Urban Governance and the New Urban Agenda: Implications for Governments

Panel discussion hosted by LSE Cities

This lecture and panel discussion continued the conversation started at the Habitat lll Policy Unit 4 Dialogue on urban governance. Philipp Rode, Executive Director of LSE Cities, presented an overview of Policy Unit 4 and its relationship to the New Urban Agenda. The panel explored the principal ambition of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) affecting the formal structures and operations of government. Unpacking the NUA’s ambition for decentralisation and the strengthening of regional and local governments, it identified priority actions that national governments may need to take and city-level institutional responses.

In 2015 and early 2016, LSE Cities co-led, jointly with UCLG, Habitat III Policy Unit 4: Urban Governance, Capacity and Institutional Development. A group of twenty global experts was convened as part of the preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), which took place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17–20 October 2016. A policy paper was published in March 2016 by the Habitat III Secretariat. The paper is now an official UN General Assembly document and fed into the New Urban Agenda, ratified in Quito in October last year.

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    Philipp Rode

    Philipp Rode is Executive Director of LSE Cities and Associate Professorial Research Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As researcher, consultant and advisor he has been directing interdisciplinary projects comprising urban governance, transport, city planning and urban design at the LSE since 2003. The focus of his current work is on institutional structures and governance capacities of cities, and on sustainable urban development, transport and mobility. Rode is co-directing the cities workstream of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate and has co-led the United Nations Habitat III Policy Unit on Urban Governance. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP).

    Tony Travers

    Tony Travers is Director of the IPA and also of LSE London.  He is a professor in the Department of Government. His key research interests include local and regional government and public service reform. He has been an advisor to the Communities & Local Government Select Committee and also to other Parliamentary committees. He has published a number of books on cities and government, including Failure in British GovernmentThe Politics of the Poll Tax (with David Butler and Andrew Adonis); Paying for Health, Education and Housing: How does the Centre Pull the Purse Strings (with Howard Glennerster and John Hills); The Politics of London: Governing the Ungovernable City and, most recently, London’s Boroughs at 50. He has chaired a number of official commissions, including the Independent Commission on Local Government Finance in Wales and the London Finance Commission.

    Henk Ovink

    Henk Ovink is the first Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, a position he was appointed to by the Dutch Cabinet in 2015. As the Ambassador for Water, he is responsible for advocating water awareness around the world, focusing on building institutional capacity and coalitions amongst governments, multilateral organisations, private sector and NGOs to address the world's needs on water and help develop innovative solutions. Henk is also Sherpa on the UN & World Bank High Level Panel on Water. Henk is also Principal for Rebuild by Design, the resilience innovation competition he developed and led for the US Presidential Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force where he was Senior Advisor to the Chair. Previously, Henk was Director General for Planning and Water Affairs and Director for National Spatial Planning for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment.

    Sue Parnell

    Susan Parnell is the Global Challenges Chair, University of Bristol & Emeritus Professor, University of Cape Town. She has been actively involved in local, national and global urban policy debates around the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal and is an active advocate for better science policy engagement on cities. She co-founded the African Centre for Cities and held previous academic positions at Wits University and the School of Oriental and African Studies as well as visiting research fellowships from Oxford, Durham and the British Academy. She was a Leverhulme Visiting Professor at UCL and Emeka Anyaoku  and visiting Chair, University of London. Recent books include Building a Capable State: Post Apartheid Service Delivery (Zed, 2017) and The Urban Planet (Cambridge, 2017).

    Clare Short

    The Rt Hon. Clare Short is a British politician and former Labour Party MP. She represented the constituency of Birmingham Ladywood from 1983-2010. In 1997 she became the first UK Secretary of State for the Department of International Development (DfID), having, amongst other roles, previously served as Shadow Minister for Women (1993-1995), Shadow Secretary of State for Transport (1995-1996). During her time in government Clare established DfID as a newly independent department of state, raising the UK’s international profile and budget for sustainable development and the elimination of global poverty. In 2003, Clare resigned her role as Secretary of State over the Iraq War. Since leaving Parliament Clare has continued to campaign on development issues, serving as a trustee of Trade Out of Poverty, the Welfare Association, and African Humanitarian Action. She is currently Chair of Cities Alliance, an intergovernmental advocacy organisation committed to meeting the UN target to abolish slums in cities across the globe.