Habitat III: Building 21st Centruy Cities
By admin October 21, 2016


This week from 17 – 20 October 2016, leaders from more than 190 nations are discussing the future of the world’s citis as part of Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, capital of Ecuador. The conference is aimed at reinvigorating the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, implementing of a New Urban Agenda based on the previous Habitat Agenda of Istanbul in 1996. Among all the topics, exploration on how to “transforming our world for the better” stands out distinctively.

This world-wide meeting, formally known as the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, takes place every 20 years since 1976. Ecuador is the first country in Global South to hold the event, where opportunities of development and challenges of sustainability coexist in recent years. This year, the New Urban Agenda is aimed at setting new standards moving forward and is designed to re-think how the fast-growing urban population of the world can live more sustainably; or in other words, how to create a better and greener urban future, where everyone has access to the benefits of urbanization.

Since the first Habitat conference in 1976, the urban population has grown at an incredible rate. UN estimates that approximately 70 percent of the total population on Earth would be residing in urban areas by 2050. Meanwhile, along with the soaring population, urban areas are expanding rapidly, especially in developing countries with no planning in advance. Specifically, a quarter of urban dwellers live in slums or informal settlements, among whom most people are isolated from opportunities for decent work and are vulnerable to crime, forced evictions and homelessness. Yet, today’s challenges also represent tomorrow’s opportunities. Transforming our world for the better means transforming our towns and cities with “better urban governance, planning and design”, said by Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon. More specifically, actions include but are not limited to: more investment in adequate and affordable housing, quality infrastructure and basic services, more engagement for women and girls in making towns and cities safer, more efforts in ending poverty and building inclusive societies. Nevertheless, the success of the New Urban Agenda depends largely on the overall collaboration of all stakeholders.

The implementation of New Urban Agenda requires our joint efforts, including political will from local governments, investments from the corporate sector, the vision of civil society organizations and the mobilization and promotion capacity of citizen action. With all these efforts put together toward our vision for tomorrow, high chances are that our cities will develop viably and sustainably in the long-term future.

For more information:
HABITAT III: Sustainable, inclusive cities ‘can transform our world for the better,’ Ban tells UN conference
Habitat 3
Fostering Sustainable Cities at Habitat III

Thanks for sharing !

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