One day launch – What priorities will guide the New Urban Agenda?

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.


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2 days – The New Urban Agenda needs to recognize a future of city-to-city networks and trade

While cities are taking on increasingly robust roles in global trade, much work needs to be done to enable all such areas to access related benefits. In this, Habitat III can play an important part.


“Increasingly, relationships between cities are becoming more important than those between countries. Global supply chains connect cities, not countries. It is the large and secondary city hubs and ports that are progressively setting the agenda for trade, investment and economic development.”

“The current model of city development — which sees large cities capturing an increasing proportion of national jobs, investment, and human capital — is substantially weakening the efficiency of systems of cities.”

“Under the new model, governments — especially local and city governments — have become more engaged with communities in planning and developing economic policy. Now, many act as facilitators and partners in development. The next step in the evolution of this model has been for cities to take a direct role by engaging in collaborative governance arrangements.”


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