Participate and comment on The New Urban Agenda: Habitat III

Participate and comment on The New Urban Agenda: Habitat III

Throughout modern history, urbanization has been a major driver of development and poverty reduction. Governments can respond to this key development opportunity through Habitat III by promoting a new model of urban development that is able to integrate all facets of sustainable development to promote equity, welfare and shared prosperity. Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.


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It is time to think urban: how to mobilise the global community and focus all levels of human settlements, including small rural communities, villages, market towns, intermediate cities and metropolises for demographic and economic growth. Habitat III can help systematise the alignment between cities and towns and national planning objectives in their role as drivers of national economic and social development.

The New Urban Agenda

Urbanization is an unprecedented challenge. By the middle of the century four of every five people might be living in towns and cities. Urbanization and development are inextricably linked and it is necessary to find a way of ensuring the sustainability of growth. Urbanization had become a driving force as well as a source of development with the power to change and improve lives.

Habitat III Conference has the convening power to bring together all actors to achieve these objectives. Solutions for the complex challenge of urbanization can only be found by bringing together Member States, multilateral organizations, local governments, private sector and civil society.

Cities today occupy approximately only 2% of the total land, however:

habitat global context

In advance of the Informal Hearings with Stakeholders in New York on (6-7 June) and Informal Intergovernmental Meetings (8-10 June), you are inviteed to review the following sections of the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda and share your feedback. Please indicate which sub-topic/s you are addressing in your response. The forum is open for comments until 13 June 2016.

YOURS Inputs

Our Director, Floor Lieshout offered the following inputs and we invite you to add your own. As you might know, the leading cause of death for young people (aged 15-29) is road traffic injuries. Every day around 1000 young people (under the age of 25) die on our roads. Often they are vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, etc), while going to school. YOURS is therefore very much interested to comment on the ‘Mobility’ part within the draft document.

Endorsing a few things mentioned earlier:

  • YOURS agrees with Natalie Draisin to introduce the ‘Safe System’ approach in the text. When we talk about 'effective implementation', it means we need to look at the evidence. Proven measures that save lives, make cities healthier and inclusive to all while protecting the most vulnerable. The Safe System approach is such proven ‘effective implementation’. Therefore we support fully her language.
  • YOURS endorses JP Amaral to use the term 'sustainable transport' throughout the document. Excellent idea. Let there be no misunderstanding that we need to get rid of the ‘old, broken and unfair’ transport system.

Then YOURS would like to add a few new comments as well:

  1. Stakeholder Engagement Framework. We are advocating for meaningful youth participation throughout the entire process of decision-making. Half of the world’s population is younger than 25 years. And often we see youth being marginalized or tokenized in the decision making process. Therefore we suggest the wording:

    93 “This partnership approach includes all stages of the policy process, from planning to budgeting, implementation, and monitoring through well-resourced permanent mechanisms that include designated times and spaces for all, with particular attention to young people, grassroots and marginalized groups.”

  2. 112 (a): A massive increase in safe public transport, walking, and cycling; We would suggest to add the word ‘safe’. Please do not promote walking and cycling if its not safe, e.g. the infrastructure and policies are not in place.
  3. 127: The immense financing gap for safe infrastructure (minimum of 3 stars) is one of the most pressing challenges to be addressed in order to secure safe and adequate service provision to the people. We realize that bridging this gap, especially at the local level, is a prerequisite for achieving the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. In this course, we recognize that the enormous investments needed, can only be realized by leveraging on domestic resources and tapping into external financial sources and enabling local government to access these resources.

    A massive challenge we face in the world is that when governments do get loans for roads, there are no minimum standards. The ‘three star’ coalition is a partnership of organizations around the world that is trying to convince executives at the development banks to include safety criteria with a loan. More information:


Log on to the consultation here.