OVERVIEW OF THE CONFERENCE
A National Urban Policy (NUP) is ‘a coherent set of decisions derived through a deliberate government-led process coordinating and rallying various actors for a common vision and goal that will promote more transformative, productive, inclusive and resilient urban development for the long term.
NUP has been recognized internationally as a tool for the implementation and monitoring of global urban agendas including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New Urban Agenda (NUA), the Paris Agreement and the Sendai Framework. In the NUA, countries commit to developing and implementing NUPs and building integrated national systems of cities and human settlements. NUP has also been recognized as a proxy indicator to measure SDG target 11.a and reported in the UN Secretary Glossy Report since 2016. The past two years has witnessed an increasing number of countries requesting for assistance on their NUPs. According to the 2018 Report on the Global State of NUP, more than 70 countries have developed or are developing their NUPs, underlining a strong political interest and commitment.
The International Conference on NUP (ICNUP) aims to bring together high-level officials, policy-makers, academics and many other urban stakeholders, to discuss how NUPs can contribute to sustainable urban development. The first conference was held in Incheon, Korea in 2015, co-hosted by UN-Habitat, the Korean Research Institute for Human Settlements, the Korea Institute of Civil Engineering and Building Technology, and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Co-organized by the OECD and UN-Habitat, the second conference took place in Paris, France in May 2017, attracting 350 representatives from 80 countries.
The ICNUP is one of the key activities of the National Urban Policy Programme (NUPP), a joint global initiative of UN-Habitat, the OECD and Cities Alliance. The NUPP works with national and local governments as well as relevant stakeholders to address capacity gap and help them develop and implement appropriate frameworks to manage urban development. NUPP is also engaged in the global monitoring of NUPs, with the biennial publication of the Global State of National Urban Policy Report, the second edition of which will be published in 2020.
Accelerating urbanization continues to be a crucial and complex policy issue for many countries, and the increasing interest in NUPs at the national and global level clearly illustrates this global trend. NUPs are also recognised or expected to play a key role in addressing a number of different policy issues. In particular, NUPs can play a key role in addressing the rise of two global trends that may bring not only unprecedented challenges but also opportunities to urban areas. First, climate change is being recognised as bringing devastating impacts to cities, as illustrated in the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of Global Warming of 1.5 ºC. Yet, as the 2018 Global State of NUP report pointed out, climate resilience and environmental sustainability are areas where not enough political attention are given in NUPs around the world. Second, technological innovation is another fast-evolving global trend that presents an enormous potential for cities but also challenges, if not properly addressing the risk of socio-spatial inequalities and divides. Urgent and coordinated policy responses are called for to maximise the benefit of technological innovations for cities.
NUPs have the potential to help countries and cities address these global trends and maximise the opportunities they may bring. In order to do so, NUPs need to develop new and innovative policy approaches, instruments, and partnerships across all levels of governments and all sectors of society.
With this background, the ICNUP3 aims to serve as a platform to discuss how NUPs can use and promote innovative ways to make cities more sustainable, climate-resilient and low-carbon. It also provides all the participants with an opportunity to showcase country-specific case studies, innovative approaches and tools, emerging knowledge on urban policy, and to learn from each other.
The conference follows the fruitful discussion at the 7th OECD roundtable of Mayors and Ministers, which took place in Athens, Greece, on March 19th 2019, where more than 50 leaders gathered to discuss the role of NUPs in addressing global megatrends. The conference will also be the first opportunity following the First UNHabitat Assembly in Nairobi in May 2019 to consider the role of National Urban Policy in the ongoing process of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
In the new UN-Habitat Strategic Plan 2020-2023 launched during the Assembly, four domains of change were highlighted, namely reduced spatial inequality and poverty in communities across urban-rural continuum, enhanced shared prosperity for cities and regions, strengthened climate action and improved urban environment, and effective urban crisis prevention and response. The focus on climate change is timely as it follows the UN Climate Change Summit in September 2019, and the upcoming revision of Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement in 2020. The focus on innovation is also relevant in the run-up to the 10th World Urban Forum, taking place in Abu Dhabi on February 2020, on the theme of Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation.
OBJECTIVES OF THE 3RD ICNUP Overall objectives • To share recent experiences and good practices in NUP design and implementation and to extract key lessons to inform successful approaches, methodologies and tools across countries. This will be achieved through training event, plenary, regional and thematic sessions.
- To engage with urban stakeholders to promote NUPs as a key strategy for national socio-economic development and sustainable urbanization for countries in need.
- To encourage high-level political commitment to advancing NUPs.
- To discuss the NUPP Workplans 2019-20 amongst global National Urban Policy Programme partners and to discuss ways for more effective partnership among them. Specific objectives • To highlight the relevance and importance of NUPs to enhance climate resilience in cities and to drive low-carbon urban transition.
- To discuss how NUPs can maximize the opportunities of cities through technological innovations towards sustainable and climate-resilient cities.
- To discuss among countries and experts how to effectively monitor NUPs at the global scale.
- To discuss how NUPs can facilitate inclusive urban development, reduce spatial inequality and enhance shared prosperity across the urban-rural continuum.
- To share and promote innovative tools and methods to engender an economic impetus and orientation in the context of the implementation of UN-Habitat’s Strategic Plan 2020-2023.
Name of Organization:
- Cities Alliance
Names and titles of speakers:
- Shipra Narang Suri, Coordinator, Urban Planning and Design Branch at UN-Habitat
Estimated number of participants: 200
Estimated number of participants: 200