High Level Meeting on #NewUrbanAgenda and UN-Habitat

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Setting the scene – High Level Meeting on New Urban Agenda and UN-Habitat – September 5 – September 6

To realise the potential, however, the challenges cannot be ignored. Urban populations continue to grow in much of the world, poverty and humanitarian crises and conflict are becoming increasingly urban phenomena, and the urban risks from climate change are intensifying. Concerted efforts, global, national and local, in both developed and developing countries, are urgently needed to address current challenges, alleviate increasing inequalities, and anticipate future threats. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Opportunities (encompassing the Sustainable
Development Goals, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development) will not be met without serious attention to urban realities. The New Urban Agenda provides a roadmap for this
on-going transition, and UN-Habitat, with the entire UN development system, has a potentially critical role in supporting countries to effectively implement this Agenda.

The urban transition is essential to economic growth. Yet this basic reality is still unrecognised by many major actors, from national governments to international institutions, resulting in policies that limit migration in an attempt to slow urbanisation and restrict the access of local urban governments to development financing. Despite the restrictions, urban migration continues, and in the absence of inclusive and supportive policies and investment, this means limited opportunity for hard pressed new residents, growing backlogs in provision of services, increasing informality and the disappearance for many residents of the vaunted “urban advantage”. In many countries, for example, while rural child mortality rates are improving, in urban areas they are stagnating or
becoming worse. Poverty, hunger, disease, vulnerability to disaster, violence, are all becoming increasingly prevalent in many urban areas.
The urban transition will be more or less complete in fifty years. If it is not steered constructively now, the urban dividend could in many more
places become a disaster marked by inequality exclusion, inadequate basic service provision, humanitarian crises and growing civil strife.

The challenges in poor urban settlements are intensified in many areas by the mounting hazards associated with extreme weather. Cities, with their concentrations of population and assets, face high levels of risk, especially in coastal or riverside locations. Urban economies of scale and proximity can give cities a strong adaptive capacity, but the benefits seldom extend to all parts of a city. Informal settlements are often in the most hazardous locations – floodplains, hillsides at risk of landslides, sites close to industrial wastes – and unserved by the protective infrastructure that allows people to withstand extreme conditions – roads, drains, early warning systems and emergency services. Residents in poverty also have more limited capacity to prepare for, withstand and recover from a range of weather extremes. These same extremes, along with conflict, are pushing more people into towns and cities. By 2016, 80 million people globally were displaced by conflicts and disasters. Numbers keep climbing, and more than half end up now in towns and cities, adding to the burdens faced by overtaxed local authorities. Full blown conflict, often over access to land and scarce urban resources, has also become an increasingly common feature of urban areas, contributing to the emergence of the new category of the “fragile city.”

 

The call for action: The 2030 agenda and the New Urban Agenda

Recognising the critical need for action on pressing urban issues, government representatives at the Habitat III conference in Quito in 2016 adopted the New Urban Agenda (NUA), emphasising the links between urbanisation and development and the crucial need for inclusive and sustainable urban growth. The ambitious 2030 Agenda, adopted a year before the NUA, provides a critical overarching roadmap for this effort. Its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), designed for stimulating action in areas critical for humanity and the planet, include Goal 11 – making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Without attention to this urban Goal, and to the urban implications of the other 16 Goals, none of the SDGs is likely to succeed. Together the NUA and SDGs point the way for cities to be part of sustainable global
development. Equally important in this endeavour are the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

 

The scope of the commitment

Yet urban areas, with their growing majority of the global population, their concentration of both economic risk and potential, their vulnerability to climate-related disasters, and their relationships with surrounding areas, are not only relevant to realising this Agenda, they are central to its success, and the stage on which the SDGs will or will not be achieved. Most of the Goals necessarily have urban implications, and without significant attention to urban realities in all their manifestations and complexity, the ambitious objectives of the SDGs cannot be realised.

 

Public-private partnerships – ITU

ICTs for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation for SIDS

THE HABITAT III INNOVATION and SUSTAINABILITY PRINCIPLE

Prague to host the United Nations’ European Habitat Conference #habitat3

Prague

Climate Change Centre Reading, is honored to participate at the UN regional meeting European Habitat Conference as a climate advocate for natural weather shelter / protection of #urbanthinkers. The conference will take place in the Prague Congress Centre, Prague, Czech Republic between March 16 to 18, 2016

Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will involve a wide range of participants, that will debate regional priorities for the New Urban Agenda, and policy recommendations in the form of a final regional participants’ declaration. The “European Habitat”, is an international regional conference organised within the framework of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). It is one of five regional commissions of the United Nations, bringing together 56 member countries from Europe, the Balkans, North America and a part of Asia. The event is an official part of preparations for the third global UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development “Habitat III”. Based on a decision of the UN General Assembly adopted in December 2014, this conference should be held in Ecuador in October 2016. The event is being prepared by the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). UNO regional conferences are organised by individual regional economic commissions – and it is UNECE that covers the 56 above mentioned member countries (UNECE Member States).

In this regard, “European Habitat” will gather recommendations reflecting the consensus reached at the regional level on sustainable housing and other topics from the spectrum of a proposed New #UrbanAgenda.

Join us at this exciting opportunity to discuss the challenges of Sustainable “Housing in Liveable Cities”.

In the process towards a New Urban Agenda, Habitat III Europe Regional Meeting “European Habitat” will discuss how to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all, with due attention to reducing the impact of the housing sector on the environment. Final declaration from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process. Join us at this exciting opportunity to discuss the challenges of Sustainable Housing in Liveable Cities.

The official outcome of the European Habitat conference will be the Prague Declaration whose draft was discussed in December 2015 at the plenary session of the UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management, the UNECE executive body for housing and urban development. In October 2014, the Committee discussed and adopted the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing, which was then approved by UNECE’s Plenary in April 2015 as the official contribution of the relevant region to the Habitat III conference. The Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing is an essential strategic document which the Prague Declaration develops further. The European Habitat is one of the first UN implementing conferences reflecting the goals of UN post-2015 Development Agenda.

Final “Prague Declaration” from “European Habitat” will be considered official inputs to the Habitat III process.

The #UN European Habitat Conference, is part of the roadmap to #Habitat3 in QUITO – OCTOBER 2016.

#TheWorldWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #Futureofplaces #Placemaking #SDG13 #SDGs #FutureofPlaces #COP21 #COP22 #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace #WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #Youngplacemakers #ClimateAction #OpenSpace

Background

Based on a decision of the UN General Assembly, the city of Quito, Ecuador, will host the third global UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (the “Habitat III conference”) from 17 to 20 October, 2016. These summits take place every twenty years; the first one was organised in June 1976 in Vancouver, Canada, the second summit “Habitat II” took place in June 1996 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The official outcome of the Habitat III summit will be the adoption of the discussed document (New Urban Agenda), responding to development in urban areas, with respect to the ever increasing share of the world’s population living in towns and cities (by 2050 the share will be 70%).

Preparations for the Habitat III summit are carried out according to the procedure approved by UN General Assembly; the process is managed by the Steering Committee of Habitat III.

(UN–Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1978 as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976. UN-Habitat maintains its headquarters at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya. It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The twin goals of the Habitat Agenda are adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world.

Invitation Boroughs of Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire

Nordic_declarationInvitation to BOBShire’s Capitals‘ Declaration on #ClimateChange 2017

Venue and programme for the workshop need to be set,
Pre-register interest here, BOBShire @ CCCRdg .org .uk

Join the wave of change. Sign the Appel de Paris here, http://www.parispledgeforaction.org/read

Project ideas emerged from breakout groups for each of the following #RE100 challenges:

KIC

  • How to include quality of life (the social dimension) in climate-oriented city solutions
  • How to create incentives for people to choose to be ”climate smart” in their everyday choices
  • How to create city climate targets, measure progress and engage more actors
  • How to remove barriers that enable cities to implement more (and better) testbeds

Check back for more information

/Climate Change Centre Reading

 

Source: reykjavik.is

CARFREE LIVING

Logo info CCCRdg

A Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet a force forward for #climateaction

Will the president of the European Union ban private cars in the urban environment?
Many people and community groups in transition are positive to this and want to ban private cars in city centres, so the streets will be safer and there will be less damaging pollution.

If all the private cars disappear, there are big plans for how all the space currently taken up by cars can be used for something better with the aim of making much needed urban behavioural change happen.

Mission
How do we allocate and transform public street space in cities and towns into public spaces?
2016 is the time for a more radical approach to end fossil fuels. Our aim is to ban private cars from town/city centres and reallocate road space to active travel such as walking and cycling to reduce congestion and address the damaging health impacts of air pollution, inactivity and obesity. Also, if all private cars were banned 12 days a year would be equal to 12 out of 365 days decrease in world private vehicle gas, petrol and diesel consumption ~ 3%!

The new car free movement
Many of us grew up cycling in the countryside when there were very few cars on the road and have never owned a car. We saw cars as the future, more people = more cars (less air quality), in a limited space, how is this going to work?

Each new road erases the natural world and we believe we have a duty to respect our natural environment. We have not always been sensitive to the damage car culture has on society and our environment. We do not accept that people are killed from air pollution; road casualties, inactivity and obesity are the price we have to pay or collateral damage.

There is a need to establish a platform of decision makers who acknowledge we have all the tools to achieve, implement and conduct. We have support from businesses, even corporations can cope with one CFD per month.

If we can agree to one year of monthly car-free event then we can also tackle the need for radical behaviour change.

Public health reasons to ban private cars in city centres
Great work has been done with Ken Livingstone’s congestion charge initiative in London but over time it clearly has not worked. 2016 is the time for a more radical approach.

Road charging has some benefits but if you raise the charge to the eye watering amounts required to clear traffic, you will end up with just the wealthy able to drive cars in cities. This is already statistically the case and we believe not good for social cohesion. The next stage is to ban private cars in city centres and free up public street space for walking and cycling, the great equalisers.

Ban of cars in all of city centres or just parts of the city?
E.g. London – The 2011 census marked a tipping point in car ownership in Central London. The majority of households for instance in Westminster (63%) The City (69%) Islington (65%) do not own a car.

Car owning households in Central London were now the minority. Finally there was a political opportunity to make the case for a car free London in zones 1 & 2. The picture is different in the outer boroughs where public transport is not as concentrated and journey distance to the centre is longer. Here car ownership is still in the majority.

The project Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet does not advocate the banning of public transport and commercial vehicles as they are essential to running the new economy and maintaining the city services. However we do want these modes rationalised, reduced in number and upgraded to the cleanest models available. Costs and availability of licenses would be based on lowest pollution and environmental footprint and whether the license was deemed to be necessary. All vehicles would have to be diesel free and with low emissions. All paved tarmac and stone surfaces would be examined with a view to increasing the green areas and thus air conditioning/micro climate control.

Owning a private car however is not a necessity and private electric cars and scooters don’t address the underlying problems of congestion, road casualties, inactivity and obesity. Clean tech cars may pollute less (silent oil spills!) in the direct environment but the electric grid is only 19% renewables and still polluting elsewhere whether coal and gas emissions or nuclear waste.

E waste from Electric vehicle batteries en masse would present a new challenge for toxic waste and the batteries are very expensive to recycle.

A successful car-free day project is going to study fossil fuels alternatives to the cars that already have private owners
Unfortunately diesel will have to be crushed, a very bad mistake and all who bought into or promoted the switch to diesel will have learnt a difficult lesson, unless diesel cars can be recycled into bikes?

Cleaner models will have some resale value. Perhaps possible to incentivise people to ditch their diesel immediately and join an electric car club or receive a bike.

It is also important to make active travel and public transport as accessible and inclusive as possible for people with disabilities and older people. Active travel benefits a wide range of people; customised cycling bikes promoted by, for instance, Wheels for Wellbeing give a variety of options for many people with disabilities, including hand cycling and assisted.

Being socially inclusive creates a society that is more cohesive.

FIGURES AND KEY FACTS The public space usage of all the empty roads and empty parking space is our common realm and will benefit the general public
Making space on the roads for a quality, safe, inclusive cycling experience is paramount. Whether that is protected lanes, filtered permeable or active travel corridors (whole roads for bikes) is down to what works best in each location.

It also occurred to us that freeing up vast amounts of space used for parking private cars (6.8 million parking spaces in London use up 78.5 km sq, based on minimum parking space) could unlock car parks as brownfield sites for key worker housing, at reasonable rents, linked to their jobs in the vicinity (linked to commuting). A good idea would also be to plant more trees on previously car lined streets.

KEY DRIVERS FOR ACTION Time frame for getting rid of private cars off the roads in city centres

Hopefully we could move fast to ban private diesel in Central London, one years notice; 9500 deaths per year requires a proportionate response.

  • 2 years to ban private diesel in the outer boroughs and commercial diesel in Central London
  • 3 years to ban commercial diesel in the outer boroughs and all private cars from Central London

How to implement a one year trial for a regular Car-free Day on a Workday worldwide? Logistically this is radical change. The city would not be able to build cycling protected lanes on main roads fast enough, but road closures of rat runs as alternative car free cycle routes could be implemented within the time frame and space saved would allow local agriculture to grow urban farming.

How to get around in your city, London
If you are not a car owner you mostly walk in London, with the odd bus and tube for longer journeys. Occasionally you may cycle using a Boris bike or on a friend’s tandem, but as part of the majority that feels very uncomfortable cycling in London with congested streets, mixing with large HGVs and buses and very poor cycling infrastructure.

People would love to cycle more, yet Londoners  live in very small flats so are on the lookout for somewhere practical to park and ride, maybe a folding bike or with a basket, or even a cargo bike combined with safe parking!

Trains are the way forward for longer internal journeys in the UK and we would like to see more investment, more incentives and ultimately prefer railways to be nationalised for the good of the nation rather than for profit. Londoners travel by train mostly out of London. Bike provision on trains is an issue and one that needs addressing.

Inhabitants of London occasionally catch a lift or use taxis where there is little or no public transport provision. There is general sympathy with the ideal that public transport should be a basic human right, but it is difficult in very rural areas. Sharing taxis might provide a more flexible option than buses. The idea of connecting urban areas with dedicated cycle lanes like the proposed HS2 for bikes is very likable.

What should happen to cars outside London?
Outside London we believe the banning of private cars in city centres and banning diesel are important for the health of the urban environment. Prioritising demotorisation and active travel is the way forward for the 21st century.

Nearly half of commuters in the UK live less than 5 miles from their work, an easy distance to cycle. These journeys must be made safe and inclusive to encourage as many people as possible to choose cycling as the healthy option. In the London outer boroughs, 66% of journeys under a mile are made by car.

We are doing something very wrong if it is easier/ more comfortable/cheaper for someone to take the car rather than cycle or walk under one mile.

Cars should never work out cheaper than public transport so taxing car use through fuel or road usage or road tax are all options and ploughing that back into public transport and active travel infrastructure. Residents parking permits need to be at least £1,000 per year (Southampton Central charges) to represent their cost to the public highway.

On long term private cars could potentially be banned everywhere in the UK
Currently most people are living in urban environments, but for those who live in rural areas it is far more difficult to ban private cars. Sharing taxis may provide a more flexible option than bus routes.

There may be long term solutions that can’t be conceived of yet, but if we do maintain some presence of private cars it needs to be done with respect for other road users and we believe presumed liability enshrined in UK law would be the most efficient way of ensuring that.

PLATFORMS AND PROJECTS A Monthly Car-Free Work-Day Planet is part of a wider global movement to go car free in city centres, this will this impact on climate change, direct and indirect
Fantastic global networks of Climate Action, Urban Thinkers, City Planners, Global bikers, Changemakers, Youth forums, Transport Think Thanks etc. 50+ Nations are developing car-free districts in urban areas.
Yes there is a worldwide movement to go car free in Cities that includes politicians and grass roots campaigners, From Al Gore to Richard Branson and even perhaps more unexpectedly Jeremy Clarkson who said ‘Get rid of your car, you don’t need it’ in a recent Sunday Times article. We have the connections to bridge the project and collect 2 million signatures together with organisational support.

This global city trends needs to be addressed with planetary coordination and best way force forward is to bridge incentive for behaviour change. We propose implementing a one year trial for a regular Car-free Day on a Workday worldwide;

Highlighting the third Wednesday of every month through the year as Planet´s Monthly Car-Free Work-Days, 20/5, 17/6, 15/7 etc.

HELP sign the petition here: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/Changemakers_MONTHLY_CARFREE_WORKDAY_NATIONWIDE

Carsgrey_blue-logo2

Transport and in particular private cars are one of the fastest growing contributors to CO2 emissions. Some predict that 1 billion cars today will rise to 2 billion by 2020. It is crucial and pressing that we curb this rise in car use as well as addressing other contributing factors. Cycling and walking are vital to transforming not just our cities but also our planet.

/Climate Change Centre reading (CCCRdg) supports R V Readhead, Goldsmiths College, U. of London 1996-98 Wants To Be Mayor of London And Ban Private Cars

ICEBIKE.ORG thanks

More information

7 Cities That Are Starting To Go Car-Free – http://www.fastcoexist.com/3040634/7-cities-that-are-starting-to-go-car-free

Paris Will Dramatically Reduce Car Traffic To Fight Air Pollution Emergency –   http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/22/3637317/paris-smog-car-ban/

TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD: THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT – https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/7891TRANSFORMING%20OUR%20WORLD.pdf

A Common Approach for developing SDG integrated indicators –  http://www.unep.org/post2015/Portals/50240/Common%20approach%20for%20developing%20SDG%20Integrated%20indicators.pdf

Study on car-free day
http://www.niassembly.gov.uk/globalassets/documents/raise/publications/2015/regdev/2215.pdf

 

Sharing and mixed use of a human caused economy – where we share as much as possible, from our whole infrastructure to jobs, this happens in the Anthropocene room between public space and cyberspace.

Togethernessship – All about inspiration and agreement, being truly inclusive and Safeguarding the future. The complex nature of our environment makes it hard to focus on preventing GreenHouse Gases, which are directly related to global warming. The downside of the problem is that everything is interlinked and needs to be backtracked http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backcasting, but we have the time scale which is rapidly shrinking, so an agreement at #COP21 in Paris, in December is probably a must.

 

Reading, United Kingdom, August 24, 2015:

TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD: THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

All, this might catch some interest, 31 July 2015 a magic deal on a magic date! #Climate21 +++

#FutureofPlaces #COP21 #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace #WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #Youngplacemakers #ClimateAction

TRANSFORMING OUR WORLD: THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Planet We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations;
Goal 11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

Goal 13. Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts* 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning 13.3 Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning 13.a Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible 13.b Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries, including focusing on women, youth and local and marginalized communities * Acknowledging that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change.

Vision 7. In these Goals and targets, we are setting out a supremely ambitious and transformational vision. We envisage a world free of poverty, hunger, disease and want, where all life can thrive. We envisage a world free of fear and violence. A world with universal literacy. A world with equitable and universal access to quality education at all levels, to health care and social protection, where physical, mental and social well-being are assured. A world where human rights relating to safe drinking water and sanitation are promoted and realised, with improved hygiene; and where food is sufficient, safe, affordable and nutritious. A world where human habitats are safe, resilient and sustainable and where there is universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy.

Read the final version of the Post-2015 Development Agenda here; https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/7891TRANSFORMING%20OUR%20WORLD.pdf

#InterGov2015 #post2015 #SDGs #unitednations

CCCRdg´s Issue Papers comments on Habitat III Issue Papers

The Habitat III Issue Papers are summary documents that address one or more research areas, highlight general findings, and identify research needs on topics related to housing and sustainable urban development.

The Issue Papers provides in depth review and analysis of specific issues relevant to the discussions of the Conference.

The Issue Papers are the departing point for the work of the Policy Units.

placemaking3The Issue Papers are prepared by the UN agencies and programmes (UN Task Team on Habitat III), as well as several experts and organizations related to the different topics.

The methodology of elaboration of the Issue Papers is in line with the elaboration of the compendium of issues briefs prepared by the United Nations inter-agency Technical Support Team for the United Nations General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals.

The Issue Papers provide with a background on each area analyzed, key challenges and recommendations on next steps.

Please find below Climate Change Centre Reading´s (CCCRdg) Issue Papers comments on Habitat III Issue Papers pre PrepCom3 regarding – Issue papers;
1 – Inclusive cities (a.o. Pro Poor, Gender, Youth, Ageing)
6 – Urban Governance
8 – Urban and Spatial Planning and Design
11 – Public Space
17 – Cities and climate change and disaster risk management
21 – Transport and Mobility

1. Campaigning for secure urban public space and ambient air quality
YOUTH DISTRICT LEARNING (YDL) – WORLDS GREATEST PLACEMAKING PROJECT******
CCCRdg-Issue-Paper_Habitat-III-1-6-11-17-PrepCom3-Secure-Urban-Public-Space.pdf

2. Campaigning for public space and ambient air quality (Urban Action)
TRANSPORT AND CLIMATE CHANGE******
CCCRdg-Issues-Paper_Habitat-III-8-11-17-21-PrepCom3-Transport-and-climate-change.pdf

 

#FutureofPlaces #COP21 #Habitat3 #NewUrbanAgenda #PublicSpace #WUC #TheFutureWeWant #TheCityWeNeed #UrbanSDG #UrbanAction #UrbanThinkers #Youngplacemakers #ClimateAction

UN HABITAT3 – SDG 11. 7 PUBLIC SPACE GOALS AND CHALLENGES

Key Messages from the Future of Places:

1.     People-centered approach to planning

As an arena for public use and social interaction, public spaces are most often developed, managed and maintained by municipal government. If the municipal government adopts a people-centered approach to urban planning, they will more effectively achieve sustainable development. Emphasis needs to be placed on a shared responsibility between community and private entities with regard to the localized planning and maintenance of public space.

2.     Inclusive public space for all, particularly vulnerable groups

Attention needs to be given to vulnerable members of the population, including the elderly, the disabled, youth, and low income groups, to ensure their social and political inclusion in the allocation and design of public spaces. Public space has a responsibility to be flexible and open enough to serve a variety of users and uses, ranging from informal to formal settlements. Well-designed public spaces not only contribute to improve the visual and spatial character of a city, but also stimulate and enhance intergenerational, social and economic activities.

3.     Public space that respects human scale and behavior

All public space needs to be of a human scale and respond to a variety of functions and patterns of use based on an understanding of human behavior, health, needs, sensibilities and aspirations. Spaces are defined by their shape and the quality of their edges. Simple temporary and tactical interventions can test and promote more permanent changes.

4.     A citywide network of connected streets and public spaces

A holistic, evidence-based approach to the city is necessary with attention focused not only on the space itself, but its form, function and connectivity.  Streets should serve as multimodal networks of social and economic exchange, forming the urban framework of interconnected public space. Walkability, social interaction, multimodal mobility and accessibility should be supported by a fine-grained block and street network lined with buildings providing amenities and services with a mix of uses and sizes.

5.     Economic productivity of public space

Investing in public space can have powerful social, economic, cultural and health benefits. If people are committed to their future in a specific place, they invest more time and capital in that place, which has a positive impact on the local economy and creates a virtuous cycle of economic growth. Public space stimulates the small scale, local and informal economy, as well as generates tax revenue.

6.     Access to public space – public and private spheres

In many places there has been a reduction of urban public space, a lack of clear boundaries between the public and private spheres and diminished freedom of expression and movement. The market alone cannot always provide a variety of public and private open spaces. A more nuanced range that provides a variety of open places, including semi-public and semi-private space is needed.

7.     Sustainable public spaces that are healthy, safe, resilient, energy-conserving and resource efficient

Public space and the buildings that surround and define it need to be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Social sustainability requires security, equity and justice; economic sustainability benefits from affordable capital and operating budgets; environmental sustainability addresses ecological and health issues. These include clean air, water and soil, green micro-climates and the mitigation and adaptation to the Urban Heat Island Effect and Climate Change. Effective use should be made of green technologies and systems. Architecture and urban design that is adaptable and appreciated is cared for and sustained for a longer time.

8.     Culture and context of public space

Public space is made unique through cultural and contextual elements that complement and enrich its identity. Spaces should be flexible and respond to the geography, climate, culture and heritage specific to its locality. Public arts can be an effective method for celebrating community identity and belonging in open spaces.

 

Action and Implementation:

There is a need for action and implementation mechanisms that support and protect public space and its users.

Advocacy and Mobilization
Raise awareness and create movements to mobilize stakeholders in the pursuit to build community. Promotion of discussions, forums, workshops, pop-up projects and public space prizes will further mobilize and increase awareness of and sense of belonging.

Measurement and Monitoring
Establish policy and frameworks at the national level for cities to allocate an appropriate percentage of the land to public space. An inventory of public space assets in a city will reveal the availability of public space typologies, allowing city-builders to address shortfalls and encourage a balance of public spaces throughout a city.

Public Space Financing Solutions
Examination of creative financing solutions such as public land acquisition, conversion of private space to public space or land value capture will be effective in producing greater amounts of economically sustainable public space.

Policies and Legislation for Public Space
Establish policies, legislation, and regulatory mechanisms for the provision, design, management and use of public spaces. Long-term structures, management mechanisms and partnerships at the national, regional and local level can align governments and other stakeholder’s interests. Open feedback and accountability mechanisms can ensure two-way discussions among stakeholders.

Empowerment of Marginalized Groups
Set in place processes for the inclusion of all ages, the vulnerable, and the disadvantaged. Establish a legal framework to ensure the inclusion of disadvantaged groups in public space discussion and processes. Special emphasis should be placed on job creation, livelihoods and quality of life for low-income groups.

Tools and Knowledge Management
Establish open-source knowledge management platforms with training workshops, capacity building, tools, best practices, model legislation, statistics, and methodologies for creating and managing public space. Empirical evidence-based research on the practice and theory of public space needs to be made widely available.

FoP Agenda Cover

Future of Places, Stockholm

1 July 2015