Last week, 30,000 people gathered in Quito for Habitat III to adopt the New Urban Agenda, an influential vision for cities aimed at guiding national decision-making over the next 20 years while supporting the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. Going forward, what does the Quito meeting mean for urban leaders?
By 2050, nearly 70 percent of the world's population will reside in cities, increasing the size of the world's urban population by more than two-thirds. Cities will need to focus on building the right things to ensure this growth happens sustainably—so how can they pay for it?
The Habitat III conference next week will see more than 45,000 leaders, decision-makers and experts sign into force the New Urban Agenda for sustainable cities. But the Agenda and the Habitat process don't stand alone -- going forward, they will be part of intensified efforts to achieve sustainable, equal development and combat climate change.
A good home gives families a base to build the foundations of society, but in urbanizing areas, good housing can be difficult to find. People like Jussara and her family in Porte Alegre, Brazil, face a trio of critical challenges to locating affordable housing that apply in many growing cities worldwide.
When delegates gather in Quito for Habitat III to adopt the New Urban Agenda for sustainable cities, they should keep in mind people like Adelaida, a banker and mother in Accra, Ghana, where unreliable, expensive electricity is a challenge. As a forthcoming paper of the World Resources Report shows, ensuring access to affordable energy and the economic opportunity it brings will be essential for a sustainable, prosperous urban future.
WRI is engaging in Habitat III -- the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador, October 17-20 -- to help create the sustainable, equitable, prosperous cities of the future. Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, answers key questions to explain what's at stake.
Fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Climate Agreement will depend on how they are translated into action by governments, and the extent to which they spur complementary action by actors like businesses, financial institutions, cities and the academic community. As a new WRI commentary explains, achieving both sets of objectives by 2030 will require more than just doing more of the same, faster. It will require new approaches and ways of doing business.
Transport is both a challenge and a solution to climate change and international development. The Transforming Transportation conference, which takes place January 14th and 15th, will explore how local officials, urban planners and other stakeholders can turn international transport commitments into concrete actions on the ground.
Never in the history of UN climate summits has there been such a bright spotlight on transport. This is a momentous kick-start to promote widespread adoption of sustainable mobility in order to curb climate change.