New adventures in Urbanism
It started with one flight, then another, then a third, and yet still one more but as I finally stepped into the Quito night I began to realise the sheer enormity of the journey I have embarked on. For Habitat III must be recognised as the adventure that it is. With over 40,000 people registered for plenaries, side events, workshops, and labs, this is an emersion into all things urban.
Defined by the New Urban Agenda (NUA), Habitat III is an ambitious attempt to try and link the urbanisation and development models to sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals and a brighter future for all. Whether you buy into the rhetoric, and there have been criticisms even before the launch of the NUA, (e.g. McPhearson et al. paper in Nature), the sheer weight of discourse, discussion and passion surrounding the need to define and examine solution spaces around resilience, vulnerability, sustainability and transformation in urban settlements worldwide is breath-taking.
On a personal level, Future Earth Coasts has a real dog in this fight. Given the concentration of populations at the coast world-wide, the coastal/urbanisation/land use nexus is a crucial issue for us. Thinking about what this means in terms of the future sustainability of coastal zones involves engagement with complex and interrelated questions about equity, justice, resilience, economic opportunity, infrastructure development, ecological management, service delivery and more. We intend to continue to ask as well as try and answer these hard questions.
We are lucky to have several outlets for our perspectives and thoughts as well as numerous exciting learning opportunities. We have the privilege to present alongside the UN-Habitat’s Regional Office for Africa, UNESCO, WMO, and UNU’s VARMAP as well as interact with hundreds of colleagues from a huge range of disciplines, expertise, and interests!!
Read the full summary of the Future Earth Coasts Activities – Official session participation and direct outcomes