Following the World Urban Forum in Barcelona in 2004, I was invited to write a short article for the UN-Habitat publication Habitat Debate. Many of the themes I introduced have now been taken forward in the International Guidelines for Urban and Territorial Planning (2015) and in the New Urban Agenda (2016).
The zero draft of the New Urban Agenda, the declaration that the governments of the world will sign up to in October 2016, gives a prominent role to more proactive and inclusive urban and regional planning.
There will be another 2 billion people living in urban areas by 2030. With a billion people now living in slums,and over 100,000 homeless people in Delhi, for example, it is no exaggeration to say that this is a critical decade for cities and the practice of urban planning.
Place-based innovation is vital to making cities more inclusive, but much depends on local leadership.