PART 4: Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

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: Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

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 A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator from Switzerland
Sat, July 30, 2016 at 12.51 am

Dear all, 

First, allow me to thank each and every one of you for having contributed to the last online dialogue concerning the Draft New Urban Agenda. It was a real pleasure for me to assist in moderating this dialogue, with Claudio Acioly, Joseph D’Cruz and David Martineau. Your participation reflects the importance we all attach to the New Urban Agenda and its impact over the next decades.

The New Urban Agenda recalls for all States and other stakeholders their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the full spectrum of human rights in urban spaces. It will therefore be important that the implementation of this Declaration follows a human rights based approach,  as a means of considering at its heart, the different needs of individuals in cities. Adopting this rights-based approach, affords a valuable opportunity to ensure that all plans, policies, legislation, monitoring, evaluation and data are anchored in a system of rights and corresponding obligations established by international and regional human rights norms and principles. The human rights framework can provide a common denominator and minimum benchmark from which we can enhance and further deepen cooperation among States at all levels of government, the private sector, civil society, academia, the UN, international and regional mechanisms and other stakeholders in order to effectively implement the New Urban Agenda. Thank you once again for your participation and contributions. I wish you all the best !  

David Martineau from
Fri, July 29, 2016 at 02.30 pm

Thank you to all who sent in questions and comments about migration related issues. Contributing to the discourse surrounding urban development and migration is a valuable exercise. I am pleased that The New Urban Agenda can spur conversation and inspire communities to incorporate migrants and human mobility into city planning. Addressing current gaps in urban preparation and urban response to large migration flows, while ensuring that migrants’ rights are safeguarded, is critical for attaining a more harmonious societies.  

Stephen Gwynne – Birmingham Resilience Network
Fri, July 29, 2016 at 04.10 pm

Thank you. Just to reiterate that the NUA needs to incorporate capital flows, flows of goods and services as well as migratory flows. Putting the burden on cities who are always subject to the constraint of available resources for the irresponsible behaviour of corporations is unjust.…

The NUA must be an interdependent part of an overall coordinated global initiative to manage well all economic and social flows in order to ensure human and ecological wellbeing. 

Thank you.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 11.41 am

This is to inform about the inclusiveness needed in terms of modern or future living in communications,mass recreation,data collection and use.In all such the congested urban centres pose a threat to the communication challenges to the governments even while neglecting the health of citizens.Such cell towers will increse many folds and finds less space for installation in urban space.UNEP and ITU must be addressing such and we get such feed back seperately.In transportation a sort of flying cars,Cabs,and Helicopters use above buildings will increase where such cell towers also make such congestion.The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are the only way to acquire data whoose use will increase till such time small geo-stationery satellites to monitor each city are mounted in the sky.Many innovations may need a clear life styles and good open spaces.

Sofija Tanaskovic student from Serbia
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 08.59 am

In New Urban Agenda, military should be and urban stakeholder.  In my comment you can find paper about ex revitalized military object (successful revitalization), and I guess there is a lot of them.  

Ziming Li PhD Student of Urban and Regional Planning from United States
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 03.37 am

In the age of Big Data and increasing global integration, information transparency and its purpose as well as its need for dynamic urban management at the local level should also be addressed in the above points.

First of all, for assisting and providing services, including compensation to the urban poor, smart policies with the help of a sound information system, aka ‘ Big Data’ recording system could enhance the efficiency of urban policies.

Though former policies for reducing inequality among different groups of people have identified the path to a more inclusive society, two points need further discussion. One is how to meet the tempo-spatial needs of poor households in terms of selection on housing, employment, schooling, medical care, etc. Since the needs or expectations of households will also adjust to the performance of public policy and globalization automatically, a more dynamic knowledge management system for local governance should be designed. In particular, as for Point 26 and Point 27, new direction for housing policies should focus on not only the side of housing provision but also the side of demand.

The other is how to satisfy the individuals and individual households which have differing needs. It is possible that the former “clear-cut” pro-poor policies easily omit heterogeneity and thus cannot eradicate the urban poor from the roots.  More individualized assistance is in need. Local government needs to observe the urban residents as well as migrant’s behaviors of all types under the application of big-data relevant research and nationwide dataset of land use change, employment, mobility, and etc. at the minimum level, e.g. individual/household level.  In particular, in some developing areas, to establish such a high-tech system would have more benefit from its spillover effect of information transparency and comprehensive communication among beneficiaries and policy makers. How to supporting the developing areas to carry on it remains a question. Funding and training can be provided to municipalities in developing countries” to learn how to manage this effectively, but the local institutions in some transition countries should be reformed at the same time for the sake of adjusting to this trend with more information transparency and sharing.

Second, as for the Sub Topic 3, Point 70 and 71 identify the direction for action clearly. However, taking into account of the conflict between economic pursuit and environmental resilience, how to protect information transparency and incentivize the public to engage in the adaptation planning process at local level should also be clarified and designed.

Ziming Li

Ph.D. student of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida, U.S.

Ph.D. of Economics, Wuhan University, China 

Blue Drum Agency
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 08.41 pm

Thank you Lydia Gény for  your Moderator comments:

We know that cultural rights have been the Cinderella of the human rights and equality frameworks despite the international agreements on access and participation in arts and cultural life or indeed the implications for participation in the management of cultural heritage envisaged by the Faro Convention. It is our contention that there is a failure to address two key related questions: how do we make these rights real and what obligations do cultural rights place on duty bearers.  The challenge is to demonstrate how cultural rights and equality can be meaningful at a policy, systems and practice level by testing out approaches at local level which can be scaled up. There are two examples proffered as durational practices and very much work in progress:

1. The Šančiai Cabbage Field Project – small scale seeks big transformation (Kaunas, Lithuania)

Cabbage Field is a site specific land reclamation project initiated by artist/activist Vita Gelūnienė and Ed Carroll. It is a long term arts project which seeks through arts and culture to mobilise residents and to create conditions among all stakeholders to be co-creators of their future. It is about how culture rolls together and enables the physical, social and economic elements in social change. 

For residents, the Cabbage Field connects with people’s minds and hearts across the whole city and thus it can help to make challenging things more comprehensible. Cabbage Field activates residents for a cultural journey towards a community that can embrace change so as to achieve a flourishing community in which residents have a voice and a power to effect, create and shape a uniqe place in Kaunas City.  Here, culture makes real the rhetoric of its cross cutting potency in social, economic and environmental development of all people in city neighbourhoods.

The location is a 13,000 square metres derelict and contaminated site in Šančiai neighbourhood of Kaunas city. The land was built as an army barracks in the 19th century, used as a military base during Soviet occupation and stayed abandoned since the Independence of the Republic of Lithuania.  During the last two decades it became a wasteland and a danger to local users, e.g. children, passerby’s and people living close by. Local people do not believe in their own power to claim this site and they mistrust official authorities. Yet the paradox is that this site contains the black box to a set of narratives of progress and decline. Since 2014 Gelūnienė and Carroll worked on the Cabbage Field with many other collaborators – community members, artists and urban researchers. They had engaged the users of the site, collected their stories and visions, explored the potency of the ground and the needs of different groups of people. Throughout 2015 they have cleared and reclaimed one of three military storage units.

This work emerged from a cycle of learning that began back in 2007/8, which suggested the urgency to be grounded, to work from the bottom-up with people and place and to be creative by making sites productive over a much longer duration than short term project work. The decision to locate activity in Šanciai emerged from a feasibility study about how to engage and mobilise local culture involving among a team of artists and non artists. The feasibility study, funded by a Creative Europe grant and managed by the Blue Drum Agency created a conversation between the Šančiai work and other cutting edge community work in Rotterdam, Cork and Belfast. Tactics were shared about how to mobilise the lived lives of communities that can help us live together sustainably, peacefully and with the environment.  A strategy was formed to work with the city authorities test the conditions in which to achieve a long term sustainable practice that could deliver big transformation. The core part of the challenge was community mobilisation and development. This happened through establishing a core team of volunteers, stakeholders meetings, volunteer cleaning days, visioning workshops, dialogue with Municipality, visioning workshops with residents, etc. The Šančiai district was a part of the city imaginary that had too many walls (left over from the mentality of the Iron Curtain) and too few bridges between citizens. There was clearly a disconnect experienced between democratic policies that did nothing to halt the increasing poverty of inhabitants, the hidden privatization and gentrification, the secrecy of top down decision making and haemorrhaging effect of emigration. The changed environment could strengthen the community’s capacity in decision and place‒making, promote values and cultural rights, and foster inclusion and social justice.

Put simply, the Cabbage Field is an initiative seeking to experiment with small scale but deliver big transformation for the city that would change the perception of the site and its wider community from one that is frozen into a promising, creative and community-led development space. In addition, it seeks to bring a greater appreciation of Šančiai as a living community linked to other sites of national and international importance with a unique natural and cultural heritage.  In June 2016 the Cabbage Field was selected by the jury of the UCLG Mexico City Culture 21 as an exemplar initiative.

2. Cultural Rights and Equality – A City (Ireland) Model of Agency for Transformation – [CREAT is the Irish word for framework] Galway, Ireland

The seeds of this emerging platform convened by the Blue Drum Agency are found in the development of the Community Culture Strategy (2014) and follow-up engagement emerging from the publication of the Irish Dáil Committee on Arts and Disadvantage and Ministerial level meetings.  There was a significant need to complement national policy level work that Blue Drum rolled out with little or no traction by having real and meaningful connection to local contexts. Groups in western seaboard counties (Sligo, Mayo, Galway, and Limerick) were very interested in community culture because it resonated with a need on the ground to bring active participation that is community-led back into local agendas and especially in arts and cultural work.  Put simply the platform sought to work with the potency to renew, reset and reinvent arts and cultural participation from the community side. In addition, the gaps in this field of practice was quite evident in the Irish Shadow (FLAC), ICESCR Report process which also helped to create connections for an emerging Irish platform.  At the end of 2014 and early into 2015 links between Blue Drum, the Community Knowledge Initiative, Galway City Community Network and Ala Participatory Theatre and a network of individuals active and with a long legacy of the cultural life of the city co-created a series of workshops and follow-up conversations related to Cultural Rights.  This was followed up by the development of a fledgling Charter for Cultural Rights that was widely welcomed in the city and beyond. It also led to a series of direct engagements and submissions to the Galway Cultural Strategy 2016-2025 and to Galway’s winning bid for the 2020 European Capital of Culture. With specific reference to the Capital of Culture process we formulated very specific content to demonstrate how cultural rights can be made real:
Adopt the Charter for Cultural Rights as a concrete research, learning and programming framework to pilot, test and assess the impact of community culture projects that prioritise community engagement.
Demonstrate that the Charter for Cultural Rights can be applied to give expression to, and to measure impact and value at a policy level e.g. European Capital of Culture, Agenda 21 Pilot Cities Initiative; and local cultural policy framework.
Develop a toolkit to be used to proof actions to test a wider applicability with the nine grounds of the Equal Status legislation and socio-economic accessibility, and compatibility with the public sector and human rights duty introduced by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission Act 2014.

This fledgling independent work continues in 2016 and 2017. It will drawn from the research work of Katriina Soini, Joost Dessein and others into cultural sustainability as well as from the Culture 21 Pilot Cities Initiative.  Culture can be the creative innovator of the public good that we regard as comprising the pillars of human development: social, economic and ecological.   Soini et alidentify three typologies across four pillar spectrum: Culture in Sustainability where culture is a separate pillar of development; Culture for Sustainability where culture is a mediator of development; and Culture as Sustainability where development becomes a cultural process. 

Galway as a city seems well located to consider the legacy of access and participation in an Irish context with a view to that legacy informing the future.   For example, in the 198o’s when the Art, Community, Education (ACE) Report surveyed the inter related domains (art, education, community) it proffered a set of cogent arguments to shift institutional culture towards empathy with the subject.  These domains included opportunities for social and creative outlet for individuals beyond their normal day to day activities (amateur arts); as well as actions to identify, confront and celebrate issues of personal and communal development and social justice (community arts).  Many groups spawned from European Union funded community projects in 1980s and 90s in Waterford, Wexford, Kilkenny, Limerick and Galway e.g. Macnas/MacEolas Integrated Community Arts Programme in Galway,  Kilkenny Collective for Arts Talent in the disability sector and Creative Activity for Everyone’s  National Arts Worker Course.   These traditions of participation naturally produced signature works of an artist or collective.  

Most importantly, there is an urgent need to address concretely the sustainability of precarious practices of artist-citizens who put their capacities at the service of communities.   Artists often work voluntarily moving from engagement project to festival and spend significant time unemployed.  If we value the contribution of these citizen-artists, if we value culture’s overarching role in development, surely we should make their contributions more secure?  The contribution of artists and creative’s in education, community and health could provide a basis to test ‘public value jobs’, an idea currently advocated by Arlene Goldbard and the United States Culture Department.

The challenge for both case studies proffered as ‘work-in-progress’ is can we change the language of top-down engagement and make participation a core value.  More effort is needed to innovate with new forms of participation. For instance, we want to consider the implications of the Faro Convention for participation. Raquel Freitas argues for “the inversion of top-down structures that compartmentalise and pre-define policy areas, into alternative frames for guiding decision-makers through bottom-up, contextualised decisional processes.New forms of participation are needed that work with the ‘demand’ side through community mobilisation, capacity building, and empowerment because the cultural rights of excluded groups thrive best when freed from institutions. Culture without community cannot weave a new social fabric.

The United Nations has argued that culture is about people and human flourishing, not as isolated citizens but in “communities and groups”.  The New Urban Agenda needs to place culture in a politics of transformative change.  That way the bar gets raised towards an ecology where culture can deliver transformative change for human good.

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator from Switzerland
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 12.43 pm

Thank you very much for having shared with us those valuable examples of where community involvement has made a difference to the outcome of the projects. As today is the last day of our discussion, If anyone else has similar examples that they would wish to share then now is the time to do so!

Stephen Gwynne – Birmingham Resilience Network
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 08.55 pm

For me, these important contributions of how culture can heal communities, can help integrate communities and can give meaning to communities when faced with an accelerating social change that results from the forces of liberalism and especially the globalised economic growthism that underlies liberalism is essential to reconstruct the order that liberalism deconstructs.

Similarly culture is often a space of cooperation, something that is essential to mitigate against the competitive nature of liberalism. In this respect, culture forms a communitarian basis on which to organise the liberal forces that are causing globalisation and rapid urbanisation and in some ways is more important than growth since it is the personality or the soul of humanity. We must not lose sight of our humanity and ecological embedness when we strive to enrich ourselves materially. Ive seen what economic liberalism has done to many countries that were once rich in culture. They have been hollowed of their soul and made into Dickensian stooges. We must incorporate culture on an equal footing to sustainable growth, social inclusion and environmental protection since culture is the soul of our ambitions.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 08.21 am

Dear H3 Enablers,

From another strong Habitat III meeting, the Prep. conference should completly merge foundational basic elements one #Agenda2030 consensus especially with #Goal11 in sustainable cities.

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

One campaigner in Reading has great knowledge this matter. I do hope for have your support for another post here in Sub-topic 3. / Part 4 environmentally sound & resilient urban development – URBAN SUSTAINABLE OPPORTUNITIES – OUTDOOR LIGHTING.

Risk of local solution mainstreaming acquire in local governance to always have preparedness 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 plague that need a hard scrutiny in safeguarding new and old environment. 

CCCRdg / HabitatCO2lutions
Reading, UK

Light affects our health and well-being many ways. 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 white LED’s are detrimental to human and wildlife circadian rhythms as well as the view of our 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. 


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 and the AMA (American Medical Association) has issued guidelines recommending that blue-rich Light is reduced as far as possible in order to protect Public Health. In the UK, Public Health England are recommending that Councils use a warm Colour Temperature for Street Lights to miminise glare and discomfort. However, due to a lack of clear guidelines from Central Government – notably DfT – Councils still all too often opt for white LED Street Lights, thus increasing Blue-rich Light Pollution. 

A National Policy to curb Blue-rich Light Pollution is urgently required. 

For more information, please see:


These are more “in depth”

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”.

Blue Drum Agency
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 06.14 am

We support the Position Document of UCLG et al ‘Sustainable Urban Development and Culture’ to ensure the inclusion of truly operational references to culture and which demonstrates a sound understanding of the ways in which culture is a core element in sustainable cities.

To this end we recommend the wider application of cultural rights and its specificity to communities and to new forms of participation in cultural governance. Cultural rights urgently requires more robust participatory processes that can deliver a

  1. Adoption of cultural rights as a fundamental principle supported by a Charter for Cultural Rights;
  2. Support for demonstration projects at city level to provide the signposts to mobilise communities and increase competencies for cultural rights and equality;
  3. Establish the conditions to act, promote actions and express concerns in a cultural context through dialogue with statutory agencies on cultural rights and equality;
  4. Implement a planning process in cultural organisations to support a proofing mechanism;
  5. Identify values and practice tools in the use of cultural rights and equality perspectives;
  6. Present solutions to local participation in cultural governance;
  7. Embed a cultural rights and equality Charter in cultural life and institutions;
  8. Co-operate in new ways across community, cultural institutions and local government.

This could deliver the following tangible outcomes

-Leadership in terms of authority in cultural rights and equality and modes of operation.

-Embedding a cultural rights and equality framework among stakeholders.

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator from Switzerland
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 05.10 pm

Thank you very much, Blue Drum Agency, for your valuable contribution. Cultural rights, including cultural heritage, are crucial to human dignity and the identity of communities, groups and individuals. There are several legal instruments that recognise the right to access, and to the enjoyment of cultural heritage, for instance article 15(1)(a) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, which obliges States to recognise the right of everyone to take part in cultural life. The Draft of the New Urban Agenda recognises this right, for instance, in paras 110-111. Are you able to give us some practical examples of how the right to participate in cultural life, including the identification, interpretation and development of cultural heritage, as well as in the design and implementation of protection/ preservation/ safeguards policies and programmes, could be implemented through the New Urban Agenda? Many thanks. 

The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 01.27 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

Climate Change Centre Reading
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 11.27 am

Dear Enablers of the Zero Draft version 3,

Main Topic A: The Transformative Commitments for Sustainable Urban Development / Part 4
– Sub-topic 1. Sustainable & Inclusive Urban Prosperity & Opportunities for All >

In preparation for the UN Habitat III Conference, the Prepcom3 as one very important Conference, with 3500+ participants representing governments, professional, non-profit, and civic organizations, and many side events.

Voices heard at the H3PrepCom Conference: “In an urbanizing world, armed conflict & violence are urbanizing too.”, “Conflict is increasingly fought in urban areas” New Urban Agenda needs to address this”, “Conflict & violence urbanising: NUA needs to support intl hum law, resilient urban servs, victims of chronic violence”,“Government block funds for military prep for climate change because – hey -who cares what’s going on in Arctic?”

“By the year 2050, the world urban population is expected to nearly double, posing massive sustainability challenges in terms of housing, infrastructure, basic services, and jobs among others.” Is the “Transit City” the new norm in our new urban paradigm?

We need to address how existing armed forces and military reserves can become a stakeholder and joint partnership with the civil society and local authorities “New Urban Agenda” in the way cities and human settlements are planned, developed, governed and managed. E.g. collaborative action such as inter-municipal cooperation, including the establishment of practitioners’ capacity networks or transformative commitments via shared use for military spaces into public places etc.

What is the military’s role in the New Urban Agenda #NUA?

Military readiness can compliment planning strategy,

Military force 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 force 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.

I think the New Urban Agenda #NUA 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 the military 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.

Army personnel have collectively and individually technical capacities that can be used in favour of civil society – for example, during or after natural disasters.

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


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 and second World Assembly, by awaiting granting special accreditation status for holding a side event, 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…

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 (clever) 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!

Many thanks!  Carl Emerson-Dam
competition manager/umbrella task

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 03.50 pm

The word Military can be replaced with properly trained police like para military forces,in view of UN conventions on certain issues.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 08.30 pm

Thank you for the comment, we also refer to the Military precision, coordination, territorial experience, crucial operational knowledge and education linked to connected (clever) cities. Awareness of military reserve capability is vital to meet the urban challenges in the near future. This time Habitat III must get it right, it is very important. System thinking can take over and drive sustainable measures to a better place.

Climate Change Centre Reading
Tue, July 26, 2016 at 08.56 am

Dear Enablers of the Zero Draft version 3,

How many of 7000 cities have an UCEEP in place? With less than three months untill the outcome of the Habitat III, what can be done?

Local governments need to draft Urban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan/Programme (#UCEEP) (.pdf-document for download here)

Dealing with a climate crisis has now gone #planetary — planners and policy makers alert the importance for vulnerable citizens of having anUrban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan/Programme policy in place for the outcome of the New Urban Agenda, proven realistic in an actual emergency. Urban havocs in the footsteps of climate change require for the first time to mainstream disaster relief planning.

Considering the general policies of the national government a draft UCEEP to complement the 2030 agenda, for urban settlement equipped with detailed evacuation plans for facilitating and handling a climate crisis as seen in every continent on the planet.


Most urban population living within 30 km of a climate change emergency centre area, and about 10% within 5 km of it. Of the total affected, about 1/3 reside near outside the emergency centre and another 2/3 are within disaster area in the neighbouring urban habitat prefecture. All would have to be evacuated in the event of a disaster, senior citizens (to think through more carefully how to support the evacuation of older people and perhaps include them in future drills, which should be carried out in each district area) and children. The evacuation should be preceded by skilled and realistic capacity building effectiveness drills due to post-evacuation considerations and evaluation.

Urban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan/Programme draft
Based on three different urban extreme (increasingly frequent and intense) climatic event scenarios

1.1 – In the first scenario, known as Operational Response Level (ORL) 1, sudden impact disaster detected. In the second scenario, ORL 2, between 36 and 60 warning alerts per hour, with a base level between 12 and 24 warning alerts per hour set for ORL 3.

Catastrophic – urban extreme climatic events of potentially catastrophic proportions that severely disrupt health and social care and other functions (mass casualties, power, water, etc.) and that exceed even collective capability with the support-hub structure. Additionally there are pre-planned major events that require planning, for example, demonstrations, sports fixtures, air shows etc. and may also require a“speedy and effective” climate disaster response. There may also be events occurring on a national scale such as unrest, riots, fuel strikes, pandemic or multiple events that require the collective capability of the healthcare nationally.


First responders, an expandable force will be notified that an urban extreme climatic event has been declared by emergency bleep. Responders would automatically clear routes into cities and establish distribution and medical-hubs (triage centers). Also:

The nature of the Operational Response Level (ORL) 1 Declared may dictate the immediate areas with increased pressures (ie: Hospitals, Government Services, Armed forces). The focus of the Municipality Outreach Team will be to support the rest of the key stakeholders and to assist with critically injured casualties flows where possible.

  • Respond to emergency bleep and high priority calls in the normal way
  • Liaise with the Municipality Outreach Team Manager
  • Liaise with ORL co-ordinator

In addition to loss of life, the emergency plan calculates that as many as 1/10 of the populated emergency centre will require medical attention. Wind, fire and water are estimated to destroy hundreds of structures, with an additional thousands buildings expected to collapse or suffer severe structural damage.

With global disaster relief planning it is possible to estimate and double the additional manpower resources to complete the evacuation civil citizens may also be asked to facilitate movement of casualties from further immediate danger in the disaster district zone to support the first responders. Or to retrieve critically injured from the emergency centre to an area suitable for their comfort and treatment.

Contact members of the Municipality Outreach Team and assess availability over the next 48hrs.

Instant updates and call 24-hour help lines within local authority community website for Emergencies and Public Safety. Information to keep your family, your home and your community safe.

  • Establish emergency contact procedures among friends and family, including checking how to use Disaster Emergency Dial, a disaster voice message board provided by telecommunications company.
  • Stock three days of emergency supplies of food, water, and other daily necessities.
  • Be prepared to evacuate quickly if fires break out.
  • Refrain from moving about outside or driving unless absolutely necessary.
  • Refrain from buying up available stocks of emergency items.

Warning alerts combined with urban calamites alert levels for Storm wind speed, dust7sand level, Rural/Landscape fire smoke plume, flames, Fluvial flooding rain level (pH – sulphuric and nitric acids), Heat wave temperature, dry conditions / nitrogen dioxide level etc.

In ORL 1, evacuation procedures would be put into place immediately of confirming the first shock hazard level. For ORL 2, the time frame is within hours. The plans call for sending more than 1/3 of the emergency centre residents within 5 km to 30 km of the disaster area, towards the nearest preventive evacuation area urban crater, via urban evacuation corridors and tunnels designed for people and multimodal transportation.

Ideally, it would not take 1,000 residents more than 0.5 hours per evacuation corridor to be re-routed to their dedicated preventive urban crater, city arena or support-hub destination (e.g. offices and schools etc).


About 2000 UCEEP cities could offer protection and shelter and give post-disaster support to roughly 200,000,000 residents who also live between 5 km and 30 km of the predestined disaster district zone, and would have to be evacuated. Within the urban habitat prefecture, the flow would be directed to an evacuation area urban crater, to a regenerative city arena or to a disaster support-hub, as well as to peri-urban areas outside the emergency centre area and disaster area. Knowledge of how to avoid and safeguard Disaster response routes (helps emergency responders get to people who need help quickly and to ensure that shipments make it to destinations quickly and smoothly), these are not evacuation routes for use by the general public.

“The inclusion of Ministry of defence (MOD) sites is considered necessary to complete the picture, although it is understood there are difficulties in authorising the use of these sites and that their use cannot be guaranteed. However, it is also understood that the incident that causes the requirement for a large scale evacuation may be of such magnitude, that the MOD would be willing to authorise their use. A database of MOD sites and their potential capabilities is held by the Joint Regional Liaison Officer (JRLO).”

Most of the roughly 10% of residents living within 5 km of climate change emergency centre area would be evacuated to neighbouring towns.

1:2 – A key concern local officials have is how the regional government will initially respond to a sudden impact disaster. The plan for dispatching the first responders and relief goods from the provincial capital calls for Air Self-Defense Force transport planes at dedicated Air Base to fly to nearest local open Air Base in the local habitat Prefecture (a one-hour flight), where their cargo will be transferred to helicopters and ferried over the disaster area to the emergency centre, 30 minutes away.

Yet all the detailed plans are all based on the assumption that the roads leading out of the emergency centre — which perhaps lies in a remote area on the Sea — to the disaster district zones in other parts of the evacuation centre, as well as to neighbouring urban habitat, will not have been damaged; that there will not be mass panic that clogs/paralyse the roads; and that there will be enough time for residents within 30 km of the plant to get to safety; that people won’t be stranded throughout the region also Keeping Level Heads.

Facility Explosion Risk (FER)

Long term evacuation happens if the climatic event has triggered an earthquake or other natural disaster that has destroyed the roads. Or, what happens if an accident occurs in the midst of a blizzard, where icy roads and hazardous driving conditions can lead to accidents that block or paralyse the roads and create long traffic jams?

The Cabinet Office’s plans state that, in the event of a severe natural disaster that makes fleeing by road impossible, and residents will be evacuated by sea from the neighbouring port, which has a Maritime Self-Defense Force base (Although several Prefecture plans to use ships for evacuation, it’s not clear that all harbours will be safe or operable). Helicopters will land at about a dozen designated areas along the main roads in the emergency centre and in the disaster area that lie within the 30-km evacuation radius.

Short term evacuation take place in major cities equipped with up to six preventive evacuation area urban craters, holding stock enough to protect its evacuees for one month. Before it’s safe enough for the inhabitants and residents of emergency centre and disaster area to return to their habitat. Relief supply will include meals, blankets, infant formula, disposable diapers and extra supply of drinking water.

1:3 – It is the central government’s duty to take responsibility in the event of an urban climatic emergency in order to protect the lives of people and their property

For some local politicians outside local community, the evacuation plans represent a challenge and an opportunity. For small towns mayors meet with regional ministers of the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry asking the provincial capital to provide funding in next year’s fiscal budget for improving roads etc.

Hard copy Action Cards are necessary for the municipality due to its size and particularly where temporary staff change fairly frequently. It is not possible for every person employed in the council to know and be completely familiar with the Urban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan/Programme in its entirety. Each part in the Urban Climatic Emergency Evacuation Plan/Programme is therefore described on action cards that can be easily obtained and read. These cards are stored within relevant departments in the municipality, which will ensure that the support-hub and evacuation area urban crater of activity during a catastrophic event can respond.
Action cards have been prepared for staff to follow during an urban extreme climatic event. The action cards contain the individual’s responsibilities in performing that role, a checklist of tasks and titles and locations of key contacts. Other members of staff likely to be involved will also work to action cards.

There are a lot of issues in regards to infrastructure for areas of evacuation (inclusive urban vertical evacuation aids) and safeguarding of evacuation routes, pointing out that funding for road improvements had yet to be guaranteed.

Many thanks,

Carl Emerson-Dam 
contest manager/umbrella task – Climate Change Centre Reading

Birmingham Resilience Network
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 03.06 pm

Hi everybody.

I am particularly concerned with how the New Urban Agenda (NUA) is mostly built on an ideological platform of liberalism as opposed to communitarianism. The same applies to the SDGs and the Universal Charter on Human Rights. In this respect, the NUA places emphasis on individual rights over and above community rights, although it is communities whether as human or natural eco-systems that enable individual rights to be realised. 

However it is obvious that historically as an ideological paradigm, liberalism, although improving standards of living for individuals in developed countries and many in developing countries, the competitive nature of economic liberalism, although both facilitated and mitigated by social liberalism, has brought upon the world multiple crisises from biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation to climate change and forced migrations as a result of resource wars.  In sum, liberalism has brought us a world whose ecological footprint in presently 1.5 worlds and is steadily increasing and a world that has exceeded multiple planetary boundaries. As such, the NUA mentions nothing of constraining natural resource use in order to achieve a global ecological credit, mentions nothing of managing human, financial and natural resource FLOWS in order to maintain the integrity of human and natural eco-systems and mentions very little in the way of how global, regional, national, sub-national and local communities should embrace a moral and ideological pluralism.  It seems to me, the insistence is on embracing both economic and social liberalism with no democratic choice whatsoever.

As a result we have foisted on us liberal economic development programmes and free trade agreements that serve socially inclusive consumerism and materialism rather than the pursuit of ecological (which includes human) resource constraints and then sharing what is available through cooperation rather than competition.  As such the NUA is simply a manifesto for more unsustainable economic growth with social inclusion and environmental protection simply acting as mitigation measures to counteract the damaging and disruptive effects of a highly competitive global economic liberalism by which it is hoped to alleviate global poverty.

So for a start, a people-centred approach should be replaced with an ecological centred approach. Competition needs to be replaced with cooperation and the achievement of full employment and high productivity needs to be replaced with an appropriate balance between work and leisure to ensure ecological sustainability.  Lastly human resource flows need to be incorporated in the sustainable management of natural resources.

Ultimately this liberal manifesto lacks the required acknowledgement of diverse strategies that are required to bring human development within ecological boundaries to ensure sustainability across and within generations. A global strategy has to acknowledge moral and ideological pluralism not just the moral universalism of liberalism as the basis of any cosmopolitan citizenship, especially as liberalism as an ideological basis for human development has proved itself to be incongruous with even and equitable economic development, cooperative platforms on which communities share and manage human, financial and ecological resource flows and most importantly environmental sustainability. As such we need global obligations that acknowledge the need for moral and ideological pluralism so that ideologies such as commnitarianism have an equal and inclusive voice in developing global strategies for sustainability and resilience. In this regards ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction and climate change adaption strategies offer a valuable account of how coummitarianism can be applied on more global, regional, national and sub-national scales and not just at the scale of local communities.

For a philosphical account of how liberalism is incompatible with achieving environmental sustainability please see below.…

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 05.25 pm

I wish to bring to notice that we have not left the society in each of the discussions.While individuals are important and needs to be protected by protecting the right to property,right to livelihood,right to work,and Intellectual property rights,which are needed for innovation and prosperity of society.These are protected one way or the other in each form of Governments across the world.

The system of social organization based on small self-governing communities.are a preferred system even in the towns and cities.That is why we are having zones and self-governance in each zone,at the same time interconnecting with the rest of city and the nation.The system of paying doles does exist in each system based on the assurances by the political bosses than what a society really needs or recommends.
We are one way or the other emphasizing the responsibility of the individual to the community and the social importance of the family unit.In turn, we want the society to recognize the individual also.
Steve Gwynne – Birmingham Resilience Network
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 07.40 pm

Whilst liberalism and the human rights that extend from it are important there is no rational or logical basis by which rights are absolute or universal. For example if the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were extended to all life-forms then we would either all starve or be immobilized through moral constraint. This is the fundamental flaw of liberalism and the human rights framework – they cannot be universal in any ecological sense and so their application can only be relative. This usually results in human development being favoured over and above nonhuman development and the ecological crisis begins.

The only way to balance rights for all life-forms is to contrain and share ecological resource flows which requires cooperative management. Liberalism relies on markets and competition which as history shows does to some extent provide for community needs but very unevenly but it also creates alot of waste and ineffeciencies in that huge houses worth millions are built to cater for the rich whilst slums still exist. Market failures are. a very well known phenomenon as is the extent to which wealth and resources are captured by the private sector which at present is worth trillions upon trillions. And then concepts such as ‘available resources’ are then severely contrained by the right to property and a livlihood because these. rights do not capture any sense of responsibility – only a right to take what has been derived through one’s effort even if it involves exploiting nonhuman habitats or exploiting cheap labour. 

This is liberalism and the rights framework in action and as a result communities are severely lacking available resources because huge wealth accumulations are protected by the liberal rights framework which no obligations of responsibility other than ‘progressive realisation’.

This is not communitarianism but liberalism or in other words liberal manifestos like this, the SDGs and the Universal Charter simply oblige states to provide the framework in which individuals can compete fairly whether economically, socially or politically and for states to provide the minimum of social and environmental protections in order to achieve this competitive society.

Communitarianism on the other hand puts the community first whether the global community, the regional community, the national community, the sub-national community or the local community because like ecology, communitarianism is interested foremost in relations and how these relations produce sustainable and resilient communities. This manifesto is only concerned with giving human individuals rights to exploit the ecological community, nothing more, nothing less.

There is nothing in this script about how we produce meaningful cooperative relations between communities of species, between morally diverse communties and between communities that are in abject poverty and communities that are in abject abundance. Likewise, there is nothing in this script that places a moral responsibility on communities to constrain the exploitation of the ecological world, just to take, take and take.

Ecological Communitarianism is about giving and sacrifice and not needing to exploit the Earth in order to give every human the right to ever increasing standards of living with no limit and with no obligation to share wealth. 

As such the NUA is not fit for purpose and to pretend it is, is pure delusion. What we need is an Urban Agenda that rethinks every relation that liberalism has created and an agenda that puts cooperative responsibility as the key principle by which we manage human, financial and ecological resource flows.

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator from Switzerland
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 11.48 am

Thank you very much Birmingham Resilience Network for sharing your concerns with us. The link between the environment and human rights has long been recognised. From the Stockholm Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 1972, to the New Urban Agenda it is shown that all human beings depend on the environment in which we live.  A safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation.  Without a healthy environment in urban spaces, we are unable to fulfil our aspirations or even live at a level commensurate with minimum standards of human dignity.  At the same time, since human rights are universal, protecting human rights helps to protect the environment.  When people are able to learn about, and participate in, the decisions that affect them, they can help to ensure that those decisions respect their need for a sustainable environment. That is why the New Urban Agenda is an occasion for States to concretely implement their human rights obligations in order to achieve sustainable environment and urban development. 

Stephen Gwynne – Birmingham Resilience Network
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 08.12 pm

Thanks Lydia for pointing out international obligations and the fact that we need the environment on order to survive but your reply does not really engage with my concerns at all. So despite theorizing that engaging people helps to enlighten them, does the same apply to the officials who are the source of this consultation process. My experience is that it does not because officials rely on documents like the NUA or the SDGs and assert we need balanced economic growth. What does balanced mean. Well it means that some human rights can be sacrificed whilst promoting economic growth. For example safety limits for pollution still means humans die from pollution. Therefore there is an inherent contradiction between the right to livelihood which means a person must cause some pollution even if it means using a vehicle to get to their place of work and that pollution killing somebody to denying them there right to life. So your argument that human rights are universal is false in practice but the NUA seems to deny this contradiction and so maintain that economic growth and universal human rights can be realized together when this is plainly u true. Economic growth damages human health and it also damages the environment. Economic liberalism is therefore destructive and constructive for human rights.

This is why I argue the NUA should be framed using communitarian ethics. I argue this because by relying on a liberal cultural ethic, the NUA is not supporting a sustainable future but an unsustainable future in which humans, their communities and our ecological world will be increasingly. harmed and damaged. Unfortunately like most liberalised officials, you fail to engage, just. continue leading the way using incoherent. illogical liberal theory. So far this strategy has taken us to the world we have now and so your guidance is to have more of the same. This is not a New Urban Agenda it is just more of the same corrupt liberal madness.

Habitat Content Administrator from United States
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 10.30 pm

Thank you very much for your comment, which will be taken into account and reflected in the final report of this urban dialogue. Please note that the discussion closes today, 28 July.

Stephen Gwynne – Birmingham Resilience Network
Fri, July 29, 2016 at 04.01 pm

Thank you. Just to reiterate my point that economic growth has a negative effect on human rights.…

SK Das Architect and Urbanist from India
Sun, July 24, 2016 at 04.48 am
I was at HABITAT I and II — at Habitat I as one of the 15 presenters at Habitat Forum, and at Habitat II as the Rapporteur General of the Planning Forum where the theme was mediation in planning. While these four decades we have confronted the massive marketization of housing on a global scale, poverty and housing deficits have persisted. The Habitat III agenda (summarized by David Satterthwaite here) is dealing with a lot of the same issues that came up in Habitat I and II. Governments face new challenges and limitations to which the new agenda must be responsive, as follows:
1. Cities must foster and be driven by local creativity.
Globalization in the 90’s ushered in external investments and an expansion of the real estate markets. This made it possible for the affluent to raise the bar on their consumerist aspirations and devote themselves to the pursuit of them. With this came a new urban vocabulary, universally applied in all global cities. The government has increasingly had to function as a mediator between extremely divergent and contradictory interests. Arts, crafts, music, and intellectual life used to be crucial to cities, but in this changing landscape are being pushed to the background by more homogeneous models. A city should be driven by creativity and make space for it. There is every reason to continue with and explore that idea, permitting and affording that space to arts and creativity.
2. The cities being delivered are not the cities we need.
Cities are now overwhelmingly market driven. At a broader level we’re also being dumped with infrastructure, hardware and technologies we don’t need, while basic services are not being provided. Here is an example: Bathtubs are being dumped as debris in Gurgaon, India — a satellite city of New Delhi, with a fast-growing nexus of real estate development, malls, call centres, speculation and organized crime. This is a story of the classic contradiction involving market sellers, developers and home buyers. The “California dream” from movies and advertisements drives sellers to push for bathtubs to would-be middle class home buyers most of whom have never had one. Knowing the pulse and the ‘weakness’ of buyers, developers offer bathtubs as a selling point. The problem starts only after occupation with the endemic shortage of water for which Gurgaon is so famous. It’s clumsy to use, and there isn’t enough water. To keep up with the ‘best’, every one opts for sophistication and installs shower consoles which include hydromassage settings and multiple pressure settings, only to discover that there isn’t sufficient water or pressure to use them either. The console remains a show piece as people use buckets and tanker supplied limited water, waiting for better days. This is a story of an overnight “global city” driven by misplaced dreams and aspirations that are socially, infrastructurally and even structurally unsupported.
3. We need a far more serious exploration of place-specific urbanisms that have a deeper link with people at the social, economic, and livelihood level.
We are getting global cities but not our unique urbanisms. With varied degrees of association with and distance from globalization, each city represents specific needs, interests, aspirations and sensibilities, all of which demand careful and creative calibration. The public domain must be seen as an overlay of multiple sensibilities as specific representations of the parts. It should reflect the strength and the vitality of local enterprise on the small scale, the economy on the large scale. Alongside this, it must embrace global phenomena of social and cultural diversity. We need to work towards a shared city. Public spaces should function as a shared territory in which the confrontation of sensibilities, interests and aspirations generates new and specific urbanities. Especially in the developing world, there is a greater need than ever before for every city to reflect its own unique multiplicities.
4. We must broaden the scope of inclusivity.
Civil society space must not be driven only by NGOs with external support, but must give a legitimate and rightful place for mass organizations and communities to play that role through strong local democracies that ensure the safety and protection needed for people to participate. Further, cities must not allow powerful interests to recede away from the shared life of the city into gated enclaves, but should work towards fostering the public domain and un-gating the gated.
5. Beyond calling for better local data, we need to think more critically about measurement and take it out of the hands of sectarian interests.
Data should be gathered with transparency and diverse community collaboration to prevent manipulation of statistics. The interpretation of new urban data should be open to public debate.

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 01.26 pm

Thank you very much, S.K. Das for that valuable contribution and for sharing with us experiences from India.  As you say, “Cities are now overwhelmingly market driven”, and therefore it would be interesting to explore further what might be the additional mechanisms that need to be put in place in order to better assess the proposed actions of the private sector, especially in the context of inner city needs. There are guiding principles on business and human rights that could perhaps provide guidance on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

Transparency and accountability are also related to the right to information. Data and statistics play a fundamental role in the formation system of a democratic society and beyond serving the Government and the economy, in honouring a population’s entitlement to public information ( for instance please see:…).  As mentioned in the Draft New Urban Agenda, it is also important that States ensure nationwide, systemic and regular collection of disaggregated statistical data, with particular attention to data protection and privacy. Would you like to share any good practice in this regard?

In addition, would you like to share more information about how can we “broaden the scope of inclusivity”? Participation is also central to a human rights based approach and it would be interesting to receive from you examples of existing mechanisms that could be replicated in other places.  Many thanks in advance.

Stephen Gwynne – Birmingham Resilience Network
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 02.33 pm

I agree with these comments and for me at least reveals how the New Urban Agenda (NUA) is mostly built on an ideological platform of liberalism as opposed to communitarianism. The same applies to the SDGs and the Universal Charter on Human Rights. In this respect, the NUA places emphasis on individual rights over and above community rights.  However it is obvious that as an ideological paradigm, liberalism, although improving standards of living for individuals in developed countries and many in developing countries, the competitive nature of economic liberalism, although both facilitated and mitigated by social liberalism, has brought upon the world mutiple crisises from biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation to climate change and forced migrations as a result of resource wars. In sum liberalim has brought us a world whose ecological footprint in presently 1.5 worlds and a world that has exceeded multiple planetary boundaries. As such the NUA mentions nothing of constraining natural resource use, mentions nothing of managing human, financial and natural resource FLOWS and mentions very little in the way of how global, regional, national, sub-national and local communities should embrace a moral and ideological pluralism.  It seems to me, the insistence is on embracing both economic and social liberalism with no democratic choice whatsoever. As a result we have foisted on us liberal economic development programmes and free trade agreements that serve consumerism and materialism rather than the pursuit of ecological (which includes human) resource constraints and then sharing what is available through cooperation rather than competition.  As such the NUA is simply a manifesto for more unsustainable economic growth with social inclusion and environmental protection simply acting as mitigation measures to counteract the damaging and disrupting effects of a highly competitive economic liberalism.

Saripalli Suryanarayana from
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 03.54 am

True are your comments.[1]Culture and Heritage are lost in most of the cities[2]The Migrants who have offered ideas for regenaration of humanity in the state or country,who have send the Intelligence for betterment of all have lost their IPR rights and have not got betterment for them selves.[3]The required  systems used in modern cities of London and in Europe for drainage and water supply are implemented nowhere.

Instead, it is said it is customary practice to have open excreta in public places.In general houses of poor are to become vacant and are to be occupied by the rich,but now the houses have become Benami properties for politicians and micro finaciers[5]The houses of middle class have no takers thus they are to be sold to the upcoming class at lower costs,whatever name we give to such.[6]The financial systems and employment generation are stagnant with no modern outlook coming to the old offices establishment and companies making the city stagnant.

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 01.32 pm

Thank you very much Saripalli Suryanarayana for your valuable contribution.  Your comment reinforces the idea that the New Urban Agenda should be centred on people and on their rights.  So far, in the draft New Urban Agenda States will commit to sustainably leverage natural and cultural heritage in cities, both tangible and intangible, through integrated urban policies and adequate investments at the national, sub-national, and local levels, to safeguard and promote cultural infrastructures and sites, museums, indigenous cultures and languages, as well as traditional knowledge and the arts, highlighting the role that these play in the rehabilitation and revitalization of urban areas, and as a way to strengthen social participation and the exercise of citizenship ( para.32) among others. Would you like to share with us any good practices in your country regarding this aspect? Many thanks.

Sophie Hadfield-Hill Dr. Sophie Hadfield-Hill, University of Birmingham, UK from United Kingdom
Fri, July 22, 2016 at 05.33 pm

Urban Dialogue on the Draft of the New Urban Agenda

Evidence taken from research with children and young people in India, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Name: Dr. Sophie Hadfield-Hill

Institution: University of Birmingham, UK

Funder: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Project: New Urbanisms in India: Urban Living, Sustainability and Everyday Life

Research timeline: Fieldwork conducted in India in 2015

Participants: A qualitative research project with 350 participants (children, young people and their families)

Citation: Hadfield-Hill, S. (2016) New urbanisms in India: Urban living, sustainability and everyday life project report, ESRC, University of Birmingham, UK.

Sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all

Relevant to point 44: Our research found that connections between the rural and the urban are vital pathways of social and economic prosperity.  Connection and consequent belonging were experienced through children and young people’s access to education, spaces of interaction, materialities of the urban and shared experiences.  Being geographically and materially disconnected with urban infrastructures had a significant impact on belonging, isolation and inequality. 

Relevant to point 46: Our research found that children and young people of all socio-economic backgrounds appreciated their connections with nature.  Participants of all ages gave vivid accounts of the importance of nature for family, friendship, their self and wellbeing.  Children and young people frequently spoke about co-belonging and co-existing with nature and animals.  Participants’ experiences of nature and the natural environment have a direct impact on their belonging to place.  When designing urban spaces it is important to maintain natural, informal areas for residents to shape in their everyday interactions.    Urban planning should have nature as a key component for the wellbeing of urban dwellers.  In point 46, there needs to be a specific reference to nature in the city, more than just green spaces, for promoting social development and wellbeing.

Relevant to point 46: Our research found that spaces of interaction are key sites of belonging and community building.  It is essential to integrate spaces for people to sit, eat, walk and play.  Allowing people to shape their own spaces of interaction is also important.  Play spaces are important for young people’s everyday lives and careful consideration needs to be given to their safe location, walkability and accessibility for all young people.

Relevant to point 42: Our research found that in the context of urban development, there should be multiple avenues for people to participate in decisions about their local environment, to develop places based on need but to also foster interaction between diverse social groups and intergenerational engagement.  With respect to participation in decision making about new urban spaces, it needs to be acknowledged that many people, children and families have a connection to land and it’s past, remembering these histories is an important part of urban change.

Relevant to point 48: It is essential that new urban environments (of whatever scale) have a diverse education strategy at their core.  In planning cities of the future, a full range of childhood educational experiences need to be mapped, planned and executed at the conception of city design.  From nurseries to higher education, to suit all social backgrounds, provision is needed at the outset, in a way that grants sustainable continuity across young people’s lives.  Sites of education are a vital asset in building community (both physically and socially), creating connections, ownership and a shared sense of belonging.  For families to commit to new urban spaces, educational opportunities need to be at the core of urban planning.

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 01.28 pm

Thank you very much Sophie, for sharing with us the outcome of your research. The Draft New Urban Agenda has a people-centred approach and it is interesting to receive information about the specific needs of children and young people in India.  Would you like to further expand your comment regarding the importance of rural-urban linkage? Does anyone else wish to share their views on the situation of other groups, including older persons, persons with disabilities, migrants, and minorities in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda? Many thanks in advance.

Gina Starfield from
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 03.23 pm

Thank you to Dr. Sophie Hadfield-Hill for highlighting the importance of incorporating the needs of children and young people in the New Urban Agenda and to the moderator, Lydia Gény, for inviting comments on situations of other vulnerable persons. I would like to follow suit and emphasize the importance of addressing the needs of migrant populations.

Including migration in the New Urban Agenda is essential to addressing two complementary imperatives: first, the need to develop urban planning that addresses the needs of mobile categories of population in the event of an acute shock, and second the need to incorporate migration concerns and opportunities for the political and economic dynamics of cities.

The number of migrants living in cities will almost double in the next decades, and yet many city and local governments still do not include migrants in their city planning processes. Migration does not only operate at the national level. Local development plans are crucial to addressing the real needs of people, particularly the poor and marginalized, whose voices are often buried under the weight of competing national concerns. Migrants and mobile populations are often among the most silenced. Their concerns must be integrated in urban planning, and they should be consulted throughout the process in order for cities to best address the issues and needs of concern to the communities they are elected to serve.

Migration concerns and opportunities should be taken into account for the political, social and economic well-being of cities, both in normal times and for when times are less normal. In normal times, migration must play an integral role in plans related to housing and living environments; access to resources and justice; infrastructure passing into and out of urban areas such as transportation and distribution networks; integration; education; health; community participation and involvement; economic development; resilience to climate change; preparedness in the event of a natural disaster. And in non-normal times, for example in the event of an acute shock – natural or man-made – local authorities need to consider mobile categories of population and address their needs for assistance.

Lastly, it is important to recognize that mobility is an opportunity. Local actors can play a significant role in enhancing the developmental impacts of international migration through good policies.

Birmingham Resilience Network
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 08.01 pm

Migration led growth strategies, population growth and forced migration are  products of a systemic crisis caused by the liberal economic growth agenda. Whilst human resource flows are inevitable they must also be accountable to communities in order that communities can achieve sustainability and resilience. This response seems to infer no sense of responsibility to be carried by migrants themselves in terms of their impact on local infrastructures whether economic, social or ecological. Only a duty by communities to accommadate the impact of migrants as they choose to express their right to opportunity. What of the democratic rights of taxpayers who would need to pay for the impacts of migration in terms of capacity building and assimilation. Where is all these financial resources coming from? Where are all the ecological resources coming from in order to create more houses and more jobs despite the fact that most migrants have either left houses abandoned or are renting them out. I appreciate population growth requires accommodating to a degree but not in a way in which a high amount of resources are required by moving to temperate climates. Population growth needs to be accommodated in hotter climates where shelter does not require such a high use of resources. The New Urban Agenda needs to specify this. Not give human rights to exploit nature as much as they like by moving where they like eben if it means more resource use.

David Martineau – Discussion Moderator – Associate Policy Officer, IOM from Switzerland
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 11.14 am

Thank you for your reply. Financial and economic resource drain is a common concern and fear, particularly in the face of large migration flows. Yet there is little evidence to suggest that migration drives up urban poverty (Tacoli, McGranahan and Satterthwaite, 2014).

Overwhelming evidence suggests that urban diversity arising from migration is a social and economic advantage. Migration increases the diversity of goods, services and skills available for consumption, production and innovation in host cities. Migrants increase the competitiveness of cities, contribute to the labour force and spur economic growth. They are more likely to start businesses and create jobs in their cities. They also counteract population decline and make cities more attractive by raising housing values. In the United States, for example, immigrants have added USD 3.7 trillion to the housing wealth and have spurred job creation in the manufacturing sector. Globally, migrants also make a significant contribution to host communities through the informal economy in low paid insecure jobs. Informal activities in many developing cities in Asia and Africa provide employment opportunities for millions of people beyond the formal economy. This can account for more than 60 per cent of urban employment in Africa (Awumbila, 2014), providing a main source of employment and income for a majority of the poor in urban centres and poor urban women in particular.  

In addition to these benefits witnessed in host communities, countries and communities origin benefit greatly from migration. The majority of migrants contribute to poverty reduction in their home communities by sending back money and resources. International remittances, investments and manpower, skills and expertise from diaspora communities abroad can accelerate urban growth in their countries of origin. The aggregate positive effects of international remittances on income and employment in migrant-sending regions have transformed many towns and cities.

Birmingham Resilience Network
Wed, July 27, 2016 at 03.39 pm

Thank you for your reply and highlighting the economic and social liberal benefits of increasing urbanisation due to mass migration. However this paper does not allude to the fact that rapid urbanisation increases the ecological footprint of both the host city and host country. Therefore this paper cannot be consider relevant in terms of achieving the SDGs relating to environmental protection since the economic liberal framework itself unsustainable as history shows all too well.

Similarly it is unclear how the paper explains how increasing and uncontrolled diversification is a social good or a community good beyond mere rhetoric. Certainly my experience is of increasing congestion, increasing atomization of communities, cutural ghettos, increased pollution and increased prices which all reduces quality of life indicators.

This paper seems to say the opposite of what you assert which in my opinion accords much more with reality.

This paper argues that the accelerated growth of urbanisation has amplified the demand for key services. However, the provision of shelter and basic services such as water and sanitation, education, public health, employment and transport has not kept pace with this increasing demand. Furthermore, accelerated and poorly managed urbanisation has resulted in various types of atmospheric, land and water pollution thereby jeopardising human security. This paper offers the conclusion that the increased environmental, social and economic problems associated with rapid urbanisation pose a threat to sustainable development, human security and, crucially, peace.

David Martineau from
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 09.49 am

Thank you once again for your reply.
Just to clarify my point, my intention was not to advocate for poorly managed mass migration. In fact, the paper you reference argues that “poorly managed urbanisation” (emphasis added) has resulted in various types of pollution thereby jeopardising human security and threatening sustainable development. The central aim of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals is to address current gaps and challenges in order to facilitate well-managed urbanisation. As the concluding sentence of the paper states, “if pragmatic efforts are made to effectively manage urbanisation, African cities will be both sustainable and able to provide human security to their citizens.” This is the goal of the SDGs and, by adopting the SDGs, the international community acknowledges that when well-managed, migration can play a significant role in boosting development while reducing inequalities and that migrants can be key actors in this regard. At the outset, the 2030 Agenda commits to achieving sustainable development and to “leaving no one behind” in the process. It calls upon the international community to ensure safe, orderly and regular migration involving full respect for human rights and the humane treatment of migrants, thereby recognising that safe and regular migration is key to achieving sustainable development.  

Birmingham Resilience Network
Thu, July 28, 2016 at 07.43 pm

Thank you for clarifying your position. I guess it needs to be recognized that well-managed might mean no migration or little migration in certain circumstances. This is why the notions of ‘flows’ is essential to input into the NUA since migrationary flows are interdependant with othet flows such as capital flows which result in land grabbing which in turn dislocates people from their rural livelihoods and turns them into migrants. In this respect the NUA may well support well managed migration but the NUA hestitates to refer to well managed migratory flows since this implies capital flows must also be well-managed. As such the NUA fails to account for the interdependant motivators of migration only to manage migration well no matter its causes and no matter whether these ‘forced’ migratory flows are damaging to ecological resilience or the resilience of a host city.

To fail to acknowledge the causes but only well manage the effects is hardly sustainable but if this strategy is also at the heart of the SDGs too then Im afraid the SDGs are fundamentally flawed also. Without taking into account the full range of flows that are occuring at a global level and ensure that all these flows are well-managed, then the NUA remains a partialist strategy that benefits the few over the many.

Prof. R.B. Singh, Vice-President, International Geographical Union, Department of Geography, University of Delhi from India
Thu, July 21, 2016 at 03.32 pm


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.
  • Smartness Promotes City Resilience:Vulnerability Assessment of critical infrastructures (power supply, communication, water supply, transport, etc.) to disaster events.
Joseph D’CRUZ – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 22, 2016 at 07.41 am

Dear Prof. Singh,

Thank you for the useful points you raised.  Can you please elaborate further on what is meant by the ‘Concept of Urban Support Land’?  I’m not familiar with this.  Land shortages and land price speculation are big challenges in many rapidly-growing regions and any means of addressing them could be of interest.

with thanks;


Georges Radjou, Business, innovation, research, development from France
Thu, July 21, 2016 at 03.29 pm

Friends, all of this is 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 some ways 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.

Gladys Huchu, Consultant, Water and Sanitation Projects Management, UN Habitat from Kenya
Thu, July 21, 2016 at 03.24 pm

I propose Paragraphs 28 and 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 ASpublic 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.

I propose 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.

Joseph D’CRUZ – Discussion Moderator from
Fri, July 22, 2016 at 07.49 am

Dear Gladys,

Thanks for your suggestions.  I was trying to identify the changes you’ve suggested in each of the paragraphs.  In Para 28 you’ve suggested to include *and services* in the first sentence.  In Para 30 you’ve suggested includiing *urban basic services such as*.  Are these correct?  However I can’t identify the changes you’ve proposed in Para. 83.  Perhaps you can highlight the specific edits or additions you have in mind?

Habitat Content Administrator from United States
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 02.28 pm

We have added emphasis to highlight Gladys’ suggested changes (above).

Joseph D’CRUZ – Discussion Moderator Urbanization Global Task Team Leader, UNDP from Thailand
Thu, July 21, 2016 at 08.46 am

Dear colleagues,

A warm welcome to this penultimate phase of the global discussion on the draft New Urban Agenda.  National delegations, technical experts, civil society advocates and expert practitioners are making their way to Surabaya, Indonesia for the Third Preparatory Commission meeting next week, where we hope to agree on a final draft of the NUA. Through this online dialogue we have an opportunity to share our views on the Transformative Commitments being proposed in this ambitious document, helping to enrich and inform the deliberations that start on Monday.

Sustainable urbanization is at the core of the NUA, reflected in each of the three thematic sub-topics on which this discussion is built.  Social inclusion and ending poverty focuses on ensuring that the poorest, the most vulnerable and the excluded have opportunities to benefit from global urbanization.  Sub-topic two looks at the opportunities that urban prosperity will bring, and discusses how these can be maximised to benefit everyone.  And sub-topic three discusses how urban growth can take place within the safe space of our planetary and climate boundaries, to minimize the risk to urban populations and the loss of development progress to disastersand environmental degradation.

We welcome your ideas and suggestions on how these goals can be achieved.  What concrete actions can be taken; by national and municipal governments, civil society, the private sector and the global community acting together?  How can each of us play a role?  And how can the ideas in the draft document be strengthened and refined to make them more relevant and achievable in the coming decades?

I’m looking forward to your views!

with warm regards;


David Martineau from
Thu, July 21, 2016 at 07.36 am

Hello everyone,

I would also like to welcome all participants to this online discussion regarding the zero-Draft of the New Urban Agenda. I had the opportunity to engage in this process as a moderator last year, and am pleased to have been invited back to participate in the feedback process on a document that we hope will have far-reaching and effective implications moving forward. I am greatly looking forward to engaging with you over the next 8 days.

As an Associate Policy Officer at IOM, I am most interested in the way migration and migrants are included in this zero-draft of the New Urban Agenda. The agenda recognizes the important role that migrants and migration can play for sustainable urban development, while acknowledging that without appropriate planning, strategies and policies and in place, large scale urban migration can pose a challenge to local authorities. I am most interested in hearing your insights on how to enable migrants to contribute to their full potential to urban sustainable development, while reducing the challenges stemming from large influxes of people. The Agenda calls for significant action to be taken in this regard, are there good examples of projects, initiatives or policies to address these issues?

It would be my pleasure to answer any migration-related questions you may have during the length of these discussions. I look forward to the unique insights each participant will bring to the discussion.

Julien Dijol Deputy Secretary General Housing Europe from Belgium
Wed, July 20, 2016 at 01.59 pm

Thanks to the Habitat 3 secretariat and support team for this opportunity. As the European Federation of Public, Cooperative and Social Housing, we welcome the revised version of the Zero Draft. We in particular support the principle “leave no one behind” which guides the New Urban Agenda and supports the 2 other guiding principles : inclusive urban prosperity and resilient cities and communities. As for Subtopic 2, we have the following suggestions: 

39. we commit to promote national, subnational and local housing policies, recognizing the right to adequate and affordable housing for all […]

We indeed support the idea that housing policies should aim at promoting at the same time: affordability, quality, diversity of tenures and desegregation. Those principles are at the core of our advocacy work and our campaign Affordability means the capacity for households, for which the free market fails to provide an accomodation, to find a decent home.  

If people do not have a degree of certainty about their future, of having a roof over their head, an income, assurance of safety in their neighbourhood there is no confidence and no sustainable growth. Current trends of reduced employment stability, evictions and ghettoization in our cities are detrimental for our societal development. We must make the link between people’s every day housing concerns and policy making at all levels.

As for Subtopic 3, we suggest the following:

61. We commit to support local authorities and relevant stakeholders such as housing providers and tenants organisations to develop renewable energy and energy efficiency […]

Housing providers are willing to provide energy solutions for their tenants that are at the same time affordable, reliable and clean. The local generation of renewable energy as well as the local strategy to reduce energy consumption are key for a fair energy transition. Using roofs for photovoltaic production (see for instance good practices here: ) and help meet the energy demand of the building and neighbourhood, creating an tenant owned energy cooperative that will use wind farm to produce energy are some examples of what should be promoted at the local level. 

Lydia Gény -Discussion Moderator from Switzerland
Mon, July 25, 2016 at 04.37 pm

Our thanks to Housing Europe, for its comment and inputs.  The Draft of the New Urban Agenda already includes references to adequate housing (for instance para 93, which states ‘We will foster the realization of the right to adequate housing, as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, by all appropriate means and to the maximum of our available resources, individually and through international assistance and cooperation, especially economic and technical measures and capacity development. We will also enhance the public supply of land for affordable housing, including land in central and consolidated areas of cities with proper infrastructure, and encourage mixed-income development to promote social inclusion’), and it is indeed important to highlight that this is a right, which has to be promoted and protected by States. The main elements of the right to adequate housing are :

Legal security of tenure: Regardless of the type of tenure, all persons should possess a degree of security of tenure which guarantees legal protection against forced eviction, harassment and other threats;

Affordability: Personal or household financial costs associated with housing should not threaten or compromise the attainment and satisfaction of other basic needs (for example, food, education, access to health care);

Habitability: Adequate housing should provide for elements such as adequate space, protection from cold, damp, heat, rain, wind or other threats to health, structural hazards, and disease vectors;

Availability of services, materials, facilities and infrastructure: Housing is not adequate if its occupants do not have safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, energy for cooking, heating and lighting, sanitation and washing facilities, means of food storage, refuse disposal, etc.;

Accessibility: Housing is not adequate if the specific needs of disadvantaged and marginalized groups are not taken into account (such as the poor, people facing discrimination; persons with disabilities, victims of natural disasters);

Location: Adequate housing must allow access to employment options, health-care services, schools, child-care centres and other social facilities and should not be built on polluted sites nor in immediate proximity to pollution sources;

Cultural adequacy: Adequate housing should respect and take into account the expression of cultural identity and ways of life.

In addition, please see the report A/70/270 of the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living, and on the right to non-discrimination that could provide further guidance on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda ( report available at : Does anyone else wish to share their views on the Draft and the right to adequate housing ? What about the issue of forced evictions ? Many thanks. 

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 08.16 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 ‘Transformative Commitments’, outlined in the Draft of the New Urban Agenda, will be implemented through a human rights based approach. ‘Transformative Commitments’ should be an opportunity for States to concretely implement their human rights obligations in order to achieve a sustainable urban development and make cities places of equal opportunity for all, where people can live in safety, peace and with dignity. Urbanisation can only have a positive transformative force if it respects and promotes human rights. Therefore, it will be important to hear from all of you about how these ‘Transformative Commitments’ might help ensure the full and meaningful participation of the beneficiaries of development, including women, children, older persons, persons with disabilities, refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants, minorities, indigenous peoples, among others. 

It will be interesting to have your views on the accountability of States, at all levels of government – national and local – as to implement the commitments included in the New Urban Agenda.

Similarly, the realization of some of these commitments requires a close work between the State, the private sector and civil society. In this context, it would be interesting to hear how the responsibility of the private sector, including financial actors, should be assessed so that their actions support the realization of the New Urban Agenda, including the rights to adequate housing, water and sanitation and not hampering them.

Finally, it will be important to discuss how States can address the root causes of actions that violate the principles of non-discrimination and equality, on the basis of race, gender, culture, religion, age, disability, and social and economic status, in order to embrace the diversity in cities, and to strengthen social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, intergenerational interactions, tolerance, mutual respect and gender equality. This also includes how States will embrace strategies for the political, social and economic empowerment of people, especially the most vulnerable and the most marginalised. 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 make such commitments reality. 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!