The New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, Ecaudor - road safety included

The New Urban Agenda adopted in Quito, Ecaudor - road safety included

This century will see a substantial majority of the world’s population living in urban centers. The Habitat III Conference had, at its mission, the adoption of a New Urban Agenda—an action-oriented document setting global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private sector. The Agenda has been adopted and specific reference to road safety, child health and urban mobility have been included!


The New Urban Agenda (NUA) has been adopted at Habitat III

Highlights of the Agenda

  • Countries adopted a global, non-binding agenda for making cities safe, sustainable and resilient, at the close of Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador.

  • The New Urban Agenda aligns with many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and calls for effective linkages with the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and for an independent assessment of UN-Habitat, which will consider the possibility of establishing universal membership of its governing body

  • The UN University (UNU) notes the value of “resilience” as a concept uniting stakeholders, but cautions against approaches for "taming nature" rather than transforming urban land use and restoring ecosystems.

Habitat conferences take place once every 20 years. Since Habitat II took place in Istanbul in 1996, the world has changed from having a mainly rural population to having more than half the world’s people living in cities. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) estimates that, by 2030, 60% of world population will be urban dwellers.

The New Urban Agenda adopted at Habitat III aligns with many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 11 on making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In preambular text, the New Urban Agenda also sets out aims to end poverty and hunger (SDG 1 and 2), reduce inequalities (SDG 10), promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG 8), achieve gender equality (SDG 5), improve human health and wellbeing (SDG 4), foster resilience  (SDGs 11 and 13), and protect the environment (SDG 6, 9, 13, 14 and 15). The Agenda promotes a vision for cities that is grounded in human rights, and recognizes the need to give particular attention to addressing multiple forms of discrimination, including discrimination against people in slum settlements, homeless people, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and migrants, regardless of their migration status.

The New Urban Agenda & Road Safety

Tthe formal adoption of the agenda marks a significant achievement: the New Urban Agenda includes our core objective of a ‘safe and healthy journey to school for every child as a priority’. The NUA Declaration, the result of an inter-governmental negotiation which concluded in September, also recognises the importance of the Safe System approach for tackling urban road safety and highlights motorcycle safety as a particular urban priority.

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Ecuadorian schoolchildren celebrate inclusion of Safe & Healthy Journeys to School in the New Urban Agenda.

Attending Habitat III, FIA Foundation's Secretary-General, Saul Billingsley said,

“The inclusion of safe and healthy journeys to school in the New Urban Agenda is a significant result for our Global Initiative for Child Health & Mobility, and has formed the key message for our engagement here in Quito. There is strong recognition that urban mobility planning that puts people first and prioritises pedestrians and cyclists is absolutely crucial for combating climate change, air pollution and road traffic injuries, and for creating liveable cities that can cope with rising populations and growing mobility demand. Our focus on children brings together all of these themes and provides a compelling campaigning agenda and a powerful convening space to build alliances that can translate the New Urban Agenda into measurable action.”



"We will take measures to improve road safety and integrate it into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design. Accompanied by awareness-raising initiatives, we will promote the safe system approach called for in the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, with special attention to the needs of all women and girls, as well as children and youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, and those in vulnerable situations. We will work to adopt, implement, and enforce policies and measures to actively protect and promote pedestrian safety and cycling mobility, with a view to broader health outcomes, particularly the prevention of injuries and non-communicable diseases, and we will work to develop and implement comprehensive legislation and policies on motorcycle safety, given the disproportionally high and increasing numbers of motorcycle deaths and injuries globally, particularly in developing countries. We will promote the safe and healthy journey to school for every child as a priority".


"We will take measures to develop mechanisms and common frameworks at the national, sub-national, and local levels to evaluate the wider benefits of urban and metropolitan transport schemes, including impacts on the environment, the economy, social cohesion, quality of life, accessibility, road safety, public health, and action on climate change, among others".


The FIA Foundation pubished some very interesting videos that focus on the key areas of road safety within the agenda. They are avaiable to view here:



Air Quality:

The promotion of 'Safe and Health Journey to School' initiative relates directly to the promotion of the #SaveKidsLives campaign and the Global Child Health Initiative.

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Read more about Habitat III and The New Urban Agenda here.