German Habitat Forum Calls On Cities As Agents Of Sustainable Development

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“Empower cities as agents of sustainable development.” This was the collective call of about 1,000 participants of the German Habitat Forum held in Berlin, Germany on 1-2 June 2016.

The appeal was made following 13 interactive workshops, which served as the platform for dialogue among pioneering thinkers and authorities from across the world, who in turn set the urgency for ensuring sustainable urban development.

Their recommendations will serve as inputs for the ongoing negotiations on the New Urban Agenda, to be adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016.

“I am optimistic that these recommendations will encourage transformative actions initiated by our cities,” said Mrs. Claudia Hermes, CDIA-GIZ Program Coordinator. “After all, I support the statement of German Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Müller when he said that questions relating to poverty will be addressed in the cities. Therefore, for cities to be in the forefront of poverty reduction efforts, they need to be empowered to plan and implement sustainable development measures,” she added.

In the conference documentation titled “The Berlin Recommendations for the Cities of Tomorrow,” cities were envisioned “to be guarantors of quality of life for all, contribute to achieving prosperity for all, lead in attaining a sustainable and decarbonized world, and strengthen rural-urban linkages and support food security.”

To achieve this, the German Habitat Forum has identified the following six priority areas for action: 1) Empower cities as actors to achieve the 2030 Agenda and Paris Agreement; 2) Initiate transformative approaches for sustainable urban development; 3) Strengthen the enabling institutional, legal and financial frameworks for cities; 4) Create opportunities for engagement and initiate partnerships for implementation; 5) Focus the follow-up of the New Urban Agenda on policy dialogue and learning; and 6) Give more voice to cities in global urban governance.

“With these six priority areas for action, CDIA is in a better position to help cities succeed through its institutional capacity support. By creating the necessary enabling conditions for them to tackle the various urban issues, cities truly become subjects, rather than objects of sustainable development,” Mrs. Hermes concluded.

Click here to view The Berlin Recommendations for the Cities of Tomorrow.

Click here to view the German Habitat Forum video.

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