In the framework of the 2nd World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders – 4th UCLG World Congress, which took place in Rabat (Morocco) last October 2013. the UCLG Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights organized two debates regarding the right to the city.
“The right to the city: an international dialogue for Middle East – North Africa region” (in partnership with Habitat International Coalition – HIC)
In this side event various stakeholders and regions could compare experiences and views concerning progress and challenges in the realization of the right to the city in the MENA region. Three questions oriented the debate in light of the changes taking place in the region:
- What is meant by the “right to the city” from the point of view of civil society organizations and local governments?
- What content and strategies can the right to the city offer for the democratization of our urban societies?
- What commitments must the various stakeholders assume, in order to advance implementation of the right to the city?
Several proposals from the panel will help stimulate the debate about a progressive urban agenda leading up to Habitat III (2016). These include the requisite constitutional and legal order to enable autonomous local government within the enabling state; the question of scale and scaling-up good practices, from local efforts to citywide programs; the resource needs of ensuring institutions, systems and personnel competent to meet city dwellers’ democratic expectations; and finally the need for sufficient civic education for public servants, officials and the general public in human rights-based governance.
“The right to the city: fighting against urban inequalities” (in partnership with CEMR and the UCLG Committee on Peripheral Cities)
This panel discussed about the type of strategies and local policies that enable progress in the implementation of the right to the city.
In 2011, UCLG adopted the Global Charter-Agenda for Human Rights in the City in order to encourage local governments to design public policies that contribute to foster what is known as the “right to the city”. This concept seeks to establish a new political and cultural model in order to institute the local territory as a space for the collective construction and enjoyment of the rights of citizenship, which should be guaranteed to all residents of the city.
Two main recommendations ensued from this panel:
- UCLG should defend the recognition of the right to the city within the new urban agenda to be defined at Habitat III, engaging in dialogue with the networks and organizations of civil society.
- The Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights is the channel through which a specific work on the right to the city should be undertaken to provide UCLG with political messages and evidences.
For further information on the debates, please click here.