New visions for how cities will look in the future are increasingly criticized by NGOs and other civil society organizations for not focusing on the rights of urban citizens, particularly those increasingly “left behind”.
Many ACCCRN members and partners are therefore focused on a “New Urban Agenda” to be agreed by the Habitat III cities conference in October 2016.
The agenda is ambitious, calling for fair and inclusive urbanization. Yet even though it is being developed through a lengthy consultation process, questions have been raised over whether consultation is being taken seriously.
There is already a recognized failure to discuss commitments made during the Habitat II conference in 1996, and progress towards them. There is no obvious consideration of what steps governments and other signatories have taken toward target delivery. The new agenda of Habitat III thus gives the impression of starting afresh with no obvious pathway toward urban social inclusion within member states.
Without such a pathway, there is little to challenge the way urbanization is unfolding in Asia which is lacking social inclusivity and increasing social inequity.