SUSTAINABLE CITIES FOR ALL
Accomplishing ‘New Urban Agenda’ for the next 20 years
The majority of global population will be living in cities in the 21st century. Taking the intense increase in the population in urban areas into consideration, Habitat III Conference discussed ‘New Urban Agenda’ in September 2016. Global standards are set to catch up with the sustainable urban development during the next 20 years. With the new agenda, from city leaders to the representatives of the private sector, we all need to revise how we build our cities.
The conversation around sustainable cities and Habitat III has focused on three major themes in recent years: population density in urban areas, the role of the cities in climate change and injuries and fatalities caused by traffic crashes.
21. Conference of Parties (COP21) –organized in Paris in 2015- was one of the most outstanding events on fight against climate change by hosting high level representatives from 195 countries, leaders from over 10 thousand NGOs. The event is especially significant for the goals set and thresholds determined in Paris Agreement signed after COP21, presenting the framework regulating the new global climate policies for post 2020, when Kyoto ends. With the Paris Agreement, the parties agreed to keep the temperature rise to well below 2 degrees C and to pursue efforts limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C. It is impossible to reduce the impacts of climate change unless changing how we build, manage and live in our cities. Therefore, cities bear a critical role in measures taken against climate change.
Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 suggests that despite the increase in population and in the number of motor vehicles, traffic crash fatalities have not risen. However, the expected positive change is happening rather slowly. In November 2015, delegates from a hundred countries met in Brazil and discussed the possible solutions to cut the fatalities in traffic in half by 2020. The declaration links to greater issues of development, including sustainability, resilience, urban growth management and social equity.” This sets the stage for appropriate consideration of road deaths and injuries within the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
When we go over 2015, we see that many countries –including Turkey- signed significant international agreements like UN Sustainable Development Goals, Brasilia Road Safety Declaration, COP21 Paris Agreement to improve the livability and sustainability of the cities. With these agreements, the countries actually set goals for cities in climate, urbanization and road safety by 2030. With the New Urban Agenda, the representatives from states, city leaders and NGOs assume great responsibilities. This Agenda will lay the foundations for policies and approaches that shape our future.
At Livable Cities Symposium 2016, we discussed the commitments for cities of Turkey from 2015. At Livable Cities Symposium 2017, we will discuss how we can implement the global commitments of 2015 in Turkey in beyond.
***WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities reserves the right to change the people and organizations in the draft agenda.
Project Coordinator, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy
WRI Turkey Sustianable Cities –previously known as EMBARQ Turkey Sustainable Transportation Association- is a part of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities working to improve the quality of life for millions living in cities globally with program offices in Brasil, China, India, Mexico and Turkey. WRI Turkey Sustainable Cities develops solutions for urban mobility and urban efficiency problems threatening the environment and human health taking “human oriented cities” principle as a basis, and collaborates with local and central administration to tackle these problems. For more information, check www.wrisehirler.org