Major UN Housing Conference kicks off in South America

Major UN Housing Conference kicks off in South America

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Parts of Quito City in Ecuador where the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III took place from Monday 17th to 20th October. PHOTO: ALBERT MWANGEKA.

Quito, ECUADOR: Over 45,000 participants are expected to converge in Quito, Ecuador for the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III.

During the conference policy makers and urban planning expert are expected to deliberate on issues of building resilient, safe and inclusive cities.

“A resilient city is the ability of an urban area to survive, adopt and outgrow challenges like rapid urbanization,” Mark Young of 100 Resilient Cities told Baraka FM, .

Discussions during Habitat III would also touch on issues of the New Urban Agenda to ensure that cities are more habitable.

The official adoption of the New Urban Agenda will mark a pivotal moment for cities in the globe as sustainable solutions would be reached upon to ensure urbanization does not affect people from different walks of life.

“Urban development is rarely pro-poor, particularly in fast-growing cities in low- and lower middle-income countries, and climate change is adversely affecting informal settlements and increasing vulnerabilities. Habitat III seeks to build political commitment to inclusive urbanization and adequate housing,” said the Habitat III Secretariat.

Housing Survey in Kenya

According to the Housing Survey 2012/2013, Kenya’s population has been growing rapidly over the years.

The country’s population in 1999 was 28.7 million with urban population being 5.4 million, and by 2009 this population had grown to 38.6 million and 12.5 million.

According to the survey about half of the Kenyan population will be living on urban settlements.

“The rapid rate of urbanization continues to put more pressure on services to meet the needs of the growing population,” the survey reveals.

Habitat III

The 4 day conference commences on Monday.

This event takes place after every 20 years and this is the first time it is being done after the adoption of the UN backed Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, where Goal 11 advocates for making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The First United Nations Conference on Human Settlements Habitat I was held in Istanbul, Turkey in 1976, Habitat II in Vancouver, Canada and this year Quito, Ecuador will host the event.

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