The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy has joined the World Urban Campaign, the advocacy and partnership platform for cities in the twenty first century, as an associate partner. The goal of the World Urban Campaign, coordinated by UN-Habitat and driven by a large number of committed partners from around the world, is to place the urban agenda at the highest level in development policies. The engagement of the Lincoln Institute comes as part of the run-up to United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) , to be held in Quito, Ecuador in 2016.
Habitat III will take place 40 years after the first conference on human settlements, Habitat I, was held in Vancouver, and the world’s urban and housing challenges were first internationally recognized. Twenty years later, in 1996 in Istanbul, Habitat II served as the place of negotiation on future policies for sustainable urban development. The Habitat III conference will address sustainable urbanization and the future of urban spaces. It also will serve as an opportunity to assess the state of global cities, to develop solutions, and to revisit our shared urban future.
The Lincoln Institute, an active participant over the last several years in UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Forum, brings to the conversation several critical components of the agenda, including the tracking of real-time growth in metropolitan areas in the updated Atlas of Urban Expansion; the importance of land policy in the many challenges posed by irregular or informal settlement; best practices and available policies and tools including value capture, to support municipal fiscal health and finance urban infrastructure,; and current strategies in permanently affordable housing including inclusionary housing and community land trusts. The Lincoln Institute is also active in facilitating the coverage of global urban issues through the Journalists Academy and other efforts, and is organizing a pre-summit gathering later this year of affiliated academic and research organizations.
Habitat III is in keeping with the view that while cities are at the heart of today’s global crisis, they are also the source of solutions for a sustainable future.
The World Urban Campaign is guided by seven key principles:
- Accessible and pro-poor land, infrastructure, services, mobility and housing;
- Socially inclusive, gender sensitive, healthy and safe development;Environmentally sound and carbon-efficient built environment;
- Participatory planning and decision making;
- Vibrant and competitive local economies promoting decent work and livelihoods;
- Assurance of non-discrimination and equal rights to the city; and
- Empowering cities and communities to plan for and effectively manage adversity and change.
The World Urban Campaign also includes the advocacy initiative titled ‘I’m a City Changer,’ aimed at raising awareness about positive urban change by engaging citizens in voicing issues and solutions to change their urban communities, and to achieve green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, and well-planned cities.