ABOUT THIS SECTOR
The 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda recognises the challenges of the unprecedented urbanisation phenomenon by dedicating a separate goal (Goal 11) to sustainable urban development. This goal not only provides a snapshot in urban settings of other goals and targets across the 2030 Agenda, it also underlines that there are challenges that are unique to urban areas.
Given the crucial role that sustainable urban development will play in supporting the quality of peoples' lives, both within the EU and globally, and the growing relevance of the urban dimension of EU policies, it is important for the EU and its Member States to have a shared vision for the European Union and the world. Likewise, EU's external action should better integrate the dramatic urban demographic growth which will entail major global shifts in the coming years.
The 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) will take place in Quito, Ecuador, on 17-20 October 2016. This conference aims at reinvigorating global commitment to sustainable urban development and identifying new and emerging challenges, as well as the means on how to address them. Its Outcome Document (the global 'New Urban Agenda' NUA) will make concrete suggestions for sustainable urban development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions. It will thus be a relevant document guiding multi- and bi-lateral Urban Development policy dialogue and cooperation for the decades to come. For the preparation of an EU common position, European Council conclusions were adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on 12 May 2016 on the European Union and its Member States' objectives and priorities for the Habitat III Conference. In its conclusions, the Council welcomes the Discussion Paper elaborated by the Commission and endorse the proposed four strings of action as priority areas for the New Urban Agenda, namely:
- Promoting the social dimension of sustainable urban development through inclusive and save cities in order to better fight against urban poverty and exclusion.
- Promoting green and resilient cities. Environmental sustainability is fundamental to ensuring the prosperity and well-being of all people within planetary boundaries.
- Promoting prosperous and innovative cities with a particular focus on growth and job creation.
- Promoting good urban governance by strengthening the capacity of the authorities at all levels of government in integrated planning and public finance management, by establishing adequate legal and policy frameworks, by fostering access to public and private investments by municipalities, and by fostering women empowerment in urban governance matters.