On the 2nd and 3rd of November Metropolis participated in the conference “Local and Regional Governments and the Right to Adequate Housing” organized by CGLU and the city of Barcelona. The meeting brought together experts and representatives of local, regional and metropolitan governments to discuss and analyze housing policies. Present in the conference was the mayor of Barcelona, Mrs. Ada Colau and the president of CGLU, Mr. Parks Tau.
During the conference various activities regarding the right to housing took place. On the first day of the event, experts on housing policies, representatives from local governments and their associations analyzed the trends in politics and multilevel governance models, involving territorial and financial housing issues. Conclusion drawn from this first session will be incorporated in the fifth report by the Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD-V), which will be published in 2019.
On second day of the event the campaign “Make the Shift” was launched and presented by Mrs. Leilani Farha, Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on the Right to Housing, who emphasized the importance of these campaigns as they “draw to the center of the debate the necessity to demercantilize housing”. Mrs. Farha stressed the important role of local governments in ensuring the right to housing, adding that “policies in this area must be developed not only for, but also with society”. This perspective was shared with Mrs. Lorena Zárate, from Habita International Coalition (HIC), which insisted that “it is not enough to put housing at the center of the debate, but rather to take a step forward and put housing at the center, not as a product of the market, but as a right”.
On the 3rd of November the “Manifesto of Barcelona” was also presented, a document regarding the commitment of local and metropolitan governments to the right for housing. The document consists of a decalogue of instruments to construct a plan in the area of housing and, in the fifth point, includes an agreement to construct a metropolitan vision in housing policies: “We promise to avoid competition between adjacent territories and polarization between the center and peripheries, promoting cooperation and solidarity in metropolitan, polycentric networks”.