Habitat III

Habitat III , United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development , took place in Quito , Ecuador , from 17 – 20 October 2016.

The UN Conferences on Housing are in the bi-decennial cycle (1976, 1996 and 2016). The United Nations General Assembly Decision to convene The Habitat III Conference in its resolution 66/207. The Habitat III Conference reinvigorates the global commitment to sustainable urbanization , to focus on the implementation of a “New Urban Agenda”.

Habitat III was one of the first United Nations global summits after the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda . It gives the opportunity to open discussions on important urban challenges and questions, such as how to plan and manage cities , towns and villages for sustainable development . The discussion of these issues is changing the face of global development and climate change goals. In particular the conference elaborates on Goal # 11 of the Sustainable Development Goals : “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” [1]


Habitat II , the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, was held in Istanbul , Turkey from June 3-14, 1996. The conference outcomes were integrated into the Istanbul Declaration. [2] World leaders also adopted the Habitat Agenda [3] as a global plan of action for adequate shelter for all, with the concept of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world. Habitat I Was the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements or held-in Vancouver, British Columbia , Canada , May 31 – June 11, 1976 gouvernements Began to Recognize the need for sustainable human settlementsand the consequences of rapid urbanization , especially in the developing world. The conference outcomes were integrated with the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, [4] which carried out with 64 recommendations for National Action. The Conference also established the United Nations Center for Human Settlements – UNCHS (Habitat).



Joan Clos , the 1997-2006 Mayor of Barcelona and Executive Director of UN-Habitat since 2010, was also Secretary-General of the Habitat III. [5]


Habitat III invited all Member States [6] and relevant stakeholders , [7] including parliamentarians , civil society organizations , regional and local government and municipality representatives, professionals and researchers, academia, foundations, women and youth groups, trade unions , and the private sector sector , and the United Nations system and intergovernmental organizations . [8]

About 30,000 people in total attended the conference, which was based at Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana in Quito. [9]

Road Map

The first session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom1) for Habitat III was held in New York, United Nations Headquarter, from 17 to 18 September 2014. [10] The second session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom2) for Habitat III was held in Nairobi , Kenya, from 14 to 16 April 2015. [11] The PrepCom3 will take place from 25 to 27 July 2016, in Surabaya, [12] Indonesia.

Policy reports

The process towards Habitat III includes the elaboration of national and regional reports -that will converge in a Global Report- provide evidence based knowledge of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and a comprehensive analysis of the global state of tools both at the policy and intervention level.

Habitat III Issue Papers, [13] were developed through a collaborative exercise of the United Nations Habitat III Secretariat.

A number of official Regional and Thematic High Level Meetings involving a wide range of participants are debating priorities for the New Urban Agenda and policy recommendations in the final participants’ statement. The final declaration of Regional and Thematic Meetings will be considered in the Habitat III process. [14]

A total of 10 policy papers are developed by Policy Units [15], composed of 20 experts from different geographical areas and constituencies.


The debate Towards Habitat III is an Ongoing Process That includes past sessions of the World Urban Forum, Especially the last one Held in 2014 in Medellin , Colombia , and National Urban Forums [16] to the Chat and deliberate national one priority subjects Including the preparation of the HIII National Reports. Beyond the governmental participation in the process through the General Assembly , the commitment to the Conference will include the General Assembly of Partners (GAP) to serve as a broad-based deliberative platform for non-governmental partners in order to develop a consensus for a joined Habitat III. [17]Together Towards Habitat III campaign also promotes a Global Citizenship Survey (2015/16) to embrace all the contributions to the final outcome of the Conference and the New Urban Agenda. [18] At Habitat III, SuRe® – The Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, a global voluntary standard that integrates key criteria of sustainability and resilience into infrastructure development and upgrading, was presented by the Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation to the public audience. [19]

New Urban Agenda

The primary goal and outcome of the United Nations Urban Agenda (NUA), which will serve as a guideline for urban development for the next twenty years. [9]

A “zero draft” of the New Urban Agenda was released in May 2016 and later edited. The United Nations General Assembly agreed on the final text in September 2016. [20]

The NUA makes frequent references to the UN Conventions, including the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development passed in 1992, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development , the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning , the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015-2030 ), and the Paris climate agreement , all issued in 2015. [1]

The four mechanisms envisioned for effecting the New Urban Agenda are: [21] [22]

  1. National urban parks promoting “integrated systems of cities and human settlements” in furtherance of “sustainable integrated urban development”.
  2. Stronger urban governance “with sound institutions and mechanisms that empower and include urban stakeholders” along with checks and balances, to promote predictability, social inclusion, economic growth, and environmental protection.
  3. Reinvigorated “long-term and integrated urban and territorial planning and design in order to optimize the spatial dimension of the urban and deliver the positive outcomes of urbanization”; and
  4. Effective financing frameworks “to create, sustain and share the value generated by sustainable urban development in an inclusive manner.”

Urban planning

Urban planning is the mechanism by which the New Urban Agenda can be accomplished. In particular NUA ¶51 calls for: [1]

Urban planning and design instruments for sustainable development and management of integrated natural resources and urban planning. , improve resource efficiency, urban resilience, and environmental sustainability.

In ¶66 the parties endorse a smart city model: [1]

We are pleased to adopt a smart approach to innovation, and to provide more efficient transportation technologies, improve their service delivery.

Right to the city

The NUA includes the language of a ” right to the city “, but it does not include conflicting interests. [9]


The NUA calls for both public and private financing. Public financing can be derived from the economic gains of urbanization, including land and property value and infrastructure projects. Development funds and development banksare envisioned as “intermediaries for urban financing”. (NUA ¶130-153). [1]

Private funding is envisioned especially for real estate and housing ; the NUA encourage

the financial institutions, the cooperation agencies, the private-sector lenders and investors, the cooperatives, the moneylenders and the microfinance banks to invest in all its forms. (NUA ¶140) [1]

Organizational responses

  • Luisa Bravo & Mirko Guaralda, of the Queensland University of Technology , with Hendrik Tieben of the Chinese University of Hong Kong , launched the Journal of Public Space on 19 October 2016 at the Habitat III Urban Library. The paper deals with issues related to public space and its influence on culture, behavior, and development. [20] [23]
  • The International Urban Development Association (INTA) is hosting a conference on 27-30 November 2016 for one of a series of 18 “Initiative for Habitat III” conferences that began in May 2015. The New Urban Agenda, emphasizing the importance of local governments and non-governmental organizations. [24]
  • A group of Multilateral Development Banks ( African Development Bank , Asian Development Bank , Development Bank of Latin America , European Bank for Reconstruction and Development , European Investment Bank , Inter-American Development Bank Group , Islamic Development Bank , and the World Bank Group ) a joint statement in support of Habitat III and the contribution of the UN to the New Urban Agenda through direct financing, catalyzing other resources, and domestic resource mobilization. [25]

See also

  • Agenda 21
  • Our Common Future
  • World Urban Forum

External links

  • United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III)
  • The New Urban Agenda
  • United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat)
  • Seventh session of the World Urban Forum, Medellin
  • Habitat III, the visión of the sociedad latinoamericana (spanish)


  1. ^ Jump up to:f Wolfgang Amann & Sandra Jurasszovich, “Habitat III – A Critical Review of the New Urban Agenda ‘; Housing Finance International , Spring 2017.
  2. Jump up^ Istanbul Declaration of Human Settlements[1]”UH-Habitat.” Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  3. Jump up^ The Habitat Agenda Goals and Principles, Commitments and the Global Plan of Action[2] [ permanent dead link ] “UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  4. Jump up^ The Vancouver Declaration of Human Settlements[3] [ permanent dead link ]“UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  5. Jump up^ Our Executive Director[4]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  6. Jump up^ Member States[5]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  7. Jump up^ Major Groups and Stakeholders[6]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  8. Jump up^ UN and IGOs[7]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Jump up to:c Vanesa Castán Broto, “The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development: Here’s What Happened at Habitat III-The World’s Largest Conference on Cities”; Journal of Housing and Community Development , Jan / Feb 2017. Republication of ” Here’s What Happened at Habitat III ” at The Conversation .
  10. Jump up^ Preparatory Committee 1: 17-18 September 2014[8]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  11. Jump up^ Preparatory Committee 2: 14-16 April 2015[9]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  12. Jump up^ “Preparatory Committee III | Habitat III” . www.habitat3.org . Retrieved 2016-06-08 .
  13. Jump up^ Issue Papers and Policy Units[10]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  14. Jump up^ Regional and Thematic Meetings for the Habitat Preparatory Process III[11]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  15. Jump up^ Issue Papers and Policy Units[12]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  16. Jump up^ National Urban Forums[13]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  17. Jump up^ How Partners Can Contribute to Habitat III “Archived copy” . Archived from the original on 2015-09-06 . Retrieved 2015-09-01 . “UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  18. Jump up^ Together Towards Habitat III[14]”UN-Habitat” .Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  19. Jump up^ http://www.gib-foundation.org/news/
  20. ^ Jump up to:b Luisa Congratulations & Mirko Guaralda, “Our commitment to Implement content related to public space included in the New Urban Agenda adopté at the UN Habitat III conference”; Journal of Public Space 2 (1), 2017.
  21. Jump up^ Vanessa Watson, “Locating Planning in the New Urban Agenda of the Urban Sustainable Development Goal”; Planning Theory15 (4), 2016; doi: 10.1177 / 1473095216660786.
  22. Jump up^ New Urban Agenda , Habitat III Secretariat, 2017 A / RES / 71/256 *; ISBN 978-92-1-132731-1; p. 15.
  23. Jump up^ Event at Habitat IIIandJournal of Public Space1 (1).
  24. Jump up^ John Papagni, “INTA is 40 Focuses Habitat III”; Journal of Housing & Community Development, Jan / Feb 2017. See alsoHabitat III Initiativeon INTA website.
  25. Jump up^ “Habitat III: Multilateral Development Banks from Around the World Collaborate to Support ‘New Urban Agenda'”; World Bank, 18 October 2016.

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