The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Habitat III conversations continue: Prepcom 2 in Nairobi

16 April 2015

Habitat III discussions continue: Prepcom 2 in Nairobi

The second session of the Preparatory Committee of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) is convening this week in Nairobi. Habitat III, which will take place in Quito in October 2016 intends to outline a “New Urban Agenda”.

A side event entitled "Civil society and local government’s expectations for Habitat III" was held on Tuesday evening, and represented a cross-sector dialogue of civil society and local government networks with national authorities and UN agency representatives [1].

Key presentations

The side event included a number of presentations:

(a) Civil society and local governments’ expectations and proposals for the New Habitat Agenda and Habitat III and the legacy of Habitat II.

(b) Outcomes of the research "Habitat III National Reporting Processes: Locating the Right to the City and the Role of Civil Society", presented by Barbara Lipietz and Rafaella Lima from the DPU.

(c) Global Platform for the Right to the City: outcomes of the São Paulo Right to the City international meeting and plan of action; Outcomes of the World Social Forum 2015.

DPU is proactively engaging with Habitat III discussions

The DPU has been proactively engaging with the Habitat III process through our research into the national reporting processes, which was first presented at the World Social Forum in Tunis in March.

Last week, in the build up to the event in Nairobi we also hosted a roundtable in London in collaboration with BSHF (Building and Social Housing Foundation) to elaborate understandings of the right to the city and aspired outcomes in the months leading up the Habitat III.

Recommendations emerging from Prepcom 2

A number of recommendations for Habitat III emerged from discussions at the event, including:

  • Habitat III must build on the 1996 Istanbul Declaration and commitments made at Habitat II;
  • Habitat III should be as inclusive as possible with multiple channels for civil society and local government engagement;
  • Habitat III commitments should focus on implementation of commitments along with clear monitoring and evaluation mechanisms;

A joint platform on the right to the city?

In addition, participants affirmed the value and need to continue working on a joint platform to strengthen civil society and local governments’ voice in Habitat III - which is currently seen as a step back from Habitat II’s more open process of formulation.

There was general enthusiasm for the Global Platform for the Right to the City to act as one such conduit.

[1] The organisers of the side event included: Habitat International Coalition-Housing and Land Rights Network HIC-HLRN (Egypt) | Polis Institute, National Forum for Urban Reform (Brazil) | Mazingira Institute (Kenya) | Rooftops Canada | International Alliance of Inhabitants | Communitas Coalition | Ford Foundation | Action Aid | United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Commission on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights | Development Planning Unit, University College London (UCL) | Habitat for Humanity | Cities Alliance | SDI | WIEGO | Streetnet | National Front of Mayors, Brazilian Association of Municipalities (Brazil).

Related Links