The “New Urban Agenda” for Housing and Sustainable Urban Development

During the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), Argentina undertook to promote more integrated cities, improve the quality of life of their inhabitants and link urban planning to productive development.

Argentina participated in the Conference Habitat III, held in the city of Quito, Ecuador, on 17-20 October. During the Conference, the New Urban Agenda, which establishes global standards for sustainable urban development, was adopted. The Agenda rethinks the way we build, manage, and live in cities with a view to reaffirming the global commitment to sustainable urban development, assessing the progress made so far, dealing with the issue of poverty and addressing new emerging challenges.

The Argentine delegation, headed by Vice President Gabriela Michetti, included the Minister of the Interior and Public Works, Rogelio Frigerio; the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Carlos Foradori and several federal officials, provincial governors and municipal mayors from different cities throughout the country, which shows the importance given by Argentina to housing and sustainable urban development.

The implementation of the “New Urban Agenda” will help to attain the goals set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially Goal 11: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. It presents a shared vision of “cities for all” that implies equal use and enjoyment of cities and human settlements, seeking to promote inclusivity and ensure that all inhabitants of present and future generations, without discrimination of any kind, are able to inhabit and produce just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements, to foster prosperity and quality of life for all.

In this context, Argentina submitted its national report, stressing that the greatest challenge posed by the situation of urban habitat in the country, which is one of the most urbanized in the world (currently, urbanization amounts to 92%), is to make the interrelation between territorial planning and public investment more efficient. The Report sets as a priority the creation of more integrated cities, which incorporate settlements into the urban fabric and allow for the provision of basic services; accessibility; property ownership regularization; habitat, housing and public space improvement; and construction of community educational, healthcare and cultural facilities. It also recognizes that measures must be taken for risk control, addressing floods through the creation of reservoirs and water plants.

Furthermore, in its national report, Argentina proposes to work on the inclusion of the urban planning aspect in the promotion of the country’s productive development, encouraging the growth of regional economies in order to achieve greater autonomy and sustainability in provincial and local governments, while generating new jobs.