Draft Zero of the New Urban Agenda

Every twenty years, the United Nations hosts the conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The outcome of the the third of these conferences, Habitat III, will be the New Urban Agenda, which hopes to promote a new model of urban development that is able to integrate all facets of sustainable development to promote equity, welfare and shared prosperity.

From Draft Zero of the New Urban Agenda:

‘Adequate housing and shelter at the center of the New Urban Agenda

27. Housing is both inseparable from urbanization, and a socioeconomic development imperative. The expansion of adequate and affordable housing is central to achieving inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities in a world where rapid urbanization has exacerbated housing shortages. We call for housing to be elevated as one of the highest priorities for national governments, and we reaffirm the right to adequate housing for all as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living without discrimination of any kind.

28. Developing housing programs and their spatial relationship with the rest of the urban fabric and the surrounding functional areas impacts not only social inclusion, but also the economic well-being of the Habitat III Zero Draft Outcome Document (May 2016) 6 inhabitants. We endorse the integration of housing policies and approaches across all sectors, and at all levels of government, to ensure the proximity of adequate basic infrastructure, as well as to counter segregation.

29. We emphasize that housing policies should promote equity with provisions that address discrimination, forced evictions, and the needs of the homeless and people in vulnerable situations, enabling participation and engagement of communities and stakeholders.

30. We commit to developing integrated housing approaches that incorporates the provision of adequate, affordable, safe, and well-located housing, with access to quality public space, basic infrastructure, and services like sanitation systems and public transport, as well as livelihood opportunities, combating spatial and socio-economic segregation, and improving the living conditions of the urban poor, including those in living slums and informal settlements.

31. Urban informality should be recognised as a result of lack of affordable housing, dysfunctional land markets and urban policies. We must redefine our relationships with informal settlements and slums, including the informal economy, in ways that leave no one behind, taking into account that those areas are also engines for economic growth, prosperity, and job creation. 32. We commit to promote national and local housing policies that stimulate the delivery of a variety of housing options at scale and diversified in size, standard, location and price to meet the needs of the population, and which are affordable and accessible for different groups of society.

32. We commit to promote national and local housing policies that stimulate the delivery of a variety of housing options at scale and diversified in size, standard, location and price to meet the needs of the population, and which are affordable and accessible for different groups of society.

33. We commit to promote increased security of tenure, recognizing the plurality of tenure types, and to develop fit-for-purpose gender-responsive solutions within the continuum of land rights. It is necessary to strengthen programs and institutions that have been successful in addressing security of tenure to foster housing improvement and planned urbanization, while innovating strategies to cater to groups that have lagged behind the most, with particular attention to women’s tenure security as a cornerstone to their empowerment and gender equality and the realization of human rights. Such innovations should include logic of the proximity of services, adequate financing schemes, and technical, legal, and financial assistance to those who produce their own housing. 34. We stress the need to acknowledge and support the service provision of local governments and to generate investments in communities and places that are affected by recurrent and protracted humanitarian crises. We further stress the need to provide adequate services, accommodation, and opportunities for decent and productive work for crisis-affected persons in urban settings. It will also ensure that aid flows to host communities in order to prevent backsliding in their own development levels and to ensure the inclusion of refugees and displaced persons in urban formal and informal economies, enhancing their social capital as well as their ability to benefit from the opportunities that cities have to offer.’

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