Launch of the Regional National Urban Policy Programme: Sustainable, Inclusive and Evidence-based National Urban Policies in selected Arab States

Monday, October 17, 2016

Over the recent years, it has been widely recognized that in order to capitalize on the opportunities presented by urbanization, urban policy and planning must embrace a scope that reaches beyond the traditional city. This is particularly important to the Arab Region in order to unfold the full potential in the region to achieve sustainable and prosperous cities. Certainly, the various country and sub-regional contexts need to be taken into consideration, ranging from crisis and post-crisis humanitarian and recovery situations to development related environments.

This Programme, Sustainable, Inclusive and Evidence-based National Urban Policies in selected Arab States, aims to strengthen capacities of policy makers in Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia and Sudan for more informed, sustainable and inclusive National Urban Policies (NUPs). With the support of UN Habitat, country teams will work with national, sub-national and local governments, strengthening their policy-making processes while promoting a participatory and inclusive approach. The Programme will use NUP as an opportunity to rally multiple stakeholders in these four countries in order to collectively define an urban vision and common urban goals. By providing a coordinating framework and action plan to bring coherence across various urban sectors and scales of urban management through NUP, the Project will endeavor to support inclusive and sustainable urbanization.

This Project is a timely demonstration of actions that development partners and countries can take to support the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal 11 in order to support global work towards sustainable urbanization.

For more information on the launch of the Programme, see the report here.

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Partners Launch the National Urban Policy Programme

At the margins of Habitat III in Quito, Ecuador, UN-Habitat, OECD, and Cities Alliance launched the National Urban Policy Programme (NUPP). The joint initiative aimed at contributing to the successful implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) and to achieving sustainable and prosperous human settlements for all, leaving no one behind, through the development of National Urban Policies (NUP). According to Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat and Secretary General of the Habitat III Conference, “national urban policy is the most relevant part of the New Urban Agenda.”

The NUPP draws from a long history of partnership on NUP between UN-Habitat, OECD and Cities Alliance. The Habitat III process, and the work between OECD and UN Habitat in co-leading Policy Unit 3, was particularly instrumental in the concretization of the NUPP.

The three organizations recognize the need for a coordinated and collaborative effort to support the development of NUP as an important tool for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Through the NUPP, these three organizations are looking forward to working with partners and member states to support the development and implementation of NUP. The core areas of the Programme are:

  • Contribute to fill the gaps in urban data, knowledge, and tools by providing a forum for knowledge creation, knowledge exchange and knowledge management for evidence-based  urban policy and planning.
  • Bridge the capacity gaps by working with national and local governments as well as relevant stakeholders to build the specialized skills required to develop a coordinated approach to development of NUP.
  • Support the development of effective and implementable NUPs globally and strengthen urban governance through the provision of technical assistance and advisory services on the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of NUP and its associated processes and ultimately.
  • Monitor the progress of NUP in its role as a part of the monitoring process of the New Urban Agenda / Sustainable Development Goals, through a global review and country specific reviews on NUP.
  • Provide a platform for all levels of government and relevant stakeholders to network and engage in the processes of developing and implementing NUP. This platform will also facilitate the broader engagement of all relevant stakeholders. According to the forthcoming UN-Habitat Global State of NUP report, only 11% of countries globally have successfully implemented a NUP. The New Urban Agenda acknowledges that national urban policies are an important tool for “good urbanization”, towards development and the prosperity of nations and achieving sustainable development and growth. The Programme will be implemented with the support of the Government of Korea. UN Habitat and the Government of Korea signed a Memorandum of Understanding during the Habitat III Conference in which the Government of Korea committed to supporting the development of National Urban Policies in three countries over three years, through the Programme. During the Habitat III Conference in Quito a number of ongoing and upcoming Programme activities were announced. A special report on the State of National Urban Policy in OECD Countries produced by OECD and UN Habitat and was launched during the Conference. UN Habitat also launched the Global Database on National Urban Policies. Lastly, the Second International Conference on National Urban Policy was announced and will be held from May 15-18, 2017 in Paris, France. The Conference will be co-organized by the OECD and UN Habitat and supported by Cities Alliance and will offer a post-Quito platform for stakeholder engagement.

Therefore, through strengthening the linkages between the three co-leading organizations and promoting and supporting the development of NUP together, the NUPP will become one of the main implementing Programmes for the New Urban Agenda.

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