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New Urban Agenda Adopted at the Habitat III Conference

Quito, Ecuador

The United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) held from 17 to 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, successfully concluded with the adoption of the New Urban Agenda.

The Habitat III Conference as a whole was a resounding success: 30,000 people, among them 10,000 international participants from 167 countries were accredited in the Conference. In the span of four days almost 1,000 events took place, including 8 Plenary sessions, 6 High-level Roundtable sessions, 4 Assemblies, 16 Stakeholders Roundtables, 10 Policy Dialogues, 22 Special Sessions, 3 Urban Talks, an Urban Journalism Academy, 59 United Nations events, 157 Exhibition booths, 42 Village projects and over 460 side, networking, training and parallel events were organized by various stakeholders.

Habitat III thanks everyone who participated in the conference and its process. Our work here is far from over, and we look forward to our continued collaboration in following up on the New Urban Agenda, the commitments made for its implementation, and the legacy of Habitat III.

View the the New Urban Agenda Adopted at the Habitat III Conference:

Agreed Draft of the New Urban Agenda – Informal Intergovernmental Meeting

New York, USA

After the release of the Surabaya Draft of the New Urban Agenda at the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the Habitat III Conference in Surabaya, Indonesia in July 2016, the New Urban Agenda has finally been agreed on at the Habitat III Informal Intergovernmental Meeting which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 7 to 10 September 2016, before its adoption in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.

Surabaya Draft of the New Urban Agenda

Surabaya, Indonesia

This draft was the result of the negotiations at the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the Habitat III Conference (PrepCom3), held in Surabaya, Indonesia, 25–27 July 2016.

It is the basis for the next round of informal negotiations in New York from 7 to 10 September.

Draft New Urban Agenda – 18 July 2016

New York, USA

The Draft New Urban Agenda has been prepared on the basis of inputs and negotiations throughout the Habitat III intersessional process leading to PrepCom3.

This draft was the basis of negotiations at the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the Habitat III Conference (PrepCom3), held in Surabaya, Indonesia, 25–27 July 2016.

The New Urban Agenda aimed to be a concise, action-oriented, forward-looking, and universal framework of actions for housing and sustainable urban development.

Zero Drafts of the New Urban Agenda

New York, USA

The zero draft of the New Urban Agenda — which was prepared on the basis of inputs from broad regional and thematic consultations, as well as the policy recommendations elaborated by the policy units and comments thereon received by participating states and all stakeholders — was submitted on 6 May 2016 by the Bureau of the Preparatory Committee for discussion at the informal intergovernmental negotiations and informal hearings with local authorities associations and civil society organizations in May and June 2016, as decided by the General Assembly resolution A/70/210.

The revised zero draft was prepared on the basis of inputs and negotiations that took place during the Habitat III intersessional process, where the following meetings were held:

The Global Context

Cities today occupy approximately only 2% of the total land, however:

  • 70% Economy (GDP)

  • Over 60% Global Energy Consumption

  • 70% Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • 70% Global Waste

39THIRTY 2016 Cap NFL Field Chicago On Bears Logo B The Global Development Framework

Growing recognition of urbanization reflected in global frameworks for sutainable global development.

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  • Habitat I

  • 1987

    Brundtland Report

  • 1992

    Rio Summit

  • B 39THIRTY NFL Field On 2016 Bears Logo Chicago Cap Habitat II

  • 2000

    MDG Adoption

  • Istanbul + 5

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  • 2002

    WSSD Joburg

  • 2012

    Rio + 20

  • Habitat III Prepcom 1

    Sept. 2014
  • Habitat III Prepcom 2

    Apr. 2015
  • Sept. 2015
  • Dec. 2015


  • Habitat III Prepcom 3

    Jul. 2016
  • Habitat III Conference

    Oct. 2016
Subject Index

The subject index contains key concepts from the New Urban Agenda and their corresponding paragraph numbers

Learn More

Dr. Joan Clos, Secretary-General
of the Habitat III Conference,
on the Habitat III process

The Transformative Power of Urbanization

Throughout modern history, urbanization has been a major driver of development and poverty reduction. Governments can respond to this key development opportunity through Habitat III by promoting a new model of urban development that is able to integrate all facets of sustainable development to promote equity, welfare and shared prosperity. Read more

It is time to think urban: how to mobilise the global community and focus all levels of human settlements, including small rural communities, villages, market towns, intermediate cities and metropolises for social and economic growth. Habitat III can help systematise the alignment between cities and towns and national planning objectives in their role as drivers of national economic and social development.

Urbanization is an unprecedented challenge. By the middle of 21st the century, four of every five people might be living in towns and cities. Urbanization and development are inextricably linked and it is necessary to find a way of ensuring the sustainability of growth. Urbanization had become a driving force as well as a source of development with the power to change and improve lives.

2016 Cap On Logo Chicago 39THIRTY Bears Field B NFL The Habitat III Conference has the convening power to bring together all actors to achieve these objectives. Solutions for the complex challenge of urbanization can only be found by bringing together Member States, multilateral organizations, local governments, private sector and civil society.

Rethinking the Urban Agenda is:

  • Embracing urbanization at all levels of human settlements, more appropriate policies can take advantage of urbanization across physical space, bridging urban, peri-urban and rural areas, and assist governments in addressing challenges through national and local development policy frameworks.
  • Integrating equity to the development agenda. Equity becomes an issue of social justice, ensures access to the public sphere, extends opportunities and increases the commons.
  • Fostering national urban planning and planned city extensions.
  • Deciding how relevant sustainable development goals will be supported through sustainable urbanization.
  • Aligning and strengthening institutional arrangements with the substantive outcomes of Habitat III, so as to ensure effective delivery of the new Urban Agenda.

Implementing the Urban Agenda means:

  • Urban Rules and Regulations. The outcomes in terms of quality of an urban settlement is dependent on the set of rules and regulations and its implementation. Proper urbanization requires the rule of law.
  • Urban Planning and Design. Establishing the adequate provision of common goods, including streets and open spaces, together with an efficient pattern of buildable plots.
  • Municipal Finance. For a good management and maintenance of the city, local fiscal systems should redistribute parts of the urban value generated.

With the consideration of:

  • National Urban Policies. These establish a connection between the dynamics of urbanization and the overall process of national development.
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