Inclusive Cities and New Urban Agenda

According to the Collaborative for Inclusive Urbanism, an inclusive city is, “a city in which the processes of development include a wide variety of citizens and activities. These cities maintain their wealth and creative power by avoiding marginalization, which compromises the richness of interaction upon which cities depend.” Inclusive cities bring together marginalized groups and increased access to basic resources and share urban spaces. Inclusive cities allow all individuals to gain access to sustainable living, whether it be through housing, water, and sanitation, green energy, etc. Inclusive cities are also known as “smart cities” as they include the needs of everyone. 

Inclusive cities largely include rights to people with disabilities. For example, public transportation should not only be efficient in that it gives access to the entirety of the city for large ranges of the day, but also includes audio capabilities for those who are blind and visually impaired. Furthermore, it should have accessibility for those with physical impairments so they can easily utilize public transportation.

Inclusive, “Smart cities” also bear in mind how increased urbanization can also lead to increased pollution. As a result, there is a focus to increase green energy, and create buildings that are eco-friendly. The New Urban Agenda has a multitude of projects across the globe that are ensuring eco-construction. These projects include collaboration between private actors and civil society.

The New Urban Agenda, through the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, is a framework that outlines city planning and enables urban sustainability. The power of cities and its influence on overall development has lead to the continuation of strategizing further urban cultivation. The New Urban Agenda states, “By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to nearly double, making urbanization one of the twenty-first century’s most transformative trends. In 2016, the UN conference focused on sustainable urban development through the inclusion of leaders from the local, and national level. Furthermore, Habitat III also included civil society and private actors in order to further promote its goals.

Habit III is unique in that it is committed to including multiple stakeholders in the conversation of urban development, as inclusive cities involve all marginalized groups. Allowing multiple groups to sit at the table increases personal responsibility in regards to urban development, which only further promotes overall development. It also gives others the opportunities to have side events that can have further detailed conversations regarding issues.

Citiscope has noted that “last year’s Habitat III negotiations were hung up for many months on what was known as “follow-up and review” — namely, whether UN-Habitat, the agency that focuses on urbanization, will be responsible for overseeing implementation of the New Urban Agenda at the U. N. level.” The General Assembly secretary has stated it is committed to monitoring and evaluating the New Urban Agenda and to ensure its impartiality and starting in 2018 will report back to the General Assembly every four years.







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