Event: UCB/APA Habitat III — Implications for Local Planning

Held September 27–Habitat 3 and the New Urban Agenda: Global Negotiations, Local Implications, UC Berkeley, 112 Wurster Hall, Berkeley, 6:00-7:30 pm.

The UCB IURD and APA California Norther Sustainability Committee co-hosted a panel discussion on the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat 3) held from October 17-20 in Quito, Ecuador. /1/  The Conference adopted the New Urban Agenda, a global urban development policy framework, which has been 2 years (or 40 years!) in the making.  The goal of the New Urban Agenda is to foster transformations across the urban world. The panel discussed the NUA and its new Sustainable Development Goals. It explored the implications for local planning practice and global sustainability.

Panelists included:

  • Charisma Acey, PhD, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Jason Corburn, PhD, Department of City and Regional Planning
  • Anibal Gaviria, IURD Visiting Scholar 2016-17 and former Mayor of Medellin, Columbia,
  • Holly Pearson, AICP, Director of the APA California, Northern CA Sustainability Committee

The moderator was Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, ISSP-SA, SF Planning & APA Sustainability Champion.

For more information view the video recording and contact Holly Pearson at holly@hollypearson.net, Sustainability Committee co-director, who also wrote an article summarizing the lead up and work of Habitat III in the October 2016 issue of the Northern News (pp 1, 18-19; and here, or 3 page PDF here).

Video Table of Contents:

  1. Scott Edmondson, AICP, Introduction (00:00)
  2. Holly Pearson, Background & Context (05:05)
  3. Prof. Jason Corburn, DRCP-UCB, PhD, Healthy & Equitable Planning? (19:35)
  4. Anibal Gaviria, IURD Visiting Scholar and former Mayor of Medellin, Columbia, Planning Cities for Life (32:40)
  5. Prof. Charisma Acey, DCRP-UCB, PhD, 3 Keys to Local Implementation (44:00)
  6. Moderated Discussion (1:00:40)
    1. Comment: One illustration of the magnitude of the “planning” challenge is providing 1 new city /week of 1M pop to meet the needs of population growth from 2000-2050 (+3B).
    2. As hopeful as Habitat 3 is, with the new world focus on urban policy of the NUA and SDGs focused on transforming the urban world, how do you feel Habitat 3 will change the sustainability game of past 25 years that have unfolded since Rio 1992?
      1. Holly (1:04:30)
      2. Charisma (1:07:40)
      3. Jason (1:10:15
  7. Audience Q&A (1:11:55)
    1. What are Habitat 3’s Implementation Tensions? What are the tensions in Habitat 3 between the NUA and implementation? (1:11:55)
    2. What is the Effect of Population Growth? What do we do about population growth?  (1:16:25)
    3. Will Habitat 3’s Top-Down Engagement Trickle Down? As you’ve described, Habitat 3 involves multi-sectoral collaboration and participation, yet most Latin American cities are embedded in top down, authoritative structures and Habitat 3 appears top down as well; how do you see the benefits of Habitat 3 trickling down in Latin American countries to populations that don’t and can’t participate? (1:22:15)
    4. Can Habitat 3 Principles Secure the “Right to the City” in the Face of Unprecedented Globalization Forces? The slide that showed 6B people will be living in cities by 2050, equivalent to the current world population, implies a future need to renegotiate traditional concepts of borders as many cities grow in population to become the equivalent of city states.  In this context, how can Habitat 3 principles and processes be used to secure the right to city as cities face unprecedented population growth and the globalization of capital, fiscalization of land use, and soaring property prices?   (1:27:52)

Some past posts on the New Urban Agenda and the world’s new Sustainable Development Goals follow here:


/1/ University of California, Berkeley, College of Environmental Design, Department of City & Regional Planning, Institute for Urban and Regional Development, and the American Planning Association California Chapter, Northern Section, Sustainability Committee.

[Post prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, founder/past co-director and Research Program Lead of the Northern Section’s Sustainability Committee, one of the APA Sustainable Communities Division’s Sustainability Champions, and a strategic sustainability planner-economist at the SF Planning Department.]



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