Urbanization and The New Urban Agenda

The world’s global urban population is expected to double by 2050. It is also projected that 90% of this concentration will take place in Asia and Africa. These continents have the opportunity to greatly benefit both economically and socially by adhering to the goals and being inclusive throughout the five pillars of implementation laid out by The New Urban Agenda. This major population shift being highly concentrated in some developing areas allows these cities to be built right the first time. They are not confined by the exclusive infrastructure in large old cities like New York and Paris. It will be economically efficient to build inclusive infrastructure instead of having to rebuild or revamp already existing old infrastructure. The point that I liked the most from The New Urban Agenda is the humanization of cities and human settlements. It is important to think about the wide range of humans with variant needs who will be occupying the space.

The “Enabling Justice: Spatializing Disability in the Built Environment” reading by Pineda made me think about the impact of a built environment truly has on people. He does a great job at dispelling the idea that, “disability as a property held by the individual.” This places the responsibility to “correct” on the individual themselves and not on the environment that creates this disability. After reading this article I thought about my day to day life and how the environment around me could be disabling. It reinforces the importance of The New Urban Agenda. This past summer I had the opportunity to go to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I remember thinking then how the city was so much more inclusive than many of the American and European cities I have visited. After doing some research I found that Sao Paulo has implemented laws and policy in order to aid in the implementation of The New Urban Agenda. They also made sure to involve many different actors in the discussion of the city’s needs with the government. When everyone is represented modern cities can be a place of inclusion and not a place that creates extreme division.