28 October 2016

What next after Quito? – meeting in Strasbourg on October 27th

Members of the URBAN Intergroup who attended Habitat III – the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – in Quito mid-October had the possibility to share their experiences during the last meeting of the Intergroup on October 27th in Strasbourg. At the beginning of the exchange of views, Jan Olbrycht underlined that four members of the URBAN Intergroup participated in Habitat III conference: Kerstin Westphal, Ernest Maragall, Bogdan Wenta and himself. He pointed out that during the discussions in Quito, European participants were concentrated on the relations between the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and the Urban Agenda for the EU. The outcome of the reflection was that the European Urban Agenda is an instrument to implement the New Urban Agenda inside the EU.


Jan Olbrycht announced as well that the European Commission presented in Quito three commitments to meet NUA’s global objectives. Firstly, the EC committed to deliver the NUA through the Urban Agenda for the EU. Secondly, it has been decided to develop global and harmonised definition of cities in partnership with OECD and the World Bank. And finally, the EC presented its will to foster cooperation between cities in the field of sustainable urban development.

Ernest Maragall underlined that the European Union should concentrate on how to translate the NUA in the European perspective. “The implementation is very important and the process to measure achievements of the NUA’s goals”- he added.


Jan Olbrycht, in conclusion of the meeting, stated that Habitat III showed that the problems of cities are universals. “Cities all around the world must tackle similar issues, despite the differences of the scale. However, during the discussions on city management, it has been clear that while the European cities underline the necessity of working in partnership, between different levels of governance, at the same time, other cities like African ones speak about the need of decentralisation. According to Jan Olbrycht, one of the conclusions of the Quito conference was that “all cities must work together in order to find new solutions to similar problems.”

Picture and more information about Habitat III: https://habitat3.org

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