Urban ARK at Habitat III The Habitat III global summit is well underway in Quito with many critical themes and issues already emerging. At this four-day international gathering, nation states are expected to agree on the New Urban Agenda, which will outline a global strategy on sustainable urban development for the next two decades. This is a critical moment for urban disaster risk and development agendas. Many challenging issues require further attention, not least for the agenda to respond to Debra Roberts recent critical reflections and messages shared during her IIED Barbara Ward lecture (11 October 2016), speaking ahead of Habitat III: “Global policy makers don’t make revolutions, local people do” and “there is no call to action in the draft New Urban Agenda”. Debra is Head of the Sustainable City Initiatives portfolio in eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa. co-chair of Working Group II for the IPCC's sixth assessment cycle and Urban ARK Impact Reviewer. Debra also commented on the centrality of activism for urban change and the role of every city dweller in taking up that position. Urban ARK is hosting and participating in several sessions with representation from consortium members: David Satterthwaite and David Dodman (IIED), Cassidy Johnson, Emmanuel Osuteye and Adriana Allen (UCL), Katharina Rochell and Matthias Spaliviero (UN Habitat) as well as collaborators Joe Mulligan (Kounkey Design Initiative) and Shona Patterson (Future Earth Coasts) and Urban ARK Advisory Board Member Shuaib Lwasa (Makere University). Urban ARK related sessions are as follows:
- The Power of Participatory Resilience Planning in Fast Growing Urban Settlements: Experiences from Africa, 17th Oct, 1130-1330 One Pavilion Room A, Contact: Mathias Spaliviero
- Reducing Relocation Risk in Urban Areas, 17th Oct 1100–1200, Room MR8, Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana "Benjamin Carrion". Contact: C. Johnson
- Providing safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces in the cities of the emerging economies, 17th Oct, 1330-1430, Contact: Joe Mulligan
- Environment and Urbanization Reception, 18th Oct 1800–2130, Mercure Hotel, Vicente Ramón Roca E4-122 y Avenida Rio Amazonas, Contact: D.Satterthwaite
- Disrupting urban risk traps: Towards just urban resilience, 20th Oct0930-1230, Room: Campus of Sustainable Cities, Auditorium. Contact: A. Allen
- Climate change & urban disaster resilience, tbc, Room: UN Pavillion. Contact: D. Satterthwaite
Consortium members have been sharing insights and lessons from the first few day’s sessions on Twitter and other platforms. David Satterthwaite and David Dodman have emphasised the significant role being played by representatives from Shum/Shack Dwellers International (SDI) at the conference through highlighting the critical role of local communities in the New Urban Agenda and bringing their 'reality checks, priorities and solutions to the fore'. Local actors in risk management – local government, community groups and those at risk are central stakeholders in Urban ARK’s programme of activities. UCL colleagues listed above have also participated in lively discussions around understanding risks associated with resettlements and internal displacements in cities, emphasising the imperative for avoiding forced evictions and the importance of multi-stakeholder deliberative processes. Urban ARK will be following the event closely and reflecting on key lessons, gaps and opportunities for the way forward. Please join our remaining sessions – we would love to learn from shared insights.