The objectives of the Stakeholders Roundtable are as to:
• Bring together Parliamentarians from around the world who are dedicated to sustainable urban development and ‘Cities for All’;
• Assess mechanisms to review legislation for its compatibility with core international and national principles and the issues outlined in the SDGs and NUA;
• Make recommendations for and monitor effective legislation for policy implementation and executive action;
• Identify means of cooperation and knowledge sharing amongst various forums of Parliamentarians.
In many countries, laws, institutions, and policies governing cities do not afford equal opportunity and protection to disadvantaged groups such as the poor, minorities, women, children, youths and others. In some cases, laws and institutions impose barriers and biases against the poor and marginalized groups, due to corruption or lack of financial capacity. Where laws exist protecting and upholding the rights of the poor and marginalized, institutions and processes can be too difficult and costly for them to access. Additionally, disadvantaged minorities are inadequately represented in political structures and decision-making bodies and consequently have little control over decisions that affect them.
Urban law defines conditions for access to land, infrastructure, housing and basic services; lays out rules for planning and decision making; guides the improvement of livelihoods and living conditions by setting requirements for urban development initiatives; and, sets the context within which urban authorities, local governments and communities are expected to fulfil their mandate and react to emerging challenges.
UN-Habitat’s AFINUA (Action Framework for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda) accentuates the role of legislators in achieving the desired outcomes of the NUA: “Community consultation, multi-stakeholder approaches, good governance, and so on, are all important. However, they do not replace the role of local governments and professionals, nor the ingredients required for them to set the stage properly for productive, sustainable and equitable urban growth”. Collaboration, coordination and partnerships between legislators are key ingredients in the implementation of the NUA (22), which forms the basis of this Roundtable meeting.
The role of urban law is also linked with SDG 11.3: “By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries”. Increased knowledge sharing and collaboration between global groups of legislators can help facilitate the achievement of this goal in all countries.
Q1: What challenges do urban laws face in delivering the ‘Cities for All’ outcomes specified in the NUA and the SDGs?
Q2: What measures should urban legislation take to empower local governments and ensure good governance for more equitable and sustainable cities?
Q3: How has urban legislation innovated in your region, within the following areas of planning law :
a.tLand management and housing affordability;
b.tThe acquisition, allocation, and management of public space;
c.tA compact, walkable urban morphology (plots and blocks);
d.tThe establishment of an equitable system of rights and duties for urban developers;
e.tResilient and resource-efficient building codes;
f.tIncorporating land-based finance to generate revenues to support and sustain urban development;
Q4: Are there any new tools, guidelines, knowledge sharing platforms or resource mobilization innovations which are helpful in advancing legislative frameworks towards NUA and SDG implementation?
2030 Agenda, Governance, Implementation, Law, Legislation, New Urban Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals.