HABITAT III – QUITO

HABITAT III – QUITO

Habitat III conference was held in Quito, Ecuador from 17th to 20th October 2016. It brought on board an estimated 30,000 participants from all over the world, ranging from government officials, civil society and students. The process of developing the NUA saw different regional conferences that were put together to firm up the discussions that will shape sustainable cities for the next 20 years. The New Urban Agenda is not binding to member states like the Paris Accord-(Cop 21) therefore the implementation or lack thereof might not be consequential to states.

 

There is lack of capacity to implement it within the government this could be an immediate challenge to it’s implementation.  The NUA requires approximately $ 53 Trillion to implement and this cannot be achieved solely by governments there is need to pull resources from other sources such as philanthropists, foundations and so forth to meet the target. That said philanthropists and foundations cannot finance the entire urban agenda but commit to support key issues such as capacity strengthening for urban planners and so forth. These resources must be decentralized to ensure finances reach the most marginalized and ensure that monies committed to the process do not repeat the same mistakes(like sprawling informal settlements, unplanned instant cities ) and leave successes unmanaged. The local governments or rather county governments in our case must be ready and willing to manage the NUA. The central governments must stream resources to the counties and the counties must be innovative enough to raise more resources and not depend on borrowing which is not a source of revenue but often treated as such. Most county governments treat housing as the only problem affecting urban settlements but there is need to integrate planning, access to basic services and infrastructure to the same. Cost benefit analysis of upgrading people’s settlements must also be considered, over engineering of projects which the counties cannot manage in the long term should be re-looked if the NUA is to be a success, also key functions related to human settlements need to be centralized at the county level to enable integrated planning and development.

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