World Habitat Day 2015, Statement of the Global Platform for the Right to the City
In the context of the preparatory process towards the Habitat III and the parallel World Urban Social Forum (Quito, October 2016), we launch a strong call for the inclusion of the Right to the City as the cornerstone of the New Urban Agenda and of the responsibility of all the actors for its implementation.
In the context of the preparatory process towards the 3rd UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Human Settlements (Habitat III, Quito, October 2016), considering the legacy of Habitat II UN Conference(1996) and inspired by the occasion of the World Habitat Day 2015, we launch a strong call for the inclusion of the Right to the City as the cornerstone of the New Urban Agenda and of the responsibility of all the actors for its implementation. In order to do that, it is essential to ensure the participation of civil society organizations and local governments - on equal basis with respect to the other actors - as key partners in the definition and implementation of the New Urban Agenda
This is especially important for issues such as representation in national committees, access to information, and the inclusion of their concerns and proposals on national and international debates throughout the process. In order to guarantee a tangible impact also we confirm our commitment to the parallel World Urban Social Forum.
It is essential that the whole process and methods include the participation of civil society organizations and local governments to be able to address the diversity of interests and practices. Therefore, we call for that this international effort recognizes innovations by these actors in order to achieve more just, democratic and sustainable cities in which human rights are fulfilled as well as their responsibility towards the future generations. The Global Platform is advocating for a Habitat III outcome to embrace the Right to the City principles across four core domains:
Right to the City principles
- Protect, promote and implement the Right to the City in all Habitat III documents;
- Enshrine new paradigms for integrated planning and management in the New Urban Agenda ;
- Ensure inclusive, democratic, secure and sustainable cities;
- Fulfill the social function of property by strengthening collective social, cultural and environmental interests over individual and economic interests;
- Incorporate the priorities, needs and experiences of citizens and communities, especially for women, the poor, the minorities and vulnerable groups, and the organizations supporting them.
- Produce an outcome document with specific and measurable results and commitments
- Ensure access to basic and social services, mobility, public and green spaces and the enjoyment of natural and built heritage.
- Produce an outcome document with specific and measurable commitments and results on the implementation of the various components of the Right to the city as well as of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
- The right of women to use and enjoy cities and the right of women to a life free of violence in the public space and communities.
Role of local governments
- Ensure full participation of local governments in the Habitat III process with their role reflected in outcome documents;
- Recognize local governments as crucial actors in the Habitat III outcomes, requiring the means for effective public management and citizen participation, to preserve cities as commons;
- Recognize the central role and responsibility of local government in the promotion, protection and guarantee of human rights and the adoption of Human Rights Charters ;
- Recognize the right to a city constituted as a local political community that ensures adequate living conditions and peaceful coexistence between peoples and with government;
- Implement real decentralization with the necessary competencies and resources, to ensure that local governments can take effective decisions to fulfill inhabitants' rights;
- Ensure that all city inhabitants have rights to participate in political and city management processes and create conditions for citizens empowerment;
- Recognize local authorities as key to a safe, secure and sustainable urban future;
- Enshrine local fiscal systems that generate people-centred outcomes: fair local taxation and equitable sharing of national and international resources.
Housing and secure tenure
- Protect, promote and implement the Right to housing in all Habitat III documents;
- Prioritize secure tenure rights to land and housing as a keystone of the New Urban Agenda;Enshrine the right to adequate housing in all legal, policy and delivery frameworks;
- Control market-led speculation and protect people and communities from forced evictions, displacements and land-grabbing;Promote inclusive, community-led approaches to the production of habitat;
- Promote slum upgrading and risk prevention, prioritizing the security of tenure and the respect of all human rights;Ensure public means and support for housing production;
- Create a legal framework to ensure public land value capture operations for the inclusion of the poor and marginalized people.
- Promote explicit subsidies for female headed households under poverty line and with children under their sole responsibility.
Jobs and livelihoods
- Enshrine the right to secure and decent livelihoods in all Habitat III documents;
- Ensure legal protection of workers, including the right to decent work, to organize, and freedom from discrimination;
- Promote inclusive economic growth and solidarity- based and collaborative economy, that reduces vulnerability, strengthen livelihoods, narrows gender equity gaps, and prioritizes health and safety;
- Encourage the creation of solidarity- based income for the more vulnerable and act towards universal basic income
- Recognize informal economy workers as legitimate economic agents;
- Include workers in the decision-making and planning of cities.
- Recognize the private and public work assumed by women in general which implies a double and triple burden under their responsibilities, particularly when alone responsible of their households.
The Global Platform for the Right to the City is an international network supported by over 100 civil society organizations, social movements, academic institutions, local governments, public sector agencies, foundations and international organizations, which seeks to create an international movement to campaign for the recognition and implementation of the Right to the City at local, national and global level.
The Right to the City is defined by the World Charter on the Right to the City (2005) as the equitable usufruct of cities within the principles of sustainability, democracy, equity, and social justice. It is a new collective right of the urban inhabitants, in particular of the marginalized groups and people living under vulnerable conditions, that confers upon them legitimacy of action and organization, based on their uses and customs, with the objective to achieve full exercise of the right to free self-determination and an adequate standard of living. The Right to the City is interdependent of all internationally recognized and integrally conceived human rights, and therefore includes all the civil, political, economic, social, cultural and environmental rights which are already foreseen in the international human rights treaties. It includes the inhabitant´s rights to the resources, services, goods and opportunities of city life, including rights to citizenship, to participation in governance, and to land for housing and livelihoods; while also encompassing emerging collective rights, e.g.: to water, energy or cultural identity. The Right to the City challenges the commodification of urban land to argue for recognition of the social function of land and property. Countries and cities have already included these principles and reframed urban legislation accordingly (e.g.: Brazil and Ecuador) and practice (e.g.: Mexico City and Montréal).
PLATFORM PARTNERS include…
ActionAid, Brazilian National Urban Reform Forum(Brazil), Cities Alliance, Fundación Avina, Global Fund for the Development of Cities (FMDV), Habitat International Coalition (HIC), Habitat for Humanity, International Alliance of Inhabitants (IAI), Polis Institute, Shack/Slum Dwellers International (SDI), StreetNet International, UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights, Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO), Women and Habitat Network (Red Mujer y Habitat), Huairou Commission.