Leticia Herrera, an urbanism student of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, attended the V World Urban Forum at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the winner of the World Habitat Day 2009 photo competition.
Leticia, photographed here, said: “It is not possible that cities have some privileged groups that can buy unnecessary things such as precious jewels of foreign countries, to have more than two cars or buy worldly goods, when there are people in the same cities who have no access to basic services like fresh drinking water, electricity, decent housing or something more fundamental and necessary such as every day food.
She said it was the dream of every land planner and everybody who lived in a city, to have access to well-paid jobs, decent housing, services, useful and pleasant public spaces, and the right to an education, respect, inclusion, tolerance, and improved transport.
“The road is long and needs to be consistent with the ideas and actions,” she said. “It is important to work with people and for people. I have always believed that it is not necessary to be land planner to contribute to changes in the cities.”
The participation in the Urban Youth Found in Mexico,
With the collaboration of Grupo Radio Centro, a national leader radio station, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT invited the urban youth to participate in the Urban Youth Fund.
“It´s important to state the significance of the media in the diffusion of initiatives for the youth. Grupo´s Radio Centro diffusion and the joint work with this radio station will help the National Office to make the Fund more visible” stated the UN-HABITAT Programme Manager, Maria Dolores Franco Delgado.
UN-HABITAT received many proposals related to different issues, such as sustainable energy, solid waste management, urban culture expression, environmental capacity building, the production of handcrafts and informatics workshops, as well as ludic educative intervention and the implementation of hydroponic greenhouses.
We thanked the interest and participation of the Mexican urban youth. “We invite the interested to keep informed of the resulting projects and of the next applications opening…“
Successful applicants will be announced on 12 August 2010, International Youth Day and the next opening of applications will be on April 2011.
MEXICO’s participation at the 5th World Urban Forum
March 22-26, 2010
During the WUF, the UN-HABITAT’s, with support from the Ministry of Social Development of Mexico (SEDESOL, Spanish acronym), participated in a Roundtable of Ministers, with the main objective of making recommendations to the UN-HABITAT Governing Council and the regional groups of ministers of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean and Asia, about harmonizing and sustainable urbanization, especially with regard to social and environmental problems. Ms. Sara Topelson, Under Secretary of Urban Development and Land Planning from the Minister of Social Development in Mexico, joined the ministers and deputies.
The Mexican group also participated in five Networking Events, presenting the Mexican and a UN perspective, this tied into presentations from local government participants which explored the challenges and best practices in providing basic services at low cost to vulnerable constituents.
Mexico’s participation in the “Emerging Challenges and New Perspectives for Monitoring and Achieving the Millennium Development Goals” networking event with USA and Brazil strengthened the discussion on monitoring MDGs using mainly the production of monitoring system approach, but also applying systems at national and regional levels and democratizing such knowledge.
On the “Urban guidelines for housing developments” networking event Ms. Sara Topelson shared her perspective on how urban guidelines can make a difference and generate truly sustainable development, by controlling the loans coverage as well as the amount, furthermore focusing on improving infrastructure and services as main catalyst for development.
In addition, the Mexican delegation organized dialogues with local development stakeholders such as citizens, local authorities, academics, private sector and NGOs, to address urban segregation and identify successful replicable practices, making an example with Latin America’s largest Local Urban Observatories Network that Mexico concentrate. A network of cities to build a common agenda and framework was launched on a web-based platform to facilitate exchange of experiences, localize principles, promote dialogue with experts and show successful Local Economic Development best practices to help reduce the urban divide.