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International Housing Coalition

Weekly Update

October 9, 2015

In This Update


United Nations Habitat III Policy Unit Experts Announced

Atlantic Council Webcast on Diplomacy in an Age of Megacities

HUD Requests Comment on Future Research Priorities

Disaster Risk Reduction Event: Implementing Global Agreements

In the News and Around the Web


Habitat III Policy Unit Experts Announced 

With the new Global Goals formally approved, the focus of the urban community has turned both to the challenging task of implementation and to the upcoming United Nations Habitat III conference, taking place in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016. An important outcome of Habitat III is to be a New Urban Agenda. Habitat III presents a unique opportunity to take stock of cities, the built environment and urban development around the world. National governments are expected to agree on a way forward to help implement Goal 11 and its interconnected dimensions of city inclusiveness, safety, resilience and sustainability. 

As part of the lead up to Habitat III, 200 individual experts have been chosen to head up 10 Policy Units. These units are responsible for providing recommendations for a draft declaration which will in turn form the basis of negotiations at Habitat III. 

The Policy Units include (click each unit for more information): 
  1. The Right to the City and Cities for All
  2. Socio-Cultural Urban Framework
  3. National Urban Policies
  4. Urban Governance, Capacity and Institutional Development
  5. Municipal Finance and Local Fiscal Systems
  6. Urban Spatial Strategies: Land Market and Segregation
  7. Urban Economic Development Strategies
  8. Urban Ecology and Resilience
  9. Urban Services and Technology
  10. Housing Policies
The IHC is pleased to hear that Habitat for Humanity and the Inter-American Development Bank will be co-leading the Housing Policies Unit, and we look forward to engaging with the Unit as their work progresses. 

Read an excellent overview of the process from CitiScope here. Read more about the units and the policy papers that will inform them here and here.

Atlantic Council Webcast on Diplomacy in an Age of Mega-Cities

The Atlantic Council hosted a panel of distinguished diplomats and civil servants this week, to discuss how a rapidly urbanizing world is shaping global governance, security, and diplomacy.

The event featured keynote addresses by  Arun Singh, the Indian Ambassador to the US, and Julian Castro,  US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.  Mr. Singh discussed the rapid urbanization of India, and the importance of encouraging smart growth and inclusive programs. Mr. Castro highlighted the global importance of cities, the recent passage of the SDGs and the US participation in the upcoming Habitat III conference. 

A panel discussion followed with Kathryn Schalow, Special Representative for QDDR at the US Department of State, Miguel Angel Mancera, Mayor of Mexico City, and Ian Klaus of the State Department's Office of Policy Planning. Mr Mancera discussed the programs Mexico City is implementing to improve air quality, transportation and planning, and the opportunities to learn from other cities. Ms. Schalow discussed how cities have gained importance within the QDDR and how their agility makes them critical partners for tackling issues such as climate change. Finally Mr. Klaus discussed the State Department's growing interest in cities as non-state actors. 

The whole session was recorded and can be viewed here. The event also launched a new issue brief from the Atlantic Council's Peter Engelke on foreign policy importance of cities. It can be viewed here

HUD Requests Comment on Future Research Priorities 

The US Department for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is seeking comment from the public on critical research and policy areas that they should explore as part of a larger research strategy for FY2017 and beyond. 

The office of Policy Development and Research is developing a Research Roadmap, and is soliciting extensive stakeholder engagement to ensure that the program is effective in helping HUD achieve its mission. The first opportunity is to join the conversation as part of the  Research Roadmap Forums

The conversation will be organized through seven topical categories reflecting near-term priorities rooted in the strategic goals outlined in HUD's Strategic Plan. The "Place-Based Strategies" category includes the work and research of the International and Philanthropic Innovations office, which coordinates HUD's global activities.  If you are interested in providing feedback, please register and engage here by Friday, October 30th.  

Disaster Risk Reduction Event: Implementing Global Agreements

With the adoption of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR), 2015 has been a milestone year for DRR. The SFDRR also presents a crucial opportunity to link reducing disaster and climate risk to other major post-2015 agendas as well as to other milestone events including Habitat III and the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.
Please join InterAction's Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group, American Red Cross and Global Disaster Preparedness Center observing International DRR Day and to discuss how SFDRR and other major post-2015 processes could affect  programs, partnerships and policies. Representatives from civil society, the U.S. government, and the World Bank will form the panel.

WHEN: Monday October 19th, 10 AM - 12 PM
WHERE: American Red Cross 
430 17th St NW, Washington D.C. 

Registration is required to enter. RSVP and find more information here.

In the News and Around the Web
  • Read a CitiScope article discussing a mapping project in Ghana that is exposing "hidden" pockets of slums within wealthier neighborhoods here
  • Read an article from the Guardian on a new analysis indicating that economic growth on its own will not be nearly enough to achieve the SDGs by 2030 here
  • Read articles celebrating World Habitat Day this Monday October 5th, and the entire month-long Urban October here, here and here.
  • Review background information on SDG 11 and Habitat III presented at an IHC October Member Briefing here, here and here

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