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12.10.2016

Habitat III: The cities are the key to a sustainable and climate-friendly world

UN Conference on sustainable urban development in Quito from 17 to 20 October

UN Conference on sustainable urban development in Quito from 17 to 20 October

The member states of the United Nations aim to adopt a new agenda for cities at Habitat III in Quito. This New Urban Agenda aims to provide political guidance for urban development over the next two decades.

Federal Building Minister Barbara Hendricks remarked: "All over the world people are moving into the cities. The cities, therefore, are key to a sustainable, climate-resilient world. It is important that we invest in the right infrastructure today. We need the cities' support for this. Cities must be enabled to fulfil their residents needs with regard tor decent housing, access to energy, clean drinking water, waste water and waste management but also education and participation."

Half of the world's population is already living in cities. This share will have risen to two thirds by 2050. Around 90 percent of this growth is taking place in developing countries and emerging economies. Cities also account for around 70 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Habitat III is a UN process that looks at urban development all across the world against the backdrop of urbanisation, drawing links to the global Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and to the Paris Agreement. The New Urban Agenda, expected to be adopted in Quito, will set a globally applicable framework for the sustainable development of cities for governments, cities and local and regional actors.

The German government is therefore advocating that cities are recognised as actors in the development of an integrated urban development policy. Only strong cities and regions that have a say in urban development can offer a good quality of life and democratic participation for their residents. Germany contributes its experience with the principle of subsidiarity, local autonomy with sufficient funding, support for urban design and housing assistance and the guiding principle of the compact European city.

This United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development takes place every 20 years. Habitat III is the thematic continuation of the previous conferences in Vancouver (1976) and Istanbul (1996). Around 30,000 participants from 180 countries are expected to participate in the conference, including representatives of governments, the scientific community and civil-society organisations. State Secretary at the Federal Building Ministry Gunther Adler and State Secretary Kitschelt will accompany the German delegation until the conclusion of the conference on 20 October.

12.10.2016 | Pressreport No. 246/16