It seems to me….
“A considerable share of the world’s population still cannot afford comfortable housing, education, and quality health care.” ~ Vladimir Putin.
Habitat III, formally known as the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, is a major global summit to be held in Quito, Ecuador, on 17-20 October 2016 which hopes to “reinvigorate” the global political commitment to the sustainable development of towns, cities, and other human settlements, both rural and urban. This conference is only held every twenty years with previous meetings being in Istanbul (1996) and Vancouver (1976).
With more than 25,000 representatives from about 200 national governments, it also probably is the largest conference of which most people have never heard. It will include a broad cross-section of international development practitioners and scholars, including those working in applied technologies, clean energy, health, education, gender, microfinance, governance and more. Those involved in the significant changes currently taking place within foreign aid, including the rise of private sector financing and public-private partnerships, will likewise have much to learn from and contribute to this forum.
The goal is to recognizes cities as drivers of economic and social development and elevate pressing global issues such as urban informality, gender equity, and disaster and climate resilience.
54 percent of the world’s population now lives in cities. It is estimated that 70 percent of the global economic activity is in cities. Cities also account for more than 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. The agenda will therefore be critical in achieving the COP21 targets agreed in Paris last year.
In the global south, if you live in a city there is a one-in-three chance that you live in a slum. While poverty is still our greatest urban concern, it is not limited to the south and has been growing across cities globally since the global financial crisis. Limited financial resources constrain the capacity of city administrations to respond to these challenges, especially in the face of austerity measures.
The conference is intended to provide an opportunity for the international community at all levels to harmonize its understanding of the problems and opportunities posed by current trends in urbanization including poverty, quality of life, environmental degradation, climate change, and other concerns on the one hand, as well as the economic, social, and creative boons provided by cities on the other.
The draft New Urban Agenda recognizes that decisions about how we house, feed, and mobilize urban populations will have a critical impact on human wellbeing and sustainability. Key focus areas include guiding national urban policies and systems of urban governance.
The key challenge for the New Urban Agenda will be distributing implementation to the thousands of cities that need development assistance across the world. A critical item missing from the agenda is who will monitor and evaluate progress and how.
That’s what I think, what about you?
 Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is a Russian politician who is the current President of the Russian Federation and has held that office since 7 May 2012.
 Henderson, Hayley, et al. Habitat III: The Biggest Conference You’ve Probably Never Heard Of, The Conversation, 4 September 2016.