Climate Action

WRI welcomes the adoption of the New Urban Agenda

Leaders from 167 countries today adopted the New Urban Agenda, the blueprint for creating sustainable, livable cities around the world.

  • 21 October 2016
  • William Brittlebank

PRESS RELEASE - Quito, Ecuador - October 20, 2016 — Leaders from 167 countries today adopted the New Urban Agenda, the blueprint for creating sustainable, livable cities around the world.

Following is a statement from Ani Dasupta, Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities:

“The world took a step forward today in its journey to create cities where all can live, move and thrive. Tens of thousands of people—leaders, citizens, community organizers, business women and men, youth and urban planning experts—came together here in Quito to recognize that sustainable, livable cities for all are not only a moral imperative, but also a scientific one.

“This week we rode a wave of momentum that started a year ago with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, including Goal 11 on cities, and that intensified after the success of the Paris climate agreement, including its rapid entry into force. In speech after speech, we heard the refrain of cities being at the core of addressing greenhouse gas emissions and providing many of the mechanisms by which to achieve sustainable growth. We are pleased that the New Urban Agenda and the discourse at Habitat III made extensive references to sustainable mobility—in particular the link to road safety—and affordable housing.

“Also at the center were people, especially those who are underserved by their cities. More and more people seek opportunity and place hope in their cities. A core component of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities’ approach is helping governments, business, and civil society meet these expectations. Our work in countries like India, Mexico and Brazil has shown that it is critical to innovate how we provide core services—housing, energy, mobility, clean water—so that cities can create good jobs, protect the environment and raise quality of life for all.

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“We still have work to do to develop a clearly prioritized implementation plan. All stakeholders need to continue to work together in the same spirit witnessed in Quito this week. To fully realize the New Urban Agenda, we will need to refine a clear action agenda, one that lays out measurable goals and targets along with accountable ways of monitoring progress. Furthermore, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities is committed to working globally as well as with our partners to support cities in their efforts to ensure sustainable mobility, road safety and affordable housing.

“We are now 40 years into the UN Habitat process. Today demonstrates what we can do when working as one, and it should give each of us hope for what the next 40 years hold for people and the planet.”