WORLD CITIES AT THE CROSSROADS - HABITAT 111Back
A city is more than a place in space, it is a drama in time
The right to the city encompasses all civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights as enshrined in existing international human rights treaties, covenants and conventions. Habitat 111 unanimously adopted The New Urban Agenda which is non-binding but is a global framework which calls for compact cities, polycentric growth, mixed use streetscapes and transit oriented development.
Political figures intermingled with grassroots movements, stakeholders and participants exchanged experiences of life in places as diverse as Singapore, Kenya and the Philippines.
The World Health Organization launched a Breathe Life Campaign as a commitment to cleaner air and a healthier future for cities. This campaign is designed to raise awareness about the linkages between air pollution, health and climate.
Many grassroots women’s groups called for ecological and resilient cities, encouraging social cohesion and participation, connecting cities with nature.
While urban centers have become the dominant habitat for humankind there were many references to an integrated and holistic approach to rural areas also.
Vision for cities must be grounded in human rights. Discrimination, especially of migrants and homeless people needs to be addressed in the interests of promoting individual and collective well-being. For Habitat 111 to be effective, national governments need to work with local authorities and local organizations. SDG goal 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities includes hard targets and specific indicators and the city is central to the creation of integrated human living and to the achievement of a dignified life for all.
Mary Ivers, PBVM