From 17 to 20 October 2016 HABITAT III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, will be held in Quito, Ecuador. At HABITAT III conference, Governments are expected to adopt the New Urban Agenda that will guide the sustainable and inclusive development of the world’s cities for next 20 years. The Zero Project team will be represented by its Director: Michael Fembek and its New York representative: Thomas Butcher, who will be participating in a number of efforts that aim to promote the inclusion of disability in all Habitat III processes.
DESA – High-level forum on disability-inclusion and accessible urban development
The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Ecuadorian Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (MIDUVI) in collaboration with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, Secretariat of UN Habitat III, Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), Rehabilitation International, Disabled People’s International, Essl Foundation, The Nippon Foundation and the Global Network on Disability Inclusion and Accessible Urban Development, will convene a high-level forum on disability-inclusion and accessible urban development in Quito on 16 October, a day prior to the opening of HABITAT III.
At the Forum in particular a publication entitled: “Good practices of accessible urban development“ will be launched, an effort to which the Zero Project contributed on invitation by UN DESA. Michael Fembek, Zero Project Director, will participate as rapporteur of the Forum.
Participants at the Forum will include Governments, UN agencies, urban policy-makers and practitioners, DPOs as well as other stakeholders. The Forum will work to ensure that the New Urban Agenda will be fully inclusive of and accessible to all, particularly to persons with disabilities. It will also facilitate an exchange of practical and technical expertise, as well as provide an opportunity for a call for commitments for action to further advance the creation of inclusive cities for all. Discussions at the Forum are expected to provide a set of recommendations that will work to support the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. The Essl Foundation – the Zero Project’s initiator – is also pleased to host the reception that will be held after the Forum.
On Thursday 20th October, the World Future Council – a Zero Project operative partner – is organizing an official Habitat III side event entitled “Heading towards the Regenerative City: The impact of Inclusiveness and Accessibility”. It will be held from 9:30 until 10:30 in Room 14 of the Habitat III venue. The discussion will explore the synergies and overlaps between inclusiveness, accessibility and the concept of the Regenerative City. The key objective of the event is to showcase how inclusiveness links to the concept of the Regenerative city, and more generally to environmental sustainability. By exploring the synergies between inclusiveness and sustainability, the discussion will put emphasis on the need to adopt a cross-sectoral approach to policy making, fundamental to solve the range of interconnected challenges facing cities today.
Michael Fembek, Zero Project Director, will participate in the debate as speaker along with panelists such as Ms. Daniela Bas, Director of the Division of Social Policy and Development, UN DESA (video message); Dr. Victor Pineda, President of the Pineda Foundation and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Berkley, USA; Mr. Stefan Schurig, Director, Climate, Energy and Cities, World Future Council, Germany; and Mr. Zhenshan Zhang, UN-Habitat, China. The debate will be chaired by Mr. Filippo Boselli, Policy Officer, World Future Council, Germany. More information can be found at: https://www.worldfuturecouncil.org/regenerative-inclusive-cities-habitat-iii-quito/
EFC side event – The role of philanthropy in the New Urban Agenda
On Monday 17 October, the European Foundation Centre organizes an official Habitat III side event entitled “The role of philanthropy in the New Urban Agenda”. It will be held from 9.30 until 10.30 in Room 4 of the Habitat III venue. The session will be a very interactive one where the audience and speakers will engage in a dialogue to understand what niche role foundations can play in the implementation and monitoring of the New Urban Agenda.
DESA – Publication on Good practices of accessible urban development
In light of HABITAT III and the New Urban Agenda, UN DESA – in collaboration with the Zero Project and others – prepared a publication entitled: “Good practices of accessible urban development“. It provides case studies of innovative practices and policies in housing and built environments, as well as transportation, public spaces and public services, including information and communication technology (ICT) based services. The publication concludes with strategies and innovations for promoting accessible urban development and can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/unenable_urbandev