The world is experiencing an unprecedented transition from predominantly rural to mainly urban living, with more than 55 percent of the world’s population already living in urban areas and this figure is set to rise to 70 percent by the middle of 21st century. While rapid and spontaneous urbanization has presented the world’s cities with major environmental, economic and social challenges, cities also provide a positive force underpinning social, political and economic transformation. Habitat III consecrated the new paradigm shift of urbanization as a positive force for growth. With the adoption of the New Urban Agenda in Quito in October 2016 and previously the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, urbanization is considered worldwide as an endogenous source of development, employment and prosperity. The Habitat Agenda adopted at the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements in Istanbul in 1996 was persuasive in establishing the need to create sustainable human settlements, recognizing the fundamental right to adequate housing and reinforcing the role of local authorities in achieving sustainable development. However, implementation, financing and monitoring were not uniformly achieved in cities around the world. Habitat III provided a critical milestone to shape the vision for the future of urbanization and brought together all actors to achieve the key priorities and objectives. The New Urban Agenda is a set of strategies that provide concrete actions to achieve sustainable urban development, setting out clear funding mechanisms and effective means of implementation and monitoring. The New Urban Agenda is an ambitious agenda which aims at paving the way towards making cities and human settlements more inclusive and ensuring that everyone can benefit from urbanization. The strategies embodied in the New Urban Agenda comprise national urban policies, rules and regulations, urban planning and design, financing urbanization and of course, their local implementation. These five strategies are the key principles for achieving sustainable development and growth. Now is the time for transformational urbanization to be promoted as a centerpiece of development policy at the international, national and local level. As this World Economic Forum report emphasizes, the future of cities largely depends on the way urbanization is managed and public-private collaboration is leveraged to implement the New Urban Agenda and advance sustainable urban development. I would like to thank the World Economic Forum for recommending the key actions that must be taken to shape the outcomes of the New Urban Agenda and achieve sustainable urban development over the next twenty years.
Source: World Economic Forum
This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.