City2City
UN Secretary-General’s latest Policy Brief calls for urgent response and recovery action in cities

July 28 2020 – Around 90 percent of all COVID-19 cases are found in urban areas according to the latest Policy Brief by the UN Secretary-General. The Policy Brief COVID-19 in an Urban World, outlines ideas for governments to address the pandemic, particularly in the areas of inequalities, building local capacities and ensuring a green, inclusive recovery.

July 28 2020 – Around 90 percent of all COVID-19 cases are found in urban areas according to the latest Policy Brief by the UN Secretary-General. The Policy Brief COVID-19 in an Urban World, outlines ideas for governments to address the pandemic, particularly in the areas of inequalities, building local capacities and ensuring a green, inclusive recovery.

The Brief praises the front-line role of local government and the mobilization of local government networks to share the wide range of solutions emerging from cities. It outlines immediate and long-term action needed in three areas: tackling inequalities and development gaps, strengthening the capacities of local actors, particularly local governments and working towards a green, inclusive and resilient recovery.

The Policy Brief describes how the pandemic has exposed deep inequalities in how people live in cities and the services available to them and finds that the vulnerable have suffered the most. It says that overcrowding, poor infrastructure and housing are key contributing factors to this.

COVID-19 shutdown measures have had far reaching economic impacts according to the Policy Brief which calls for national COVID-19 stimulus packages to be designed to boost the capacity of local actors, including the budgetary capacity of local governments, to quickly respond to and recover from this crisis.

In a recorded video statement to launch the Policy Brief the UN Secretary-General António

Guterres called urban areas the “ground zero of the COVID-19 pandemic” but added that this was an opportunity to "reset how we live, interact and rebuild our cities".

During a virtual Press Briefing to launch the Policy Brief, the UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif told reporters: “The Secretary-General’s Policy Brief is a powerful instrument to put us on the right path to deal with the crisis and also to seize the opportunity to do things differently in the recovery, so that we can create greener, healthier and more resilient cities. The transformative potential of urbanization towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals cannot be lost. This moment cannot be missed.”

There are a number of key actions to tackle inequalities suggested in the Brief including providing access to safe shelter and moratoriums on evictions along with longer term policy shifts and investments in adequate housing, slum upgrading and public housing.

UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner told the press conference: “Our programmes continue to address the complex root causes as well as the manifestations of development deficits that destabilize countries and cities. In alignment with the UN’s socioeconomic response framework, UNDP has quickly made available significant resources, technical as well as financial. We have repurposed some projects to support urgent needs where they are deployed and have just launched a USD 100 million financing support mechanism to build on progress from funds we made available to countries when the pandemic hit.”

A resilient, inclusive, gender-equal and green economic recovery is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals according to the Brief which sees COVID-19 as an opportunity to rethink our cities to address the climate crisis and adapt to the reality of the current and future pandemics.

The Policy Brief is part of a series being issued by the UN-Secretary General to provide ideas to governments on how to address the crisis as part of the UN Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 to save lives, protect societies and recover better. UN-Habitat led the collaborative work to provide inputs into the Brief with a wide range of UN agencies including UNDP, UNDESA, UNEP, UNICEF, UNODC, ILO, WHO, along with Regional Economic Commissions and local government networks.

Read the

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://unhabitat.org/un-secretary-general%E2%80%99s-latest-policy-brief-calls-for-urgent-response-and-recovery-action-in-cities#

Image by UN-Habitat - Kirsten Milhahn

Human mobility across the urban-rural continuum in the time of Covid-19

21 July 2020 - UN-Habitat's  Policy, Legislation and Governance Webinar Series

21 July 2020 - UN-Habitat's  Policy, Legislation and Governance Webinar Series

On 19 September 2016, Heads of State and Government came together at the UN General Assembly for the first time ever to discuss issues related to migration and refugees. In December 2018, following two years of intergovernmental consultations and negotiations, in December 2018, the United Nations General Assembly affirmed the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). The Global Compact for Migration is the first inter-governmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations and led by IOM, covering all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner. It presents a significant opportunity to improve the governance of migration, to address the challenges associated with today’s migration, and to strengthen the contribution of migrants and migration to sustainable development.

In an effort to acknowledge the wealth and contribution implied by human mobility and approach to migration and migrants from a human rights perspective, in December 2018 local governments committed in the Marrakech Mayoral Declaration to fulfill the Global Compacts for Migration (GCM) and on Refugees (GCR) in coordination with all levels of government and with all the actors engaged, building upon whole-of-government and whole-of-society principles in both compacts.

In February 2020, UN-Habitat introduced the agency’s flagship initiative on “Inclusive cities: Enhancing the positive impact of urban migration” at the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi. The flagship will advance UN-Habitat’s work on urban migration, in both development and crisis contexts, within UN-Habitat’s strategic workstream on “Urban preparedness and response” (Domain of Change-DoC 4), but also linked to DoC 2, “Enhanced shared prosperity of cities and regions”.

In the face of Covid-19, the Urban-Rural Linkages Guiding Principles (URL-GP), such as Locally Grounded Interventions, Integrated Governance, Balanced Partnerships, Human Rights-Based, Provide Social Protection and Do No Harm, along with other principles and actions from the URL-GP Framework of Action, such as the recommendation to apply “whole-of-government approaches”- have become even more relevant in orienting the actions of national, local, and other actors to respond to the new challenges that have emerged from the pandemic and ensure an inclusive post-Covid-19 recovery.

The objectives of this session are to:

  • Understand the human mobility impacts of Covid-19 on the spread of the pandemic across the urban-rural continuum and resulting new connectivity between cities, neighbouring communities and sub-regions.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of territorial responses that can be adopted in light of new migration patterns.
  • Learn how integrated urban-rural policies can have a positive impact for migrants and their families regarding livelihood generation, living conditions and access to services;

SPEAKERS

  • Santino Severoni, Director Health and Migration Programme, WHO
  • Jaime Pumarejo Heins, Mayor of Barranquilla, Colombia
  • S. Irudaya Rajan, Chair Professor, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) Research Unit on International Migration, Centre for Development Studies
  • Dalia Abulfotuh, Agricultural Officer, FAO
  • Elisa Montoya, Postconflict and Culture of Peace Secretary, Cucuta´s Mayor’s Office, Colombia
  • Charles Obila, Migration Officer, IGAD Secretariat-Djibouti

DISCUSSANTS

  • STINEKE OENEMA, UNSCN Coordinator
  • JOSEPHINE MWONGELI, Lecturer in the school of architecture at the University of Rwanda

MODERATOR

  • STEPHANIE LOOSE, Programme Manager / Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat

Learn more about UN-Habitat's Policy, Legislation and Governance Webinar Series here

Participatory Incremental Urban Planning Toolbox

21 July 2020 - The Participatory Incremental Urban Planning (PIUP) Toolbox is a step-by-step methodology to assess, design, operationalize and implement urban planning processes. This means that by following the proposed timeline of phases, blocks and activities, the toolbox helps the different urban stakeholders to better understand urban planning processes and to assess at which stage they need to participate to ensure that their voices are heard and their interests considered as part of the city’s vision, policies, strategies, plans and projects.

21 July 2020 - What is the Participatory Incremental Urban Planning Toolbox?

The Participatory Incremental Urban Planning (PIUP) Toolbox is a step-by-step methodology to assess, design, operationalize and implement urban planning processes. This means that by following the proposed timeline of phases, blocks and activities, the toolbox helps the different urban stakeholders to better understand urban planning processes and to assess at which stage they need to participate to ensure that their voices are heard and their interests considered as part of the city’s vision, policies, strategies, plans and projects.

How does the toolbox help?

CITY LEADERS

The toolbox is a resource for city leaders as it provides a comprehensive and strategic overview of the whole planning process. The toolbox includes a city leaders track, which clearly indicates which are the critical activities in which city leaders should be engaged and dedicate time to. But most importantly, it gives city leaders a clear understanding of which are the key deliverables (urban analysis, scenarios, concept plan,action plan, detailed plans, project feasibility studies…) how they should look like and what they should include. It also presents the critical activities to make sure that the plan is implemented and that positive impact is achieved for the residents.

CITY PLANNERS

The toolbox provides city planners and urban planning practitioners with a step-by-step guide on how to run, identify gaps and improve urban planning processes. The toolbox includes a city planning track, it provides a clear prioritization of activities, highlighting which activities are mandatory, recommended or optional, according to the level of detail that best matches the financial and human resources of the municipality. The toolbox also helps practitioners to understand the human and financial resources required to undertake different planning processes. It represents a compilation of tools, operationalization and implementation mechanisms to move the planning process from assessment to implementation.

CIVIL SOCIETY, INVESTORS AND PRIVATE SECTOR

The tool also provides a civil society, investors and private sector track. The tool is designed to help civil society and urban residents visualize in a simplified manner the complexity of urban planning processes. It also helps them identify the steps in the process critical to influence urban policies, plans and projects. It is also a toolbox to provide more transparency on urban priorities so that public-private investments can be better aligned.

Find more information and download the full report here: https://unhabitat.org/participatory-incremental-urban-planning-toolbox-a-toolbox-to-support-local-governments-in

Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions through urban climate action

A guide for incorporating urban climate action and human settlement issues into the Nationally Determined Contributions enhancement process.

The guide aims to provide practical and succinct opportunities for incorporating urban climate action and human settlement issues into the current future NDC revision and enhancement process, drawing on existing knowledge and networks.

It is primarily targeted at national governments, specifically NDC coordinators and their teams, but also provides insight for sub-national stakeholders aiming to engage with the NDC process more effectively.

UN-Habitat Subsaharan African Atlas

The Atlas gives  a regional overview on key urban data and how these trends have evolved throughout the time of UN-Habitat intervention in Africa in the last 10 years. 

It connects several maps with key implementation frameworks which include  the New Urban Agenda, UN-Habitat’s Strategic Plan 2020-2023 and the Harmonized Framework for the implementation of the National Urban Agenda developed by the African Union with UN-Habitat’s technical assistance.

The Atlas  profiles in each country, key content on the urbanization trends and challenges and shows the very diverse portfolio of ongoing projects in all UN-Habitat’s domains of change and how they contribute to the achievement of SDGs in the region, especially the SDG 11. 

The Atlas also portrays images of UN-Habitat’s interventions and compiles the size and the focus of the portfolio in all active countries.

The Atlas seizes the opportunity to show and  present urbanization in Africa,  while bringing about transformational change for the benefit of millions of people and ensuring that no one and no place is left behind.

UN-Habitat COVID-19 Response Plan

UN-Habitat is responding to a growing volume of requests from both national and local governments to help them prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on more than 40 years of urban experience, much of it in humanitarian situations, we are focusing on the city-level response to the crisis.

UN-Habitat is responding to a growing volume of requests from both national and local governments to help them prepare for, prevent, respond to, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Building on more than 40 years of urban experience, much of it in humanitarian situations, we are focusing on the city-level response to the crisis. We are leveraging our extensive network of partners on the ground, bringing together mayors, governors, transport and utility providers, urban NGOs, women’s and youth groups, and slum-dweller community organizations. And we will bring our catalytic support to help central and local governments, communities and UN agencies to make their work more impactful.

As a centre of excellence on urban issues with a portfolio in more than 60 countries, UN-Habitat’s expertise covers a wide range of areas including housing, participatory slum upgrading, youth and gender initiatives, transport, water and sanitation, research and innovation. We will bring the power of these experts to the service of cities as they meet their specific and varied challenges over the coming months and beyond.

UN-Habitat has moved ahead quickly with implementing emergency projects and has mobilized over USD 1 million of its own internal funds to provide seed funding for scaling up in 13 countries with community preparedness, outreach and hygiene support in addition to the realignment of some projects at the country level for the immediate emergency response.

UN-Habitat is working closely within the United Nations system at the country, regional and global levels in its response to the pandemic and is supporting the three tracks outlined in the UN Secretary-General’s report: Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity: Responding to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19.

UN-Habitat is focusing on three major response areas to tackle COVID-19 and its impact in different urban contexts and types of communities:

  1. Supporting local governments and community-driven solutions in informal settlements
  2. Providing urban data, evidence-based mapping, and knowledge for informed decision making
  3. Mitigating economic impact and initiate recovery

CONTINUE READING: https://unhabitat.org/sites/default/files/2020/04/final_un-habitat_covid-19_response_plan.pdf

How are local governments co-creating local actions for Agenda 2030

23 April 2020 - This session report highlights the initiatives of local governments in co-creating local actions for Agenda 2030 in their response to COVID-19.

23 April 2020 - Session Report on "How are local governments co-creating local actions for Agenda 2030."

April 1st, 2020

Online session

Moderator:

  • Johannes Krassnitzer, International Coordinator, ART Initiative, UNDP

Speakers:

  • Mehdoui Chebaane Kawther, Deputy Mayor, City of Sousse, Tunisia
  • Patricia Menezes, Director for Planning, Education, and Decentralization of Environmental Management at the State Government of Pará, Brazil
  • Yolanda Martínez López, Head of the Secretary of Social and Human Development, State of Oaxaca, Mexico
  • Luca Bergamo, Vice Mayor of Rome, Italy

Diana Lopez, UN-Habitat, facilitator of the session, reminded speakers and participants of the technical instructions to take part to the online discussion. The session was supposed to take place in Bonn during the Global Festival of Action, but because of CVID-19 restrictions, it moved online, hoping to prepare the debate while the world situation allows the Festival to take place in the near future.

Xavi Logan, UN Action Campaign thanked the co-organizers of the session: UCLG; UN-Habitat and UCLG and recalled the three pillars of the Decade of Action for the Agenda 2030, underlining the importance of the local governments to implement the SDGs, the Campaign strongly believes in co-creating actions and as a strategy to shift policy and behavior. Mr. Logan commended all local governments around the world for their leadership in territorial development as well as action in response to the COVID-19 pandemic – in a moment when global solidarity is more important than ever. This energy can harness international cooperation and advance on values at the very heart of the Agenda 2030 and SDGs. Mr. Logan recalled two important initiatives, the SDG Action Awards that wants to put the spotlight on the most innovative and impactful actions to advance the SDGs, and the UN75 initiative, a global conversation launched by the UN Secretary-General on the future role of the United Nations. Mr. Logan closed by underlining the commitment to support local governments to deliver local actions for sustainable development. Mr. Johannes Krassnitzer, UNDP ART Initiative, was introduced as the moderator of the session. He started with a quote “the greatest danger in times of turbulence it is not so much the turbulence but is to act with yesterday’s logic” (Peter Drucker). The SDGs are about how we change and how we do development, and this is nowadays more relevant than ever. The co-creation is an innovative way that we can take forward that could lead to something interesting happening. Co-creation is a multi-stakeholder process based on dialogue and that innovates and explores solutions in partnerships. Governments are important because they set the framework for co-creation, however people must be at the center – people are the changing agents of their own lives. Development should be of the people, for the people and from the people.

CONTINUE READING IN THE ATTACHED DOCUMENT 

Tenth World Urban Forum Abu Dhabi Declared Actions

17 Feb 2020 -  The outcome of the Tenth World Urban Forum, the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, includes commitments from international organizations, national, local and regional governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, and others for the next two years and beyond to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders in 2015.  

17 Feb 2020 - The Tenth World Urban Forum (WUF 10), which attracted over 13,000 attendees taking part in more than 540 official events, focused on the theme ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation,’ and called for united action to ensure a better future for cities and towns. 

The outcome, known as the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, which includes commitments from international organizations, national, local and regional governments, the private sector, civil society, academia, and others for the next two years and beyond to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders in 2015.  

Alongside their declared actions, the participants hailed cities as centres of creativity and innovation, as well as places with valuable cultural heritage and identity. And they were convinced that ‘culture is an integral part of the solution to the challenges of urbanization and achieving the New Urban Agenda.’  

CONTINUE READING: https://wuf.unhabitat.org/sites/default/files/2020-02/WUF10_final_declared_actions.pdf

UN-Habitat's #WUF10 Highlights from an amazing week

Abu Dhabi, 13 February 2020 - This #WUF10 highlights video was screened at the closing ceremony of the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (#WUF10 ) in Abu Dhabi.

The Tenth World Urban Forum (WUF 10), which attracted over 13,000 attendees taking part in more than 540 official events, focused on the theme ‘Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation,’ and called for united action to ensure a better future for cities and towns. 

The outcome, known as the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, includes commitments from international organizations, national, local and regional governments, the private sector, civil society, academia and others for the next two years and beyond to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed by world leaders in 2015.  

Alongside their declared actions, the participants hailed cities as centres of creativity and innovation, as well as places with valuable cultural heritage and identity. And they were convinced that ‘culture is an integral part of the solution to the challenges of urbanization and achieving the New Urban Agenda.

On Thursday, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, the UN agency that convenes the WUF, told the Closing Ceremony that during six-day meeting, delegates from all walks of life had insisted on the importance of a common goal of leaving a legacy of a better world for future generations.  

All the SDGS came together in ‘urban’ goal SDG 11 aimed at achieving inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements, said Ms. Sharif, stressing that: “Through the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, we now have the what, how and when components as well.”  

The UN-Habitat Assembly President and Under-Secretary of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights of Mexico, Martha Delgado, who co-chaired the Advisory Group which put together the WUF10 Abu Dhabi Declared Actions, said they had listened to participants thoughts, wishes and aspirations. 

This #WUF10 highlights video was screened at the closing ceremony of the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (#WUF10 ) in Abu Dhabi.

Pro-poor climate action in informal settlements

This Thematic Guide is intended to be the first of a series of resources for building resilience and addressing the challenges of informality hand-in-hand.

It aims to aid national and municipal government officials and civil society leaders in low- and middle-income countries to make and implement policies and plans that tackle the challenges of climate change and development in informal settlements.