What priorities will guide the New Urban Agenda?
Beyond the specific technocratic solutions of economics and governance, several core ideas will form the ideological underpinnings of the New Urban Agenda. Initial documents suggest that, for instance, democratic development and respect for human rights will feature prominently, as will the relationship between the environment and urbanization.
Similarly, the New Urban Agenda will almost certainly include significant focus on equity in the face of globalization, as well as how to ensure the safety and security of everyone who lives in urban areas, of any gender and age. Risk reduction and urban resilience will likewise play prominent roles. And the new agenda will place key importance on figuring out how to set up a global monitoring mechanism to track all of these issues and concerns.
Meanwhile, the core issues of the Habitat Agenda — adequate housing and sustainable human settlements — remain on the table, as the number of people worldwide living in urban slums continues to grow. Indeed, in the time since the Habitat Agenda was adopted the world has become majority urban, lending extra urgency to the New Urban Agenda.
There is also an increasing recognition that cities have morphed into mega-regions, urban corridors and city-regions whose economic, social and political geographies defy traditional conceptions of the “city”. The New Urban Agenda will have to address these trends in urbanization while also recognizing that cities and metropolitan areas are the major drivers of national economies.
This fact in particular should entice member states to give credence to the tenets of the New Urban Agenda.