On 2, 3 and 4 May, the city of Berlin, together with Metropolis, the Friedrich Ebert Foundation and the Technical University of Berlin, co-organised the workshop and forum "Cities as actors." The workshop culminated in an initiative that started with "PrepCity1" (Buenos Aires, May 2015) and "PrepCity2" (Mexico City, March 2016). These events brought together representatives of the governments, members of Metropolis, experts, and representatives of international agencies and NGOs.
With the city of Berlin at the helm, Metropolis has spent the past year analysing and debating the different elements that should be included the New Urban Agenda (NUA). The NUA will be decided on in the Habitat III conference (Quito, October 2016) and will cover the main aspects of the 2030 Agenda with an impact on cities.
The meeting was attended by over 60 representatives from the 9 member cities of Metropolis (Brussels, Belgium; Buenos Aires and Rosario, Argentina; Guangzhou, China; Hyderabad, India; Johannesburg, South Africa; Montreal, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; and Quito, Ecuador), as well as other global metropolises such as Nairobi (Kenya), Sydney (Australia), Washington and New York (USA).
Following the work carried out in previous sessions and case studies, it became clear that the NUA has to cover the following issues:
- Understanding cities as complex actors and not just as demarcated municipalities or urban areas.
- Recognising the importance of a renewed social contract, which is summarized in the notion of the "Right to the City" (incorporating the urban system as part of this contract).
- Including culture as a transformative factor.
- Moving towards the conditions covered in the NAU that will make an impact: capabilities, mandates and resources.
Moreover, proposing a set of principles that will make for better cities, related to sustainability, economics, culture and governance.
Finally, the Prepcity initiative has also highlighted a series of measures to monitor and implement the progress made by cities towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
All of these results will be presented as part of the German Habitat Forum, which will take place on 1 and 2 June in Berlin.
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