In October 2016 the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development took place in Quito, Ecuador. The UN Conferences on housing/human settlements (Habitat) occur every 20 years (1976, 1996 and 2016). Habitat III was convened to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanisation and to focus on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda for the next 20 years.
The New Urban Agenda is an action-oriented document which sets global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities in coming decades through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private and third sectors. The ambitious document was adopted by United Nations member states during Habitat III.
LSE Cities and the Urban Age programme provided significant contributions to the official Habitat III programme and the establishment of the New Urban Agenda. This included:
- Co-hosting a three-hour Dialogue (300 people) on the Habitat III Policy Unit 4 ‘Urban Governance and the New Urban Agenda’ with United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG). LSE Cities also co-led the preparatory process of Policy Unit 4 during 2015 and 2016. The policy paper also became an official UN General Assembly document.
- Hosting an official Side Event (150 people) on Conflicts of an Urban Age which looked at whether spatial planning policy can tame urban growth and what the impacts of urban form are, if any, on productivity, the environment and social inclusion.
- Organising one of three Urban Talks (2,500 people). ‘Designing the Urban Age’ featured Ricky Burdett, Richard Sennett, Saskia Sassen and Joan Clos. Unlike other events, which had several parallel events, Urban Talks were the only events available in their respective time slot.
- An Exhibition stand of Urban Age and LSE Cities material where, during the course of four days, over 5,000 people engaged with some of the core themes investigated by the Centre.
- Participation of LSE Cities staff in events co-ordinated by other organisations.
- Numerous meetings and networking opportunities with all levels of government, NGOs, private sector and leading academic institutions across the globe, and an important opportunity to establish strategic contacts in Africa and those involved with shaping Africa’s urban future.