Delegates at an international conference on sustainable urbanization in Weihai, China, have called on governments to devise better ways of dealing with the growing number of slums and squatter settlements around the world.
They called for new partnerships between governments and civil society, protection against forced eviction, mobilization and organization of communities, access to finance adapted to the needs and the means of the poor, and provision of diverse housing options.
The International Conference on Sustainable Urbanization Strategies 2-5 November, was jointly sponsored by UN-HABITAT, the Chinese ministry of construction, and Weihai City. A special housing exhibition and a concert were held to mark the Habitat Scroll of Honor 2003 to Weihai.
The conference also called for the development of better planning to promote rural-urban linkages, integrated approaches to dealing with water management and pollution controls, and institutional frameworks focusing on the needs of the poor.
The conference urged UN-HABITAT and other key actors to formulate new mechanisms to support local, national and regional initiatives in sustainable urbanisation through enhanced cooperation among international institutions, national and local governments, and civil society organizations.