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David Satterthwaite – Will Habitat III Get Buy-In From Local Actors? The text for what is termed “The New Urban Agenda” is being prepared for agreement by national government representatives at Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito in October 2016. The most pressing issue for this Agenda is not so much in what it says. We can predict with some certainty that there will be ringing endorsements for urban centres to be resilient, sustainable, safe and inclusive…Ideally, it will be shorter and more coherent than its predecessor, the Habitat Agenda endorsed at Habitat II in 1996, which ran to over 100 pages.
But what will determine the effectiveness of any New Urban Agenda is whether it is relevant to urban governments and urban dwellers, especially those whose needs are not currently met, and gets their buy-in. This means that it has to be clear and relevant to “slum”)/shack dwellers and mayors, as well as to other urban politicians, civil servants and other civil society groups. And what it recommends has be within their capacities. It should also set out a framework to support these local groups to meet goals and targets that have already been established – for instance, within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. Dangerous climate change will not be avoided unless urban governments all around the world act on both adaptation and mitigation.
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