6 November 2016

[Webinar Report] Urban Policies For Better Mediterranean Cities: The Accessibility We Need. Challenges For The Habitat Iii New Urban Agenda.

jointly by CODATU and CMI, the second Webinar of the Community of Practice for Sustainable Urban Transport in the Mediterranean Region was held Tuesday 11th October 2016, in preparation for the Habitat III Conference in Quito (Ecuador).

CODATU wished to enhance its participation in the World Urban Campaign aiming to emphasize the role of urban mobility in the New Urban Agenda and this Webinar, Conceived as an initiative with the purpose of promoting collaborative learning and capacity building, was in line with the « The accessibility we need » Message from Codatu to Habitat III. Maël Martinie, the Coordinator of the MobiliseYourCity initiative, moderated the sessions.

Participants were able to connect via internet and attend from everywhere the interventions of With the participation of Eric Huybrechts, IAU-IDF International Actions Program Officer, and Salma Mousallem, Un-Habitat Transport in Egypt Program Officer. During the first session, the two key speakers analysed the Habitat III Conference approach. The second half was dedicated to the questions and answers exchange with the audience.

What is the New Urban Agenda?

The New Urban Agenda (NUA) is a document prepared in the last two years for defining good practices for sustainable urban development. NUA will set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private sector. The climate change and the importance of planning cities are the main challenges NUA will have to face in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The document has been approuved during the Habitat III Conference in Quito.

Urbanization risks

The urbanization process is strongly linked to social and economic development and cities can mitigate its negative externalities through a coordinated approach and clear policy directions. In most developing countries, urbanization is leading to enormous changes in the spatial distribution of people, resources, as well as the use and consumption of land. Although urban issues are increasingly prominent on national policy agendas, many countries still lack the supporting policies and frameworks that can leverage the process and guide it towards sustainable patterns. Speakers highlighted the social risk of building empty “ghost” cities in developing countries where economics are pushing the new cities creation without paying enough attention to the planning process but focusing on increasing the land value.

Watch the webinar

The Webinar Urban policies for better Mediterranean cities: the accessibility we need. Challenges for the Habitat III New Urban Agenda. recording is now available.

Paragraphs focusing on urban mobility in the New Urban Agenda Draft Outcome Document

113. We will take measures to improve road safety and integrate it into sustainable mobility and transport infrastructure planning and design. Accompanied by awareness-raising initiatives, we will promote the safe system approach called for in the United Nations Decade of Action for Road Safety, with special attention to the needs of all women and girls, as well as children and youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, and those in vulnerable situations. We will work to adopt, implement, and enforce policies and measures to actively protect and promote pedestrian safety and cycling mobility, with a view to broader health outcomes, particularly the prevention of injuries and non-communicable diseases, and we will work to develop and implement comprehensive legislation and policies on motorcycle safety, given the disproportionally high and increasing numbers of motorcycle deaths and injuries globally, particularly in developing countries. We will promote the safe and healthy journey to school for every child as a priority.

114. We will promote access for all to safe, age and gender-responsive, affordable, accessible, and sustainable urban mobility and land and sea transport systems, enabling meaningful participation in social and economic activities in cities and human settlements, by integrating transport and mobility plans into overall urban and territorial plans and promoting a wide range of transport and mobility options, in particular through supporting:

(a) a significant increase in accessible safe, efficient, affordable, and sustainable infrastructure for public transport as well as non-motorized options such as walking and cycling, prioritizing them over private motorized transportation;

(b) equitable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) that minimizes the displacement in particular of the poor and features affordable, mixed-income housing and a mix of jobs and services;

(c) better and coordinated transport-land use planning, leading to a reduction of travel and transport needs, enhancing connectivity between urban, peri-urban, and rural areas, including waterways and transport and mobility planning, particularly for small islands developing States and coastal cities;

(d) urban freight planning and logistics concepts that enable efficient access to products and services, minimizing the impact of the environment and the livability of the city and maximizing their contribution to sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth ;

115. We will take measures to develop mechanisms and common frameworks at the national, sub-national, and local levels to evaluate the wider benefits of urban and metropolitan transport schemes, including impacts on the environment, the economy, social cohesion, quality of life, accessibility, road safety, public health, and action on climate change, among others.

116. We will support the development of these mechanisms and frameworks, based on sustainable national urban transport and mobility policies, for sustainable, open, and transparent procurement and regulation of transport and mobility services in urban and metropolitan areas, including new technology that enables shared mobility services, as well as the development of clear, transparent, and accountable contractual relationships between local governments and transport and mobility service providers including on data management, which further guarantee public interest, protect individual privacy, and define mutual obligations.

117. We will support better coordination between transport and urban and territorial planning departments, in mutual understanding of planning and policy frameworks, at the national, sub-national, and local levels, including through sustainable urban and metropolitan transport and mobility plans. We will support sub-national and local governments in developing the necessary knowledge and capacity to implement and enforce such plans.

118. We will encourage national, sub-national, and local governments to develop and expand financing instruments, enabling them to improve their transport and mobility infrastructure and systems, such as mass rapid transit systems, integrated transport systems, air and rail systems, and safe, sufficient and adequate pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and technology-based innovations in transport and transit systems to reduce congestion and pollution while improving efficiency, connectivity, accessibility, health, and quality of life.