Smart Cities, Habitat III and New Urban Agenda

What is a Smart City? This part of the class discussion gave us the opportunity to realize what makes a city “smart” in regards to how they treat their community and what they do to be as inclusive as possible. A smart city should be one that is able to support its entire community and be able to supply all of the necessities that every member should have. I was never aware about the previous Habitats that were created. It is interesting to know how Habitat III is doing as much as it can to stimulate its commitment towards the sustainable development of different types of housings. The goals that Habitat III have established give those involved in it the opportunity to play an important role in the implementation of the different goals and targets. Even though the conference will be expansive, this gives the multi-stakeholders, including local-government authorities, the opportunity to strengthen their roles in furthering the new urban agenda.

Our interaction with the environment and our surroundings help us better understand and conceptualize the “spectrum of capabilities and functions” that can help us recognize the “enabling or disabling powers of physical space” (Pineda). Pineda’s article, Enabling Justice: Spatializing Disability in the Built Environment, sheds light on how people with disabilities are not part of the “inclusive city” lifestyle. Sustainable urban development should include every single person and all of their needs. If the cities give people with disabilities the opportunities they need to be able to thrive independently, that makes them one step closer in total inclusiveness. Everyone needs the necessary space to thrive in.

A number of cities have taken steps to eliminate and eradicate any areas that can hinder the abilities for the place to develop. The Asian Development Bank article gave a great example of how taking part of the elimination process of unnecessary areas can actually cause more “disruption than anything else” (ADB). Forcing people to relocate from their homes can make them feel hopeless, especially if they are in a foreign environment. This creates problems for the number of people that wish to improve their lifestyles. To be a smart city, it should take the initiative of including every single one of their inhabitants without negatively affecting their lives and lifestyle. This urban development vision, if worked on properly, can positively impact a number of different communities that will give every person the chance they deserve to thrive.

Embracing the urbanization at all levels of human settlements can bridge the gap between the inclusiveness of developed and developing countries. Granted, not all developed countries have smart/inclusive cities to enhance inclusiveness, but they are much closer than developing countries. That is why it is very important that developed countries set the standards of inclusive cities for developing countries. To achieve sustainable development, we all must pay attention to the quality of outcomes that are dependent on the set of rules and regulations that will allow them to be implemented. It is crucial that local systems are effective in managing and keeping up with the maintenance of all the different aspects that together create an inclusive city and a new outlook on housing and urban development.