Weekly Urban News Update
May 13, 2016
In this Update 

IHC Global is pleased to debut a new website this week. The new site presents IHC's expanded mission, vision and strategy to advance equitable urban development. It is a comprehensive place for members, friends and anyone interested in the topics of sustainable cities and and inclusive housing. Please take a moment to check out our new site, www.ihcglobal.org. It is a living site, and will continue to grow and improve but we hope you enjoy it now. 

Habitat III New Urban Agenda Draft Released

This week, the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee for Habitat III released the first full draft of the document that will the major outcome of the Habitat III conference. This document, the product of months of work and input from a wide variety of stakeholders, will represent the formal commitment governments make at Habitat III and aims to shape the next 20 years of urban development around the world.

The document "aims to be a concise, action-oriented, forward-looking, and universal framework of actions for housing and sustainable urban development." The draft, referred to as the "Zero Draft," addresses many issues, and IHC is particularly pleased to see that inequality and an important focus on the inclusion of poor and disadvantaged groups is at the center of the document. Housing, basic services, social and economic inclusion and gender are also all key inputs into the document.

The draft is aspirational, and negotiations will continue in a limited fashion throughout the summer to finalize the agreement, with a comment period open now here. However much of the advocacy work will now shift toward how the agreement will be implemented, including financing opportunities, new partnerships and maintaining momentum.

Read the full zero draft here. Read other responses on the zero draft here and here
IHC Open Forum Recap: Housing at the Center of Habitat III 

IHC Global hosted an Open Forum this week, during the Washington meetings of the National Association of Realtors. The event formally launched IHC Global's new campaign to build a coalition of non-profits, private sector individuals to support greater urban equity and inclusive development. IHC rolled out the new website, in conjunction with the Forum.

In the lead-up to Habitat III, the Forum focused on the importance of housing and other critical drivers of equitable development and highlighted opportunities for audience members to participate. 

The Forum was anchored by three outstanding speakers:
  • Ian Klaus, the U.S Deputy negotiator for Habitat III and leader of the State Department's work on  the nexus of urbanization and foreign policy;
  • Salin Geevarghese,  Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development; and
  • Eduardo Rojas, independent consultant and former the Principal Specialist in Urban Development at the Inter American Development Bank. 
The three introduced the themes of Habitat III, the critical importance that cities will play in global development going forward, and the role that housing and related infrastructure will play in this development. 

Addressing a room of approximately 100 housing and real estate professionals engaged in the urban space, the speakers also called on the private sector and those working at the local and regional level to get involved in global housing issues and in Habitat III. 

IHC Global's CEO Judith Hermanson spoke abut urban development and rapid urbanization in the 21st century and ho global vision and local action go hand-in-hand to address the many challenges and opportunities.
Representatives from IHC's three founding organizations also spoke - Calvin Lindberg of the the Canadian Real Estate Association, Christopher Vincent from Habitat for Humanity International, and David Wluka from NAR- supporting global engagement and participation in IHC Global's unique coalition, bringing together individual and organizational voices from the private and nonprofit sectors. Learn more about becoming a member of IHC and view the new site here

Event: 21st Century Water Solutions for 21st Century Cities

Water infrastructure is the cornerstone of strong, sustainable communities. With population growth, changing climates, and aging infrastructure, our water resources and systems are increasingly vulnerable. Cities around the United States are seizing the opportunity to manage water resources and infrastructure in a sustainable, inclusive, and integrated way.

Please join the National League of Cities and the Value of Water Coalition for a discussion with leaders from around the US on how communities are addressing water challenges through new partnerships, policies, programs and financing models.

WHEN: Thursday, May 19th 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM (EDT)
WHERE: Dirksen Senate Office Building Room G50 - Washington, D.C.

Find more information and RSVP  here .
Last Chance to Enter Urban Poverty Paper Competition

The deadline to enter the 2016 Urban Poverty Paper Competition is this Sunday May 15th!

To encourage a new generation of urban policy makers and promote early career research, IHC is thrilled to support 7th annual Reducing Urban Poverty Paper Competition for graduate students. The competition is open to  current Masters and PhD students conductin research on critical topics relating to urban poverty in the developing world.

The grand prize winner will attend the United Nations Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016. Winning papers will be published, and selected authors will be invited to present their work in a policy workshop at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.

Papers must be linked to one of the following sub-topics: 
  • Climate Change
  • Arrival Cities: Responding to Migrants and Refugees
  • Innovation in Urban Planning 
  • Financing Sustainable Urban Development
Find more information on the topics and how to apply here
Rio de Janeiro Releases Resilience Plan

As part of the Rockefeller Foundation's 100 Resilient Cities Project, the city of Rio de Janeiro Brazil released a comprehensive resilience plan this week. The plan has three major components:  1) Improving the city's water resources for consumption, recreation and climate resilience; 2) Access to green space and sustainable infrastructure improvement; and 3) Placing people at the center of resilience.

The full Strategy is in available   here in Portuguese. Read the summary from the Resilient Cities Project here

In the News and Around the Web
  • Read a series on Devex from Habitat for Humanity and Cities Alliance highlighting Habitat III, housing and the New Urban Agenda here
  • View photos and videos from photojournalist Adam Hinton from his travels in the fringes of cities around the world here
  • Read an article from Scientific American discussing the challenges and opportunities of creating sustainable cities here

IHC Global - A Coalition for 
Inclusive Housing and Sustainable Cities
1424 K St NW, Suite 600
Washington, D.C. 20005 
phone: (202) 239-4401
email: bean@ihcglobal.org