The Czech Republic greatly managed the #EuropeanHabitat
16-18 March 2016: Three days of urban discussions in Prague with almost 4,000 experts worldwide on the future development of cities and municipalities. The UN Habitat Conference, organized by the Ministry for Regional Development, headed by the Minister Karla Šlechtová ended on Friday, 18 March 2016 with approval for the #PragueDeclaration. The document will have a direct impact on UN policy in the field of sustainable development and be part of the roadmap leading up to Habitat III in Quito. The Czech Republic and organisers have not only mastered the difficult preparation and organisation of the conference, but they also carry away a few key messages for further work and development in the area.
In line with what Minister Ms. Karla Šlechtová already mentioned in her opening speech on the first day, both the Conference and the #PragueDeclaration were not to be just about discussing, they were to bring a factual content and specific outcomes with an effective meaning for the future. Theses the Prague Declaration:
- The Declaration is based on four principles: Innovative and productive cities, Green, compact, resource-efficient and versatile (resilient) cities, Inclusive and safe cities, Good urban governance.
- Emphasis is put primarily on support to proper planning and management to be conducted in cooperation with all levels of governance and communities; a unified approach is vital in the effort to maximise the potential of cities, social cohesion and access to services; affordability of housing as a key factor of quality of life is one of the main features of viable cities; urban development planning must involve the effort to minimise impacts on the environment and to enhance economic, social and environmental sustainability.
- We are facing various challenges relating to housing and sustainable urban development in the regions: urban poverty, demographic changes, #climate changes and based on science disaster risk reduction #DRR, urban development and mandated growth, coordination of urban development, use of relevant technologies.
- Key directions from Prague to Quito: supporting cities by strengthening their capacity for innovation including social innovations and job creation, supporting optimal use of resources, equal access to affordable housing and services, eliminating poverty and exclusion, providing affordable, safe, inclusive and high-quality public space and safe transport, healthy financial management in municipalities, ensuring sustainable sources of financing, reinforcing the dialogue between various levels of government and relevant actors.
European HABITAT in Prague on 16 – 18. 3. 2016 (summary)
Some facts about the UN Conference on the European Habitat
- It was attended by nearly 4,000 thousand experts from around the world.
- During the Conference a total of 96 separate official events and dozens of bilateral negotiations were conducted.
- In total there were more than 300 hours of expert discussions.
- More than 50 experts took the floor.
- Significantly the conference also involved the Czech representatives, in the main program and accompanying activities.
- The main outcome of the Conference is the Prague Declaration, the final version of which has been worked on by the international Advisory Board and with the participation of Minister of Regional Development Ms. Karla Šlechtová.
- The Conference was held on an area of more than 42,000 sq-m2 in the Prague Congress Centre.
- In addition to the PCC, more places in Prague hosted the Conference accompanying activities.
- An organisation team of more than 150 people looked after the organisation of the Conference.
- More than 11,000 meters of cabling where installed in the Prague Congress Centre in order to provide technical setting to the Conference.
- About 100 model works created by students were exposed in the Congress Centre – many of them 3D models of planned buildings.