New Urban Agenda

The need for the New Urban Agenda (NUA) arose because of the changes that urbanization has brought to the environment since the 19th century. The agenda, which is prepared by taking into account the opportunities to be created by the good management of these effects, reveals a long-term vision and defines the priorities. It is aimed to support and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the vision of NUA. With the NUA and especially SDG-11, it has been observed that there is a lack, especially in Sustainable Cities and Living Spaces. Therefore, it aims to manage and monitor urbanization worldwide by drawing a comprehensive framework to accelerate the achievement of this SDG.

NUA was approved at the Habitat III conference held in Quito, the capital city of Ecuador, on October 20, 2016, following the agenda of Habitat II held in Istanbul in 1996 and has also been ratified by the United Nations General Council. More than a thousand local and regional governments, 197 member states, thousands of non-governmental organizations, and more than 40 United Nations (UN) organizations have been involved in the development of the NUA.

NUA has three stages: basic dimensions, implementation, monitoring and reporting. Key dimensions are also examined separately within the sustainability framework: sociocultural, economic, environmental, and spatial sustainability. With its different universal dimensions, it is used to ensure the sustainability of future urban planning and development. Four goals have been set for sociocultural sustainability: empowering marginalized groups, ensuring gender equality, planning for immigrants, ethnic minority groups, and people with disabilities, and making age-sensitive arrangements. In line with these goals, it aims to ensure that everyone benefits equally from the opportunities the cities offer. Thus, urban development will become sustainable regarding social inclusion and poverty eradication. The second dimension, economic sustainability, means sustainable and inclusive urban economies for NUA; It focuses on creating employment and good livelihood conditions, ensuring productivity and competitiveness. Environmental sustainability, which is one of the three important elements, aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of settlements by ensuring biodiversity, resilience, adaptation to climate change, and mitigating climate change. It states that for this, city administrators and decision-makers need effective management of land resources and other environmental resources. Lastly, spatial sustainability, a newly emerging subject that NUA focuses on, argues that the spatial situation of a city develops its power to increase the sociocultural, economic, environmental values​​, and welfare level of the city. It also focuses on spatial equality and urban density.

The implementation is divided into four parts: response mechanisms, solid measures for infrastructure and services, light measures, and technology and innovation. The response mechanisms focus on issues such as national urban policies, municipal finances, and city management, while measures focus on physical problems such as energy, waste, water, and issues such as culture, education, health, and safety. In addition, with its technology and innovation department, it aims to work on developing transportation, mapping, and construction technologies.

The last category, monitoring and reporting aims to guide member states and other partners in collecting urban data and determining the work done and its results. It collects qualitative and quantitative data from around the world and suggests how this data can be used for urban sustainability.

UCLG-MEWA plays an important role in accelerating the achievement of the SDG-11 through NUA and guides local governments on these practices.