction (not systematically in urbanism, but think these principles apply in the same way  in various industries)

Example 1: project management for a construction (urbanism…): the builder triangle

One cannot ave all at the same time a quality of a construction, a cheap construction and a fast speed construction. A project manager needs to make a priority either on cost,  speed or quality of the building, to make a conciliation with the 3 corners of the construction.

Example 2: choice of the food business to select a meal and the food prices:

Where do you prefer to eat in link with your purchasing power? Mac Donald, supermarket limited food, a real cook meal, street food, food truck, do your won cooking…?

Recently inn 2016, France made a law cut clear on who is making real food and what is made by a food business. Ultimately, it is all wins for the consumers on the price values for a food to eat (to go or not). In addition, there is a fair competition between food businesses. As a consequence, the food market is more transparent.

Example 3: case of a bird making a nest to  lay in its eggs (animal behavior)

If you have observed a bird, which is  preparing a nest for the bay birds. I think, the design and implementation of nesting (from nest construction to laying eggs is the same principle as Human behavior). It makes a difference, if the nest is built in the forest on a tree or high grass by the side of a road – exposed to the wind- Also, maybe animals have more difficulties to make a nest with the population dynamics. Business construction sponsor can mimic a bird with a poor construction (cost too much, too long delay, or of poor quality)

Example 4: organizations governance

UN is not making the implementation. Implementation is role of Civil Societies (CSO) and businesses (Multinationals) with a strategic goal or required operations to implement the UN global framework. 

Example 5: Can you separate time and space (with acting technologies)?

I think “no”! Time management matters equally with space management. Looking at technology of information and a user of a mobile phone. You can see time is linked to space. Users of a mobile phone are communicating with their tribes, while they can totally ignore a nearby person). There is a little saying further from the eyes and closer to the heart (and vice verse). The distance in the relationship help to understand the process processes with technology.

Example 6: Is the organization a process or a system?

There is an important aspect, which should not not be neglected i.e. alignment. Is the business a process or a system.. Translated into strategy. For example, referring to world bank annual report about the ease to make business.If comparing attractiveness of a country with rating numbers. However, nobody said something about business how closea business could befrom a country.

Let us say that all countries could be attracted by the African continent in 21rst century, because of the growth prospect. However, for me it is clear, that English speaking or French speaking countries are closer to make good business with Africa because of their belonging to a common linguistic heritage.

I hope these few examples can introduce a bit clarity, about the unknowns and knows of the new urban agenda – I assumed-

Any comment of questions are welcome. Have nice day Pathak,



Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 11.20 pm

In your post, I picked one statement which says that the UN is not responsible for the NUA implementation but rather Civil Societies (CSO) and businesses (Multinationals).  I would add local and national governments, NGO’s and local business (private sector) will also have fundamental roles to play in the implementation of the NUA.  The propositions included in the NUA is not only a government or private sector business.  It is the business of everyone who lives and works in cities and human settlements.  The success and results of the NUA will depend on the degree of involvement and organization of these actors.

Sun, July 24, 2016 at 03.40 am


In the urban dialogue and the effective implementation, If somebody can tell me how we can make volcano tsunami safe urban settlements or cities?



Jose Gonzalez-Colon Community Activist/ Clergy from Puerto Rico
Sat, July 23, 2016 at 01.35 pm

Urban Planning has become a discipline that is limited to actors with certain skill sets and a limited range of fields.  Despite technological advances and achievments available to Urban Planners, the profession in practice lacks empathy for poor and marginalized communities.  Therefore, the draft makes repeated mention of the importance of fairness in terms of affordability and accessibility, but it needs to spell out better language that includes specific practices where members of local communities and neighborhoods serve as agents in local policies and planning.  Without their involvement and support well intentioned and thought out plans end up compromised, incomplete, and/or badly constructed.  The agents in Urban Planning are not exclusively governments and macro institutions, but smaller interconnected web of local leadership participating in structures that encourage cooperation and full participation.  Without this it will be difficult in complex systems to address urban density, and climate change.  

It is my understanding that many societies and nation states have unique ways in which their social structure invokes the voices of communities, tribes, clans, and neighborhoods to speak and participate.  What is more  land trusts and/ or cooperatives work very well in local economies of scale that include banking and businesses.  We must pay attention to the local human ecology as part of a web of cities and states from the world. 

For local participation to work there must also be language that specifies commitment to developing leadership skills and competencies in order for the agency of poor and marginalized communities to do their best service.  Looking at the development of social technologies in this case is very important and most helpful for communities to solve problems.  Looking at planning from the bottom up of the social system, and looking for ways to interconnect would facilitate developing the appropriate contextual language for what I am suggesting.  This is the most important policy of our generation and perhaps bringing this urgency locally will generate the enthusiasm to work together.  

Thank you!

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 11.33 pm

It is a good point.  The level of civil society participation in the planning and management of cities varies dramatically from one country and city to another.  The success of the NUA and its implementation at the local level of cities and neighbourhoods depends by large on the ability of local governments, city leaders, planners and urban managers to interact and empower the local population and its institutions in the participatory and decision making processes.  We know that in some parts of the world, some cities have advanced this agenda which resulted in inclusive urban policies and programs. But the question is not so easy in other parts of the world where technocratic and authocratic forms of urban planning and management prevail.  The adoption of NUA needs to be embedded into these conditions and its implementation must consider the formation of a new generation of urban planners and urban practitioners that understand and takes the best of residents when deciding on the future of their neighborhoods and cities.  Thus an entire agenda of transformation of education, training, knowledge exchange, city-to-city exchange, etc.

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator Associate Human Rights Officer – Mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons from Switzerland
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 01.12 pm

Thank you very much, Jose Gonzalez-Colon, Saripalli Suryanarayana and Julien Dijol for your helpful and constructive comments. You highlight the importance of awareness and understanding of the needs of communities, especially on the part of those professionals, such as engineers, architects, town planners and others, who are involved in Urban Planning, and the implications of their work on the implementation of the Draft New Urban Agenda.  Issues of accessibility and compliance with standards of universal design do indeed require professionals who are aware of the impact of their work on the effective enjoyment of all rights by all inhabitants. For this to occur, it is important for States to provide training to all stakeholders involved in urban related issues, not simply engineers, designers, architects and urban planners, but transport authorities, service providers, health care professionals and civil servants, both at the national and local levels. The ability of communities to give voice to their concerns and needs is also at least as important as the capacity of governmental organisations to respond. Would anyone else like to share good practices in their respective countries about the existence of training, especially personal development and leadership skills, focused on the rights and needs of inhabitants in urban spaces? Many thanks. 

Sun, July 24, 2016 at 03.58 am

Hello Jose,

In the urban dialogues and the new draft agenda (but, also the old ones).

I think as I understood your viewpoint. It is important, whenever there are gaps (discrepancies) between planners (office people) and ground workers (rescuers, emergency managers…), to use a best practice by recruiting a consultant to bridge these gaps between planners and grassroots.

Any feed-backs or comments are welcome, Jose.



Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 03.42 am

It is essential to have a cohesive consultant,preferably an engineer,who understands economy Build own operate systems,and Public health[E-coli,and diseases -mosquito means,drainage and water systems,building roads and understanding urban transport systems].Understanding life,housing,work or job creation,and future of economy currency finance and living.

While these are difficult,there are thousands [only]of such professionals available in the world whose services can be of use for city renewal,planning new cities with proper open spaces,gender equality,culture and heritage preservation tools.

PUSHPA PATHAK Visitng Faculty
Fri, July 22, 2016 at 07.21 am

Reference Para 146: …. Ensure its effective and timely implementation. We are all aware that implementation of many past urban development initiatives, national and international, have been ineffective since it has been SLOW. Therefore most countries continue to endeavour to catch up with new urbanization demands while still trying to meet the past unmet demands for urban housing and services.  Therefore, SPEED of implementation of the New Urban Agenda is important to bridge this gap. The questions I have are: Should the New Urban Agenda have a time frame, say 2030 to coincide with the SDGs or 2036 until the HABITAT-IV, to accelerate its timely implementation?  Or is there any other way the Agenda could emphasize the need for speed of implementation of the New Urban Agenda?

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 11.41 pm

You made a good point about the time and duration of the NUA.  The Habitat Agenda (1996) had a life span of 20 years.  It was revisited five years at the Habitat II+5 in New York (2001) but then it was left to member states and cities to implement its chapters or not.  

The speed of implementation as well as the commitment of member states and other stakeholders and the financial means to implement it are all critical otherwise the NUA runs the risk of another document ending on the shelves of international organizations.

This means the NUA and the organizations and individuals committed to it must adopt a process that will lead to a sound outcome e.g. the full implementation of NUA at the local level of cities, neighbourhoods and urban agglomerations.  The implementation of NUA must bring with itself monitoring and feedback mechanisms so that progress can be measured and accountability be identified.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 04.09 am

In India and such of the countries where the professional like Charted accountants,Engineers,etc,who are attached to several professional bodies are still not recognised.The politicians and the administrators still think of such Universities and Government servants working as Engineers for consultancy and disaster management.

This is an unfortunate management system where the pillars of society  and the citizens are not involved in project management or conceptualization.That is why some states say to construct 1 million toilets it takes 10 years and we continuously go to a rank of 110 in human development index.

Let us all [all countries]better ourselves and help others with our vast human resources,who are trained and ready to takeoff in to the world of development

Eveline Kokx Vice-President Stadswerk (Duch association of local governments for professionals in public space) from Netherlands
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 07.43 pm

I am happy to see that associations of local governments are recognised as providers of capacity development (paragraph 136). Please be aware that there are organisations of locally working practitioners, organising networks of professionals, such as Stadswerk in the Netherlands and the International Federation of Municipal Engineers ( These organisations can play an important role in spreading knowledge. Local professionals can be inspired by the New Urban Agenda and a global call for action. We should recognize the important work of local professionals and civil servants in the communities, where they can make the difference for vulnerable groups such as children, elderly people, women and those who don’t know how to influence the (local) governement who decides.

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 11.48 pm

Point well taken for the NUA.  Capacity building is the backbone of the NUA.  Providers of education, training and capacity building will have an important role to play in order to enable cities, local and national government agencies to implement the transformative agenda implicit in the NUA.  This is reinforced in the attached position paper on capacity building for the NUA.

In addition to conventional types of training and capacity building, it is necessary that the NUA adopts and promotes city-to-city exchange, knowlede and practice exchange, and peer to peer learning as tools to advance with the  implementation of NUA.

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator Associate Human Rights Officer – Mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons from Switzerland
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 01.15 pm

Thank you very much Eveline for your valuable comment.  You point out the important role of local government in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, which should be read in conjunction with their duties, within their local competences, stemming from the international human rights obligations of the State. Local authorities are, often, the democratically elected bodies on whom often rests the responsibility for translating national human rights strategies into practical and effective measures at local and community levels. Their direct link to communities underlines the importance of capacity building within those organisations, as well as their arguably unique role in the delivery of programmes.  Would you like to share with us any good practice regarding the participation and involvement of local authorities in the drafting of urban policies that actually promote the rights of vulnerable groups? Many thanks. 

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 01.11 pm

I would like to invite and welcome you to the online discussion on the Draft New Urban Agenda taking place in advance of and throughout the 3rd Preparatory Committee meeting (PrepCom3) in Surabaya, Indonesia, next week.

Here in this forum you are invited to share your views, examples and suggestions on how to turn these ideas into practice.

A New Urban Agenda is expected to be adopted by governments and heads of States as the outcome of the Habitat III conference in Quito.

The draft agenda under discussion proposes a paradigm shift that builds on the notion that urbanisation is a transformative force which will definitely bring cities and human settlements towards a sustainable urbanization path and generate prosperity and wealth for all human beings, provided that it is well planned and managed, centered on people and their wellbeing, inclusive and participative, and is consistent with values and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

The New Urban Agenda recognizes the achievements and previous commitments derived for example from the Millennium Declaration, the MDG’s, the Habitat Agenda, and the 2030 Development Agenda which has in its SDG11 a specific focus on cities and human settlements.

The New Urban Agenda proposes ways to address the challenges faced by cities and urban agglomerations by promoting ways to establish spatial and territorial planning that are consistent with the precepts of sustainable development as well as mechanisms for cities to self-finance its development and can generate opportunities for the population to access adequate housing.

There are many obstacles to be surpassed in the regulatory, financial and institutional environments governing urbanization at the local and national levels when one thinks of some of the propositions contained in the draft document.

One of the fundamental questions is how such a transformative agenda can be implemented by national, regional and local governments? What are the mechanisms to ensure implementation, monitoring and reporting?
You are invited to bring forward your views and suggestions herein.
Claudio Acioly

Julien Dijol Deputy Secretary General from Belgium
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 09.12 am

Housing Europe, the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing, welcomes the revised Draft and would like to make a suggestion regarding sub topic 3 : 

new 127. we will support the relevant stakeholders in particular the non for profit and responble social entreprises whose mission is to provide affordable social infrastructures, such as housing

indeed, all countries need professional and efficient housing providers which focus on social and affordable housing, a (regulatory) framework for the governance of such private, public or cooperative organisations, regulation and supervision of minimal housing quality (besides rent regulation), dedicated financial instruments/bodies, government support and supervision mechanisms.

Claudio Acioly – Discussion Moderator, UN Habitat Head Capacity Building from Kenya
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 11.55 pm

The NUA adopts a strategy with housing at the center of urban policies and it reinforces the recognition of the right to adequate housing as formulated and adopted by the Habitat Agenda (1996).  Housing afforability has been addressed in the NUA and it is one of the greatest challenges for its implementation.  Housing providers of different nature, private, public, charity, non-governmental will have an important role in the implementation of NUA.  Housing shortage has reached politically explosive levels which needs to be address in the years to come.

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator Associate Human Rights Officer – Mandate of the Independent Expert on the enjoyment of all human rights by older persons from Switzerland
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 08.20 am

Welcome to the online discussion on the Draft of the New Urban Agenda. I’m delighted, once again, to be one of the moderators of this global consultative process, especially because this discussion offers the last opportunity for providing feedback and inputs on a declaration that will guide the work on urbanization over the next two decades. I look forward to hearing from you and to engaging in a constructive dialogue.

I’m particularly interested to hear your views on how States and other stakeholders will ensure that the implementation of the “Transformative Commitments” outlined in the Draft of the New Urban Agenda, will be consistent with their human rights obligations and commitments. It will be interesting to discuss the importance of adopting a human rights based approach to effectively implement the New Urban Agenda in order that all individuals can enjoy their human rights in cities. How States will comply with their international human rights obligations to respect, protect and promote the principles of equality and non-discrimination, inclusion and participation, accountability and the rule of law?

In addition, it will be interesting to discuss how the different levels of government will be involved in the implementation of the “Transformative Commitments”, in particular what will be the role of local authorities? Similarly, what kind of consultative and participatory mechanisms could be put in place in order to ensure the full and meaningful participation of all beneficiaries of the urban development, in particular the most vulnerable and the most marginalised?

Finally, it will be important to discuss how States will ensure that urban laws, policies and programmes, as well as planning and managing urban spatial development include a human rights based-approach?

These are just some of the issues that we will discuss over the next few days.

Let’s start, however, by thinking about what good practices and innovative ways there are of addressing these issues, including laws, policies, strategies, and how they could be replicated in order to guide States in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.  Your inputs will be extremely helpful for the third and last session of the Preparatory Committee Meeting for the Habitat III Conference, which will take place in Surabaya, Indonesia, from 25 to 27 July 2016.

I look forward to active and fruitful discussions!