The 7th World Urban Forum of UN- Habitat, in which Metropolis was actively involved as co-organizer of a networking event, came to a close last April 11 in Medellín with the reading of the Medellín Declaration, signed by all participants at the Forum involving governments, private sector, international organizations, private sector and civil society.
The Medellín Declaration set equity as the center of a new development agenda and urban transformation. “Equity is an integral part of the development agenda. It is a moral obligation and a central element of social justice that should be part of the transformative change.
With the Medellin Declaration establishing the urgent "need" to promote an agenda that goes beyond the lack of planning that currently has as consequences “expanding cities , intense energy use and the impacts of climate change." The paradigm shift “model should promote people-centered development, (... ) Promote social cohesion and to break with the logic of segregation by promoting fairness in particular women, youth and indigenous people ."
This urban agenda must solve current problems of access to housing, basic services and land tenure and provide " safe, affordable and sustainable transport and public spaces safe and sustainable ."
The Executive Director of UN-Habitat and former mayor of Barcelona, Joan Clos, said that the prevailing model of urbanism “is not sustainable enough, from an environmental and social perspective”; because, from their point of view, only encourages social inequalities. In that sense, the figures quoted by Clos specify that in the coming decades the current planning model will host seven billion people around the world; double the current amount.
According to the conclusions of the event, the paradigm shift about the devolution of people in urban centers; that must have structural plans and support of all national governments.
Participants at the World Urban Forum VII “encouraged” governments to encourage this development considering “future needs” and with due respect to “equity, justice and human rights."
The Medellín Declaration urges the Habitat III Conference, scheduled for 2016, to “develop a new urban agenda" that includes these demands.
According to figures from the organizers, the event was visited by 22,000 people representing 162 countries and over 56 ministers of housing and urban development.