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Everybody has a role to play: How can all actors and levels of government work together in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda?

over 3 years ago
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
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  • George Benson over 3 years ago
    -- The Canadian Opportunity -- It was clear to the entire SCARP delegation that Canada represents a unique opportunity in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. As a nation, our structures are not only at a point where the coordination and weaving together of rights envisioned in the document can be achieved, but our unique character and make-up, as an inclusive, multicultural, multinational society, adds credibility and resonance to our achievements in creating just, sustainable communities. Across a wide variety of topics addressed within the NUA, from housing and sustainability to Indigenous Rights, to those which need to be addressed, like the inclusion of LGBT2S+ persons, actions Canada takes can not only benefit our own nation, but show others what they can do realise the principles espoused by UN-HABITAT. -- Recommendations for the Government of Canada -- Based on what we observed in Quito, upon the reading and research we did both before and after the conference, and in the conversations we had with planners and students and other human settlements specialists, we wish to offer the following recommendations to the Government of Canada: (1) Formalize creative and meaningful participation of youth in future international events — As students and as Canadians, we felt our participation in the HABITAT III summit was meaningful and productive. We felt that we added value to what the Canadian delegation achieved in its networking, its advocacy of Canadian values, and in the plans that have been laid for future action. This kind of inclusion of students and youth, particularly of people such as ourselves that are young future professionals and implementers of the NUA, should be a key priority of the Government of Canada as a whole, and for Employment and Social Development Canada and Global Affairs Canada, in future human settlements events, and similar international meetings. (2) Deepen the efforts to create government-to-government, including First Nations, collaboration on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda — It was clear to all Canadians that implementing the NUA will be a task carried forward by our federation; by local, provincial, and national governments as well as First Nations. To best achieve this, we recommend the coordination of these leaders in meetings of Ministers, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Big City Mayors, and the Assembly of First Nations. A structure similar to the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) could be utilized, but the key point is to get all ‘four corners of the table’ talking to one another. (3) Deepen efforts to create linkages and partnerships between citizens, businesses, nonprofits, and academics and all levels of government in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda — The preparation for the HABITAT III summit showed that there was a strong appetite amongst the Canadian public to play a role in human settlements policy, but a further deepening of these relationships that is still needed. As an example: the importance of private businesses at the summit was routinely referenced, but there were almost no Canadian (or other) businesses present. In implementing the NUA in Canada, specific efforts should be made to engage businesses. In any engagement of citizens, businesses, or others, the intention of this engagement (e.g., to create a policy, to explore implementation pathways, or to identify challenges) should always be clear and transparent with the prioritization of protecting vulnerable populations always named as a guiding principle. (4) Finalize, formalize, and fund efforts to implement the New Urban Agenda — Creating just, sustainable, resilient communities across Canada, as envisioned in the NUA, is going to take new dispersion of resources and better coordination amongst existing efforts. This will mean greater coordination, through Ministerial, Mayoral, and community meetings, but in some cases may mean additional transfers, including advancing of the Government of Canada’s expressed possibility an increase to the municipal share of the Gas Transfer Tax (GTF). Ministerial and Mayoral meetings, again, possibly performed in likeness to initiatives like the CCME, should stress the coordination of resources, both around specific sub-programmes, such as the National Housing Strategy, but also broader initiatives, including policy and public engagement reviews. (5) Convene a national working group, including students and young professionals, to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the New Urban Agenda — In the immediate days moving forward, the Government should create a national Committee to assist with the implementation of the NUA. This committee would be made up attendees of the Canadian delegation to HABITAT III, and be diverse both demographically and sectorally — i.e., students, professionals, academics, business people, First Nations, and others. The Committee would have the authority to organize sub-working groups, to bring in more Canadians to discuss implementation, monitoring, and other facets of the NUA. The goals of this committee would be threefold: (1) create a framework of “low hanging fruit” for short-term implementation of the NUA in Canada, (2) create a series of metrics and indicators for how to monitor implementation of the Agenda over time, and (3) create annual reports showing implementation progress and other relevant facets of human settlements in Canada.
  • elizabeth over 3 years ago
    The New Urban Agenda emphasizes the importance of national co-ordination of sub-national and local urbanization policies, ideally through a national urban policy framework.* Some countries have already developed a national urban policy, including 15 OECD countries, while many others have embarked on the development of such a policy. In Canada, where cities and municipalities are a provincial responsibility, the role of the national government in urban policy is indirect, through providing leadership in co-ordination of provincial policies and through federal funding programs in areas such as municipal infrastructure and housing. Currently, there is no comprehensive national framework guiding sustainable urban development in Canada, although the federal government provides direct funding to municipalities through the Gas Tax Fund for infrastructure and through the federally-funded Green Municipal Fund (GMF) administered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.** Canada’s participation in the Habitat III process and commitment to the New Urban Agenda could be a timely catalyst to start a national conversation on the future of Canada’s cities. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, terminated in 2013, is a potential model for an initial stage in the conversation that could lay the foundation for wide national public engagement on Canada’s urbanized future. Many civil society organizations, including academia and professional societies, have declared their interest in contributing to dialogue on the future of our cities and on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in Canada. The final outcome could be an innovative national urban policy framework for Canada, tailored to our unique circumstances, that would chart a course for Canada’s urbanizing future. *New Urban Agenda 81. We recognize that the realization of the transformative commitments set out in the New Urban Agenda will require enabling policy frameworks at the national, subnational and local levels… 89. We will take measures to establish legal and policy frameworks, based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination, to enhance governments’ ability to effectively implement national urban policies… 15(c) Adopt sustainable, people-centred, age- and gender-responsive and integrated approaches to urban and territorial development by implementing policies, strategies, capacity development and actions at all levels, based on fundamental drivers of change, including: (i) Developing and implementing urban policies at the appropriate level, including in local–national and multi-stakeholder partnerships, building integrated systems of cities and human settlements, and promoting cooperation among all levels of government to enable them to achieve sustainable integrated urban development… 21. We urge all national, subnational and local governments, as well as all relevant stakeholders, in line with national policies and legislation, to revitalize, strengthen and create partnerships, enhancing coordination and cooperation to effectively implement the New Urban Agenda and realize our shared vision… **The GMF funds the Partners for Climate Protection program, a network of more than 300 municipal governments accounting for more than 65 percent of the Canadian population that have committed to GHG reduction. The Partners program is the Canadian component of the international ICLEI Cities for Climate Protection network, initiated as a part of the strategy for the implementation of the 1992 UN Agenda 21 agreement on sustainable development and the 1994 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This experience could be a valuable source of lessons learned for designing the program to implement the New Urban Agenda in Canada.
  • Amelia Clarke over 3 years ago
    In 1992, one of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development was Agenda 21, and within it is a focus on local sustainable development. Subsequently, there was a wave of creating Local Agenda 21s as a means of creating and implementing community sustainability plans through a local partnership approach. In Canada, we focused on creating Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs). ICSPs were incentivised by the federal government through the Gas Tax Fund. Now there are over 1000 of these in Canada (see for the Canadian Sustainability Plan Inventory). Many of these ICSPs (and equivalent) are being implemented, and some communities are using a partnership approach. I think there is much to be learned from 25 years of implementing Local Agenda 21s, and about 10 years of ICSPs (see for our research on this). Canada has strong foundation of ICSPs through which it could implement the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agreement, and the global Sustainable Development Goals in a cohesive manner. Renewing/updating ICSPs to integrate the latest thinking from these three global agreements would be way of approaching Canada-wide implementation at the local scale. Encouraging a partnership approach to implementing ICSPs would enable community-wide action. Please feel free to contact me if I can be of further assistance.
  • CIPPresident over 3 years ago
    The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is a national professional association that represents over 6,300 planning professionals across Canada, and internationally. CIP has served as the voice of Canada’s professional planning community since 1919. Our website: The New Urban Agenda references planning and planning principles throughout the document. An annotated version from a planning perspective can be found here: The CIP is well positioned to support the Government of Canada with the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Working with other national partners, such as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, we are ready to lead roundtables, in addition to being able to prepare the needed research and system to implement the plan; including the development of success indicators and setting up a monitoring framework. The CIP is looking forward to working with the Government of Canada and other partners on this very important initiative.
  • Andrew Chunilall, Community Foundations of Canada over 3 years ago
    Canada's community foundation network can help. Canada has 191 community foundations from coast to coast to coast, each autonomous yet connected to one another through Community Foundations of Canada. Community foundations contribute strategic leadership, knowledge and resources, and financial capital to improve the social and economic vitality of our communities. They consult and partner with multiple levels of government, and public, private and non-profit sectors with interests that closely mirror the Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda discussed at Habitat III. Working in tri-sector partnerships, Community Foundations of Canada and its network mobilize around local priorities, including: - Civic engagement and belonging - Sustainable financing - Multi-stakeholder partnerships - Ending poverty - Food security - Resilient cities As a convener for community building and a catalyst for social progress, Canada’s community foundation network is already active in the New Urban Agenda space and well-positioned to continue to support Canada’s commitments to enhance its urban - and rural - community life. Please visit our website at to learn more, and we welcome further discussions on how our national organization and network can be leveraged to advance the New Urban Agenda in Canada.
  • Phine over 3 years ago
    Canada has launched a number of public consultations, including the development of major National Strategies. Applying a “New Urban Agenda” lens to important initiatives, such as, Truth and Reconciliation, Housing, Poverty Reduction, Mental Wellness and Homelessness will ensure Canada’s commitment of working in partnership while advancing the priorities as set out in the New Urban Agenda. Now it the time to embrace “our” commitment in the creation of these new initiatives for the benefit of all Canadians.
  • rogerpgervais over 3 years ago
    CMHC's Equilibrium & FlexHousing programs will ensure our success in moving forward with sustainable housing policy in compliance of the New Urban Agenda 2030. Let's also pay close attention to the best practices of the Bridgwater development in Winnipeg with its 50% mandate of VisitAbility, green space, walkability and other great design.
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    • rogerpgervais over 3 years ago
      Bearing in mind that Equilibrium and FlexHousing will also succeed in our current trend of densification & intensification, when designed in multi-unit projects along transit corridors.