Special Session on Urban Land at Habitat III

Urban Land Management: Building the Foundations for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda

19 October 2016, 13:00 – 15:00 | Habitat III, Quito, Ecuador

Land is fundamental for the enjoyment of a wide range of human rights and a key foundation in tackling urbanization challenges although it is not always reflected in policies that intervene and get implemented when addressing urban realities and cities’ needs. Governance of land is central to reducing inequalities, multi-dimensional poverty, the realization of many human rights, including the right to an adequate standard of living for all (e.g. housing), the right to adequate food and environmental sustainability. It is also important to harness sustainable and transformative urbanization and to improve municipal revenues. Since land cuts across all sectors in urban development, urban land management offers unique opportunities in reinvigorating the call and commitment towards the New Urban Agenda.

The inter-dependence of urban and rural areas economically, socially and environmentally also proved to be relevant and critical as more and more cities continue to expand. Sustainable urban development therefore requires consideration of the carrying capacity of the entire ecosystem supporting such development, including the prevention and mitigation of adverse environmental impacts occurring outside urban areas and enhancing municipal revenues. This calls for identification and adoption of innovative land management and planning tools that are innovative, impactful and fit-for-purpose.

The development of the New Urban Agenda has not been a single process but has involved participation of all relevant actors including key land actors, women’s and grassroots women’s organizations and stakeholders. The process includes substantial contribution in the different issue papers, policy units, regional meetings and constant advocacy and information sharing with partners, allies and the society at large. This reaffirms global commitment to sustainable urban development in an integrated and coordinated manner at global, regional, national, sub-national and local level.

This Special Session, as co-organized by UN-Habitat and Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), will therefore bring together a variety of actors from all over the world to discuss key urban land challenges and opportunities in addition to taking stock of achievements in entrenching core messaging on equal rights, access and control to land within the context of the New Urban Agenda. The Session will also attempt to identify and agree on specific recommendations for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

All are welcome to attend the Session.