AESOP Discussion on the New Urban Agenda

Update on the Habitat III Process. November 2014.

Published at: 27 November 2014

UN-Habitat’s request for input into the New Urban Agenda for Habitat III to take place in 2016 was shared with our members in June 2014 at our webpage. GPEAN (Global Planning Education Association Network) was asked to put forward suggestions as one of the Habitat Agenda Partners, and being a member of GPEAN, we, as AESOP, had opened some points to discussion via a blog and shared our debate with GPEAN and UN-Habitat.

In October, UN-Habitat launched another activity and convened the first Urban Thinkers Campus in Caserta, Italy, bringing together a diverse array of urban thinkers to discuss The City We Need, a process towards building partner consensus at Habitat III. GPEAN was present in this meeting, taking place in the Research and Academia Constituency. Throughout the Urban Thinkers Campus, constituent groups gathered to develop consensus on the issues, concerns, inputs, and position of their constituent group and drafted the next version of detailed text of The City We Need. The process is described in detail at http://unhabitat.org/urban-thinkers-campus-towards-a-participatory-and-inclusive-habitat-iii/ and the outcomes of the meeting are available at http://unhabitat.org/urbanthinkersdocuments/

Meanwhile, United Nations is also engaged in developing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the post-2015 era as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expire in 2015. There have been efforts by urban activists around the world to get a goal explicitly related to cities and as a result an Urban SDG (“make cities and human settlements inclusive safe resilient and sustainable”)has been included in the draft list of 17 SDGs approved by a UN working group in July. However, these 17 goals will eventually be reduced to 10 goals by March 2015 and it is seen as strategically important to keep the Urban SDG in the list. Support is required for this purpose. (More information can be found at http://citiscope.org/story/2014/comparing-mdgs-and-sdgs#SDGs and at http://citiscope.org/story/2014/urban-sdg-explainer)

While GPEAN engages in these activities and, as AESOP, our inputs are conveyed via GPEAN, we also plan to have a presence as AESOP in the support for the Urban SDG and in similar initatives in the process towards Habitat III.  We intend to engage in the Research and Academia Constituency in similar events and initiatives; and our member schools are welcome to do the same. In addition, people from various nations can also try to  find out their nation's positions and organize support for the Urban SDG and other initiatives towards Habitat III.