About the Manifesto for Cities Towards Habitat III
At their last Steering Committeemeeting in March 2012, the World Urban Campaign partners agreed to contributeto the Habitat III Conference by engaging the international community, public,private and social partners to contribute to the new Global Urban Agendathrough a Manifesto for Cities.
This Manifesto is a collective act of committed partners united by shared goalsand a common vision of the city for the 21st century. It sets key principles,establishes essential paths for building a new Global Urban Agenda, andinitiates a momentum towards the Habitat III Conference.
The Campaign partners must ask what direction global urban development willtake over the coming 25 years, and what shall guide governments and theirpartners, in addition to the international community, to prepare for the urbanfuture. They need to provide pertinent answers as the 20-year anniversary ofthe Habitat Agenda looms, and while critical urban trends lead to increasedsegregation, inequality, and environmental degradation, making the urban agendaa global priority. The Manifesto for Cities was prepared by the World Urban Campaign before the6th Session of the World Urban Forum. It represents the consensus of all partners engagedin the global coalition.
Manifesto for Cities The Urban Future We Want We, representatives of the Habitat Agenda Partners, meeting at the sixth session of the World Urban Forum in Naples, call upon the international community and all public, private and social actors to commit to a Global Urban Agenda so as to ensure our sustainable future. This urban agenda will be our contribution to and one of the outcomes of the Third Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat III). Preamble The urban world we want will bring the promise of a better future. Our cities are up to the challenge to deliver a sustainable future. The city will be a humanizing experience which generates justice, knowledge and happiness. It will rely on the power of intelligence, audacity, wise decision-makers, men and women, from youth to elders, while based on a better understanding of our landscape and eco-systems, history and culture. Decisions taken today in cities across the world will shape not only their own destinies but the social and environmental future of humankind. We affirm that urbanization is inevitable. The world has entered an urban era where cities havetaken the center stage, inevitably shaping our future. More people are choosingcities as the context for preferred lifestyles and stronger livelihoodopportunities for their future well-being. Urbanization is driving ourdevelopment and cities are back at the heart of our civilization.
We acknowledge the increasing dominance of urban space. While theworld's urban population grew from 220 million to 2.8 billion over the 20thcentury, the 21st century will experience even moreurban growth. By 2050, eight out of ten people in the world will be living incities. This rapid urbanization is radically changing the economic,financial, social, and ecological landscape of our planet. It is the singlegreatest development challenge and opportunity for the 21st century.
We recognize that the current models of urbanization are socially,economically and environmentally unsustainable. Today's urban patternssimultaneously provide steep challenges. The city has lost its human scale; theurban space has often been designed and built with the metrics of the car andnot that of the human. City dwellers use more than two third of the planet'snatural resources. Rapid and unmanaged urbanization leads to the proliferationof slums and informality, increasing poverty and vulnerability to human-causedand natural hazards. These conditions threaten the safety, security and socialcohesion of individuals, their neighborhoods, cities and nations. We assert that urbanization is a positive force to be harnessed in supportof social equality, cultural vitality, economic prosperity and ecologicalsecurity. Urbanization poses tremendous and complex opportunities for ashared, sustainable future. Cities are the world's greatest asset for pursuingsustainable development as they can be the driving force behind the solutionsto meet global challenges. Cities have the potential for inclusive communitybuilding, support of diverse cultures, economies of scale and energy-efficientdevelopment.
We further recognize the ever-changing dynamics and the diversity of citiesthat requires a combination of interdependent skills, investment, technologyand well-informed decision making to harness the development potential ofurbanization.
We believe that the battle for a more sustainable future will be won or lostin cities. How we plan, build and manage our cities now will determine theoutcome of our efforts to achieve a sustainable and harmonious developmenttomorrow. Harnessing the city as an asset requires the commitment of all ascity changers and innovators for a better urban future.
We advocate a Global Urban Agenda to position sustainable cities at theheart of 21st century development. We call for a GlobalUrban Agenda to be premised on the assumption that failure to addresscontemporary urban challenges will reduce the ability to take advantage ofurban opportunities.
We promote a Global Urban Agenda that envisions equitable, resilient,livable, creative and productive cities. A robust and adaptable Global Urban Agendawill incorporate measures for poverty reduction, environmental preservation,economic growth and good governance, cohesion among territories andmetropolitan management. It will provide for the reduction of the ecologicalfootprint of cities through integrated and holistic urban development policies,effective and participatory planning and management, green architecture andconstruction, and the use of methodologies and tools to track urban sustainabledevelopment. It should be an integral part of any development agenda.
We call for strong partnerships, Habitat Agenda Partners, to craft andimplement a Global Urban Agenda. The creation of sustainable cities throughcrafting and implementing a Global Urban Agenda requires collaborativeapproaches based on strong partnerships. Such partnerships foster innovativeways of thinking, new levels of understanding and knowledge. The Habitat AgendaPartners (national governments, parliamentarians, local authorities,non-governmental organizations, grass-root organizations, academia, women'sgroups, human settlements professionals, the private sector, and youth groups)have been key participants in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, theoutcome of the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (HabitatII). These Partners are well placed to elaborate and build together the GlobalUrban Agenda and to contribute to Habitat III.
We know that strong partnerships involve City Changers, individuals whohave the courage to effect change with its requirements for commitment and boldaction, humanism and reconciliation with our civilization, territories and thenature are the basic material of strong partnerships. They are CityChangers. They will work to make cities more respectful of the environment andthe future generations, more beautiful and convivial and become the pride oftheir communities. We declare ourselves City Changers. We commit to take action and changecities for a better urban world. We will help craft a new Global UrbanAgenda according to the following principles[i][ii] that will serve as its building blocks:
· Accessible 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, creative and competitive local economies promoting decent workand livelihoods;
· Assurance of non-discrimination and equal rights to the city;
· Empowering cities and communities to plan for and effectively manageadversity and change.