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 Habitat 3 conference in Quito this month is a critical opportunity to shape the practice of planning globally.
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.
A wide ranging international review of national urban policies highlights the importance to national development of coordinated planning and well-functioning urban areas. Urban planning is seen as an economic imperative. "The argument
that well-functioning urban areas can help to unleash the development potential of nations is more persuasive than the argument that urban policy is about alleviating poverty and meeting basic needs", says the report.
This blog by Cliff Hague was first posted on Planning Resource on 28 October 2013.
The scale of the challenges that planners face from urban transport is made clear in the new UN-Habitat Global Report on Human Settlements. As ever more trips are made it becomes harder and harder to move around cities, even when money is invested in transport infrastructure. Across the globe, but especially in the rapidly urbanising mega cities of the global south, cities are facing a crisis of accessibility. Quite simply, unsustainable forms of urban transport are no longer working.