Referring to the result of the Surabaya conference, Climate Change Centre Reading a local stakeholder from UK acting as a climate change advocacy on sustainable urban opportunities (not development). Please consider our thoughts to the Informal Intergovernmental Meetings (HABITAT III)

7th – 9th September, New York, USA on the New Urban Agenda;

From another strong Habitat III meeting, before and after the PrepCom3 conference should completely merge foundational basic elements one#Agenda2030 consensus especially with #Goal11 in sustainable cities.

There has been growing consensus about the devastating impacts that climate change will have on urban areas. Concurrently, urban planning has a role to play in mitigating against climate change, which  are expressed in a number of governmental reports, national planning policies and evolving international legislations; including the draft urban agenda of 2016.  Urban areas are recognized as key sources of greenhouse gas emissions; however, they can also assist in initiating actions to both reduce emissions and confront the anticipated effects (Krellenberg et al., 2010). Hence the proposed policies being purported in the New Urban Agenda are critical.

Overall, the document is comprehensive and it took a majority of the issues affecting urban centres into consideration. However, it is a high level document that will have to be tailored when being implemented to suit particular context and country settings. The following are the comments I have based on the review that was done.

This document is a follow-up on a review that was done for the Draft dated July 18, 2016. I see where some of my previous comments were included in the present draft.

  1. Policy Proposal 60 (formerly 54): The notion of “decent job” is being promulgated a lot in development documents, however, what constitutes decent job is not known or understood by the poor and marginalized. This needs to be addressed as finding and accepting jobs by the poor, especially in countries in the global south is often not met with such scrutiny.
  2. Policy Proposal 63 (formerly 57): “environmentally sound planning”, A definition of this concept will have to be developed based on context to be used by respective urban managers, within specific urban centres.
  3. Policy Proposal 74 (formerly 67): “Sustainable and resilient buildings” there is need for inclusion of required guidelines in local government policies that has to be met before planning and building permission is granted by the relevant agencies.
  4. Policy Proposal 75 (formerly 68): The lack of good governance in some countries encourage and perpetuate the development of slums and informal settlements, however, there needs to be effective policies to address the creation of these and where existing to regulate them. This could also be included and addresses in the Building Urban Governance Structures section of the Agenda.
  1. Policy Proposal 85 (formerly 77): “Approaches to urbanization”, This would have to consider the policies that are existing and how they can be strengthened, again based on context. What is the aim? to temper or encourage urbanization?
  2. Policy Proposal 115 (formerly 106): “Sustainable water management systems” Any urban water management system must make allowances for reducing precipitation and increased temperatures, complete with the solutions to address how short fall from these these will be accounted for.
  3. Policy Proposal 140 (formerly 131): “collaborating with insurance and reinsurance institutions” Is this leaning towards climate insurance? If yes, how will it be implemented in urban centres in most countries in the Global south and how will it be financed and what role will developed countries play in this regard?

Additionally, I would like to see throughout, policies that will stem the population growth within urban centres where applicable, in least developed countries and if not to ensure that all the required infrastructure and services are provided.


Ms. Donna Miller, Reading University



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