- City of Johannesburg and the Mumbai Environmental Social Network
- UN-Habitat, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) – Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention Programme (VCP), Glora/Placematters – Research and Development in Urban Planning and Design, Sticky Situations, Wits University – Centre for Urbanism and Built Environment Studies (CUBES)
The New Urban Agenda can only be achieved where national and city-wide policies and strategies are able to effectively harness the power and forces of urbanization by taking into particular consideration the importance of public spaces. Rules and legislation protect access to public spaces; urban planning and design provides adequate quantity and good quality public spaces; and urban finance and economy share values, promotes income, investment, wealth creation as well as job creation. National and City-wide policies and strategies should ensure planning, design and management of public spaces at different scales towards safety, inclusivity and accessibility. This is a high priority involving low cost and has high impact benefit to a rapidly urbanising population in developing countries. Policies and strategies should focus on the creation of quality public spaces in low income areas where built space per capita is limited since public spaces are essential for overall physical and mental wellbeing. Ensuring city-wide distribution of public spaces is a way for governments to reduce inequalities and reallocate benefits. Promoting socially inclusive, integrated, connected, accessible, environmentally sustainable and safe public spaces is key in achieving the New Urban Agenda and the SDG's specifically 11.7 which states: 'By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces particularly for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities'. Therefore, in the spirit of the SDG's and New Urban Agenda, national and local governments should take a trans-disciplinary approach by working in partnership with a range of stakeholders.
The objective of this Local Action event is to discuss the benefits of preparing national and city-wide strategies/policies to protect, create, manage and enjoy a network of high-quality public spaces in a diverse range of cities globally. Without a clear strategy/policy, it is difficult for national and local governments to prioritise, spend and plan resources and to show how much public space is valued, and to mitigate the negative impacts of site specific interventions (e.g. gentrification). A strong strategic policy framework for public space, supported by urban design and co-management is core to achieve the New Urban Agenda. The primary voices at this Local Action event will be those of cities sharing the importance of such strategies for the development and management of public space.