Creating a world of sustainable cities

ICLEI Communiqué towards Habitat III: our next steps towards a sustainable urban world

ICLEI has released “Our next steps towards a sustainable urban world”, a communiqué to the local, subnational, national and global community ahead of Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito.

Nations will soon gather at Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito. This is a significant moment for cities across the world, as nations will officially adopt the New Urban Agenda, a global framework that aims to define the course for sustainable urbanization in the coming decades.

The leadership of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability have responded to the New Urban Agenda in the ICLEI Communiqué, welcoming the New Urban Agenda while calling for further action by nations and outlining concrete steps ICLEI will take to build a sustainable urban world between now and 2030.

ICLEI welcomes the New Urban Agenda and the general guidance is offers on integrated sustainable urban and territorial development. ICLEI recognizes that it brings together important local development concepts that have been used and understood by local governments for many years. What is new is that these concepts, such as the Right to the City, are now integrated into language for and by nations and the international community.

The New Urban Agenda also does, to some extent, link to other global sustainability frameworks, like the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Climate Agreement. However, it falls short of providing a set of instructions for achieving the specific goals and targets established in these related frameworks. Further action is thus needed from nations to show how they will implement the New Urban Agenda – and from cities to help bring forward a global transformation.

To do its part, ICLEI has outlined clear actions to help advance the New Urban Agenda. As stated in the communiqué, ICLEI will:

  • Support implementation of global sustainability frameworks to foster change in cities, towns and regions across the world.
  • Build a global roadmap on urban sustainability for the next 15 years that connects the ICLEI 10 Urban Agendas with global frameworks.
  • Leverage the 10 Urban Agendas and associated methods, tools, solutions and communities of practice to ensure local and subnational governments are well equipped to tackle pressing urban challenges.
  • Continue to work in partnership with research institutes, the private sector, financial institutions, civil society and national governments – building an even stronger coalition of able and diverse partners.
  • Continue to be an engine for training, capacity building and knowledge transfer, establishing a mentorship group of top performing cities that engages them in one-on-one partnerships.
  • Urge national governments to implement the New Urban Agenda by providing country-specific plans and frameworks that support collaboration among all levels of government. 
  • Report on local commitments and actions to encourage replication, demonstrate transparency and prove the collective impact of cities. This means reporting to the carbonn Climate Registry and joining global coalitions like the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.
  • Reach 30 percent of the global urban population by 2030 and 50 percent by 2050 by bringing an increasing number of cities into the ICLEI Network.

As ICLEI gathers in Quito with its delegation of 120 local leaders from over 40 countries, this message will come out quite strongly. ICLEI is committed to doing its part towards a global transformation and to demonstrating this in a global arena.

More information

Visit our Habitat III webpage for more information on our activities on the ground in Quito. 

Photo credit

"The Developing City" by Arup and John Robertson Architects Future Vision is licensed under CC BY 2.0.



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