On Sunday, February 19, 2017, the UN-HABITAT Youth Advisory Board (YAB) launched the Berlin Urban Agenda after a week-long consultation process with youth and various German ministries. The Berlin Urban Agenda will serve as YAB’s primary tool for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Local authorities, government agencies, UN entities, and other stakeholders are welcomed to become partners.
City based not-for-profit organisation Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation has been granted with the prestigious India Youth Fund Award by UN-Habitat & Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation. The award was given for APD’s Smart Swaccha Mangaluru (SSM) project for SWM during the Young Social Innovators Conclave 2016 held in Mumbai on l5th November. APD Foundation’s founder Abdullah A. Rehman received the award certificate from Padmini Somani, Director, Narotam Sekhsaria Foundation. The award will also include funding of the awarded project of up to Rs. 8 Lakhs. Mangaluru’s APD Foundation was one among seven recipients to be selected for the award out of the 550 applicants from across the country The other recipients are: (1) Awaajan Kalyan Samhiti, Bhopal, (2) MicroX Foundation, Delhi, (3) Green Cross India, Trivandrum, (4) Born2Win Social Welfare Trust, Chennai, (5) Shaishav Gujarat and (6) Friends Union for Energizing Lives, Pune indifferent categories. SSM is a programme to achieve segregation at source through targeted campaigns, workshops and training programmes. It will be executed side by side with APD’s current IEC campaign which is conducted along with Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt. Ltd.
“In the coming months through workshops and toolkits, we aim to actively help schools, colleges, government buildings; offices, malls etc., to adopt sustainable waste management techniques,” says Sobia, APD’s strategic planner. “This conversion strategy is adopted in cities like Taiwan, Japan, Singapore& London. To introduce this program to Mangaluru will be a great challenge. So we hope this award for Mangaluru city will encourage the citizens to actively participate in waste segregation and work jointly to achieve the cleanest city tag for Mangaluru city,” says Rehman. Anti-Pollution Drive (APD) Foundation was founded on October 2, 2014 to spearhead a crusade against air pollution caused by smoke emitting vehicles and thereby to ensure a safe, clean and sustainable environment for healthy living. The drive aims to wake the conscience of people by emphasizing the problem in hand, connecting & aggregating professionals from different fields to address the crisis, meeting officials to capture & fill the gaps in the system, producing actionable data & proof regarding the health impact & levels of air pollution. APD Foundation has also initiated Information, Education and Communication (IEC) activities along with Antony Waste Handling Cell Pvt. Ltd. on Solid Waste Management in the city on behalf of Mangalore City Corporation towards the Swaccha Mangaluru mission.
Anti-Pollution Drive Foundation a brain child of Abdullah A Rehman was founded on October 2nd, 2014 to pioneer a campaign against air pollution and to ensure a safe and healthy environment for living. We are improvising on our ways to keep a tap on the air that we breathe is breathable and also on waste management which has become a major issue now. Disposing of waste has a significant effect on our environment. It is necessary to discuss on producing excessive amounts of waste which can take the very land that we are standing on. It’s high time that we act as a team before the thrash actually thrashes us OUT. As a team, we constantly make decisions that shape the rest of our activities. Each choice we make can forever affect our future, our impact on society, and the way others perceive us. That’s why it is so important to develop our character as a team. Even a simple notion can spark a positive or negative thought. When we help out, we are influencing ourselves in a positive way that often follows us throughout. We believe each tiny thought, word, action, and habit, changes YOUR future. Our opportunities are growing, and serving the society and educating our peers can only increase our opportunities. The team has always felt that volunteering and community service are something that we, as citizens, are internally obligated to do. When we find a cause we care about, a cause we connect with, we are able to dedicate some time from our lives for this cause. And this one cause is driving our society towards a `Zero Waste Society’. The team also believes that small-small ideas when put together to a mighty talent pool of members can create magic. Whether you have a thought of becoming a potential actress, or peculiarity for science, or love for animals, or space to recreate history: this seemingly small thought just might shape your world. Remember it all starts with your thoughts. They soon become words, which becomes your actions, your habits, your character and your destiny. You don’t really have to go out of the country to make a difference; you can do activities in your home town. You would be surprised how a little goes a long way. Please leave any suggestions or feedbacks so that a healthy conversation builds up and together with you and the team we can mitigate pollution and safeguard our environment.
Have you heard of the Global Youth-led Development Report or State of the Urban Youth Report Series? If not, would you be interested in getting an insight into what they have to offer?
The UN-Habitat Youth and Livelihood Unit is in the process of evaluating these publications and we would like to invite you to take a moment to complete our online survey and share some of your experiences and opinions.
If you are unfamiliar with publications in either of these series, we invite you to have a look through one or more titles of your choice before completing the survey.
The Global Youth-led Development Report series is a collection of publications that aim to expand the global knowledge base of urban youth-led development. Publications in this series build upon in-depth research on the activities, contexts and capacities of youth-led organizations from UN-Habitat’s Urban Youth Fund. The series emphasizes the many ways that young people are driving positive change in their communities and further outline different ways in which local, national and international governments can move to engage and support youth-led initiatives.
Links to Publications in the Global Youth-led Development Report(GYDR) series:
The State of the Urban Youth Report series is a collection of publications that focus attention on the emerging challenges faced by young people in cities around the world. Publications in this series look at multiple case studies of youth in different urban contexts and offer timely analysis of trends and challenges. The publications further provide data-driven recommendations for policymakers concerned with urban youth issues.
Links to Publications in the State of the Urban Youth Report (SUYR) series:
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria, conducted hands-on training in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; green entrepreneurship and enterprise development for 125 selected youths drawn from 26 States across the Nigeria in Abuja from 12th to 23rd December 2016.
The hands-on training on energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies; green entrepreneurship and enterprise development training programme was organized by the Regional Office for Africa; Youth Unit and the Energy Unit of UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Nigeria President on Sustainable Development Goals (OSSAP-SDGS). The training which was held in Abuja from 11th – 23rd December 2016 was targeted at Nigerian unemployed youths. First batch of 125 (One Hundred and Twenty-Five) youth participants were selected from across the 26 States of Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to benefit from the programme. The training aimed at empowering the trained youths to start income generating enterprises in the renewable energy sector; become active proponents of energy efficiency and renewable energy approaches with a clear understanding of the issues/application around climate change; act as positive agents in their communities and bring about behavioral change among their peers and across their communities.
The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung in his opening remarks thanked the SSAP and UN Habitat for organizing the training programme. The Minister stated that the importance of the energy industry in Nigeria cannot be overemphasized. He also stated that the present administration is committed towards the development and empowerment of Nigerian youths. He assured the youth that the Federal Government of Nigeria would
continue to take the interest of young people into consideration in the formulation and implementation of its policies and programmes. He advised the youth not to give room for dis-unity among them or allow themselves to be manipulated or used as criminal elements by politicians. He also charged them to work hard to succeed and use the opportunity of the training to establish themselves and build solid relationships with one another. The Minister informed that the government is in the process of putting in place a trust fund for youths to address issues of funding. The Senior Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs. Adejoke Adefulire, said the programme was developed by the Presidency in partnership with the UN-Habitat to empower youths through the provision of training in energy efficiency and renewable technologies. She said, “The main objective of this programme is to involve Nigerian youths in the green economy project, contributing to climate change mitigation, because majority of our youths do not have stable economic opportunities, as they are unemployed, discouraged or vulnerably employed.
Adefulire observed that the training was not to replace the university or college degrees of
the trainees but would enhance their capacities. “By your decision to be part of this exercise, you will move away from poverty, crime, drug abuse, militancy and terrorism to a sustainable platform, as this programme will address goal 1 of the SDG, which is no poverty, goal 7 on renewable energy, and goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities,” she said.
The Habitat Programme Manager for Nigeria, Mr. Kabir Yari who represented the Director for Regional Office for Africa, said subsequent training would capture a greater number of trainees, adding that the exercise would go a long way in reducing unemployment in Nigeria.
He said, “Our collaboration with Nigeria on this project is to provide technical inputs in terms of facilitators, technical personnel and other related things that will ensure a successful training. As you know, the SDGs is a 2030 agenda which intends to improve the lives of all citizens and leaving no one behind.” Tapping into its new thinking on producing items that can be locally sourced for the consumption of Nigeria’s population, the federal government is to partner with the United Nation Habitat to train some Nigerian youths on clean energy for home use. The partnership for empowerment captures capacity building in energy technologies for production of clean stoves and lantern that will serve the energy needs of rural poor and other areas where renewable energy will complement power needs.
Explaining the rationale for the partnership for the training, Vincent Kitio, Chief Urban Energy Unit, says the youth are being trained in a blend of entrepreneurship and technologies to developed skill sets in production of renewable energy as alternatives to replace kerosene stoves and lantern which has proven dangerous in some cases.
At the end of the course, participants were able to;
Build solar lanterns
Set up briquette production to substitute charcoal and firewood
The following video shows how youth got active at Habitat 3! Watch, be inspired and take some #UrbanAction!
#UrbanAction is the new UN-Habitat Youth campaign the was launched at Habitat 3 in Quito. The goal is to inspire and advocate for youth action to achieve the urban Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.
UNOY Peacebuilders and Search for Common Ground have been working with the Secretariat for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security to develop a global survey of youth-led peacebuilding organizations and initiatives.
The purpose is to map youth organizations and initiatives building peace and preventing violence, to identify what they are doing, what impact they have made and their needs and goals for the future.
The survey will be one of the key ways of collecting data for the Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, forming a direct way for young people to have their work represented in the study. It will also be used to create a publicly available database of consenting youth peacebuilding organizations and initiatives.
Does your organization fit the following?
Youth-led: The organization or initiative is primarily made up of, and driven by (including leadership positions) young people. Resolution 2250 defines young people as falling within the age range of 18-29 years old, while taking into account the variations of defining the youth that may exist in different contexts.
Working on peace and security: Implementing actions that aim to build peace, prevent violence, transform conflict and actively contribute to establish sustainable peace in their community, nation or region.
Who owns the city? This question was a subject of passionate debates at the Habitat III conference in Quito. The answer was straightforward: it belongs to its citizens. In this context, the design of public spaces is one of the biggest challenges. This has not always worked well. The Habitat III conference and the New Urban Agenda create opportunities for cities’ authorities and civil societies to learn with and from each other.
An opinion by Jonas Freist-Held from Habitat III, Quito October 2016
In Berlin, you do not have to search long to find best and worst practices how to design public space. On the one hand, the “Gleisdreieckpark” – a newly designed park in the heart of Berlin – with its inclusive and sustainable design sets new standards. Or the “Tempelhofer Feld”, the massive area of the former city airport that has become the city’s biggest recreational space, stands exemplary for effective citizen participation. On the other hand, you can find the “Alexanderplatz”, a grey and busy concrete desert in the heart of Berlin that becomes more terrible with every new building constructed.
During the Habitat III conference on sustainable urban development in Quito, the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, rightly stressed the role model his city can be to other cities around the world. Nevertheless, he did good to state that Berlin can – and must – as well learn and benefit from best-practices and experiences of other cities from all around the world.
The City as Public Good
The discussion about public spaces is closely linked to a movement that has become stronger and more influential within the last years: The Right to the City. Who owns the city? Are cities public good? – Questions passionately debated in Quito. For Sergio Roldán Gutiérrez the answer is easy. He is the President of the Urban Planning group of the Colombian city Medellín.
“Before we design a city we have to empower its citizens. A city cannot be shaped without the active participation of its people.” Just a decade ago his city was a stronghold of Colombian drug traffic, a crime haven. With targeted and intelligent policies, today, the town with more than four million inhabitants has become a role model for innovative and sustainable urban development. Creative mobility solutions such as cable cars have connected districts suffering from poverty and crime to the city center. After that education centers were built and public spaces created. “If we fail to actively involve citizens, they might not experience the city as they should and ultimately even destroy what we created. The citizens have priority! Then comes the city. That’s our main objective, that’s our mission.”, the urban planner is convinced. The success proves him right.
Fight Against Urban Exclusion
But what if cities are not blessed with such foresighted decision-makers? Worldwide, and especially in Latin America, gated communities are growing. People are segregated by social status; public places are declared as exclusive. Increasingly, poor people are driven out to the cities’ outskirts. Hence, empathy for the lives of others decreases, social and economic inequalities increase. This is a frightening development. Public spaces are meeting places for people from all social classes, from any background and of any age. They are key to sustainable development in a vivid urban environment.
In Quito, it was the youth repeatedly stressing the importance of public spaces. It was one of their central causes at Habitat III, a conference that was dominated by the positive vibes and creative ideas of young people from all around the world. In discussions, such as during a spontaneous pop-up meeting organized by the Youth Advisory Board of UN-HABITAT, youth from Ecuador, Peru or Chile complained about the lack of channels to engage in their city’s development – an element Roldán Gutiérrez considers crucial in making a city work for its people.
That such channels are still missing in many places around the world does not leave young people silent or inactive. Habitat III has shown how initiatives and projects have been created at grassroots levels. Often, small-scale ideas and movements that incorporate sustainable and innovative solutions have the potential to create bigger change in the long run. And nothing is more sustainable than a strong and growing youth movement.
Examples of creative and innovative urban solutions are as diverse as cities around the world themselves. In Barcelona (Spain), streets are reorganized to create new public spaces and decrease traffic; the Colombian capital Bogotá supports street art and graffiti allowing citizens to design their city, One-Stop Youth Centers in Mogadishu (Somalia) create safe spaces with education services for young people, in Freiburg (Germany) the Vauban, a entirely green and sustainable city district was created from scratch and in Montreal (Canada) the city has introduced special measures to improve the safety of girls and women in public transportation. The list of projects and initiatives could be continued endlessly.
Habitat III and the New Urban Agenda provide a global framework to exchange these best-practice examples and to create new ideas and share them in an international network of cities. The years to come will show if the agenda will be successful. But one thing in Quito has become clear: young people are willing and capable of acting to design inclusive cities. Their creative potential is immense.
Since 2016 Badi Zárate Khalili has worked for the Metropolitan Institute of Planning in Guadalajara, the second biggest city of Mexico. With only 23 years old, he is the youngest city planner in his team and responsible for the coordination of public participation and communication. In addition, Badi has represented the Latin American youth in the Youth Advisory of Board of UN-Habitat since 2015.
*Coordinating public participation and communication
It should not be a surprise that young people are getting a more active role in the design of public policies and decision making in the cities, it is just a natural step out of the enormous efforts made by previous generations. I had the pleasure of volunteering in social action projects since I was 15 years old, which helped me understand the need of involvement of young people in making a difference and a love for service to the community started growing in me since then and which is still my main motivation up to now. I began developing different projects as an activist for the right of the city and in 2015, I was invited to join the Metropolitan Planning team of Guadalajara.
Urban development in México has been a very firm and straight field dominated by a very exclusive group of people, mostly men. New generations have reached a new understanding of the importance of the cities and the critical time that we are facing. Yes, they have been pushing for a more inclusive agenda by promoting increased public participation in their communities. This has led to México having innovative varieties of methodologies to bring the voice of the citizens to the urban development plans.
Although the course of youth has given enormous steps, there’s a lot left to do. The administrative system is still dominated by older men, and the inclusion that has currently been undertook, doesn’t reflect young voices and ideas in the final decision making. Young people’s ideas not only need to be listened to, but also taken and implemented with the same weight as other generation’s.
Programs that take into consideration the communities ideas and proposals have demonstrated their effectiveness on implementation. We have developed participatory planned Metropolitan development plans, major public consultations of the Planning policies, workshops on cities and growth for Children, workshops for young professionals about Metropolitan Planning and the building process of public policy, among others.
As mentioned, getting youth involved in city planning in México is an on going battle. But after proving their effectiveness and quality of work, this is slowly changing with young people being involved in the development and planning of cities.For example , majority of the people planning the future of Guadalajara, are under 30 years old.
Although the goals in the New Urban Agenda (NUA) have a long way to implementation, we are very content seeing that most of the work we do is based on the principles of the NUA; so we’ll keep on working in the same path, trying to be even more coherent by the objectives set by HABITAT III and to make our city a resilient, safe and inclusive place for all.
Key words: Inclusion, Governance, Local economy prosperity.
Siamak Sam LoniUN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Reposted from Huffington Post 10/20/2016 04:05 am ET | Updated Oct 24, 2016
Cities are getting bigger, younger and more complicated than ever before. Some of the greatest development challenges of the 21st century are being created in cities. To solve these problems, we need to empower youth to work together with local authorities in planning, building and maintaining cities that are sustainable, inclusive and resilient.
John F. Kennedy once said “we will neglect our cities to our peril, for in neglecting them we neglect the nation.” With 200,000 people moving from the countryside to cities every day, it is hard to see an end to the massive wave of urbanization that is sweeping across the globe.
Today, nearly 1 billion people around the world live in slums, many of which have been emerging overnight in rapidly urbanizing megacities. If one was to picture an urban disaster, Dhaka would probably provide a partial image of how that would look – a city so densely stuffed with vehicles that “the worst traffic jam in Mumbai or Cairo or Los Angeles is equivalent to a good day for Dhaka’s drivers” (New York Times).
For the first time in human history over half the world’s population lives in cities. This figure is expected to rise with the United Nations projecting that by 2050 more than 70 percent of the people on the planet will live in cities and towns. In 1950, New York and Tokyo were the only two cities in the world that hosted more than 10 million inhabitants. Today there are 29 of these megacities spread across the globe, with 80 percent of them located in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Urban areas, in particular megacities, are increasingly rampant with poverty, a shortage of decent housing and extreme inequality, coupled with unsustainable rates of energy and food consumption. According to a recent report by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, “over the next decades, urbanization will be a defining trend in [many] parts of the world, especially in East Asia, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa, where the bulk of extreme poverty is concentrated.”
The majority of cities across the globe are not just getting bigger. They are also getting younger. Millennials, representing half the world’s population, are 40 percent more likely to move to cities. Young peoples’ experiences, choices and preferences already shape the image of cities, especially in the developing world.
For the most part, millennials have little say and limited influence as to how their cities are planned and organized. Much of it may be a result of how millennials are perceived in both media and popular culture. In a recent New York Times articlereading “The World Has a Problem: Too Many Young People,” Somini Segupta argues that “much has been made of the challenges of aging societies. But it’s the youth bulge that stands to put greater pressure on the global economy, sow political unrest, spur mass migration and have profound consequences for everything from marriage to Internet access to the growth of cities.”
We must reverse this narrative and resist buying into the popular illusion that portrays millennials as demanding, ungrateful and disloyal members of society. Instead of viewing young people as part of the problem, we should start to see them as part of the solution. By changing the narrative, we can empower young people to work with local authorities to plan, design and manage cities to make them free of inequality, pollution, homelessness and crime.
To confront today’s urban livability crisis – subtle tweaks and adjustments, such as a few iconic green buildings here and there, won’t make the cut. For metropolises like Dhaka, solutions that radically reimagine the way the city is planned, designed and managed are not an option but a necessity. Cities can no longer afford to address the symptoms, they must focus on finding solutions that root out the causes. Instead of allocating more space for cars to accommodate the traffic, cities like San Francisco are removing parking slots in the downtown to discourage use of cars altogether while creating greater incentives for public transportation and ride-sharing platforms such as Uber and Getaround; a radical solution that will allow the city to clean up the air, re-purpose public space for bike lanes and parks, and encourage healthier lifestyles.
The need for genuine change is clear. Being a source of idealism and optimism, young people have embraced change for generations. That’s why the ideas of Bernie Sanders in the US and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, which many have thought were so alien to Western political tradition, caught on with an unprecedented number of millennials. Being a source of unconventional thinking and new ideas, young people are best positioned for the task of coming up with solutions that have never been thought of before.
We have a new generation of young people that is tech savvy, generous, entrepreneurial and committed to social justice and community service. Through imagination, creativity, ambition, and energy, this new generation is shattering the old paradigms in three ways.
First, millennials today are leading entrepreneurship charts across the globe, opening more businesses and creating thousands of jobs. A BNP Paribas reportrecently found that “millennial entrepreneurs have launched twice as many businesses as boomers.”
Secondly, young peoples’ remarkable commitment to fairness and social justice, exemplified by volunteering and donating to charitable causes, makes them a valuable partner in tackling challenges faced by their communities, from inequalities that plague urban dwellings around the world to climate change that disproportionately impacts the urban poor. According to the Millennial Impact Report, 84 percent of young people “made a charitable donation in 2014, and 70 percent spent at least an hour volunteering.”
Finally, the skills and mindset of the new generation is giving rise to human-centred technologies and transformative solutions that are making cities smarter, more integrated and global. A recent survey by AIESEC concluded that youth are mostly seeking jobs that are “challenging, global and meaningful.” With millennials projected to make up 75 percent of the global workforce by 2030, these views could drive young people to pursue careers in companies that design products aimed at solving social and environmental challenges.
This week, Ecuador is hosting the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, known as Habitat III, bringing together UN officials, mayors, urban experts, civil society and youth, to adopt the New Urban Agenda (NUA) – a global strategy for making cities “just, safe, healthy, accessible, affordable, resilient, and sustainable” over the next 20 years. NUA is more than just a once-in-20-years opportunity to provide half of humanity with a decent place to live. Urban areas already generate over 70 percent of the World’s GDP, consume 60 percent of world’s energy and cause three quarters of carbon emissions, making achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) inconceivable without a transformative plan for cities.
The conference symbolically began with the Children’s and Youth Assembly to pay tribute to the role young people play in realizing the vision of the New Urban Agenda. The official draft document mentions the word “inclusive” 36 times but regardless of how many times the text emphasizes the important intention to build inclusive cities, what matters is whether it will make a real difference for inhabitants of cities.
To create communities that offer hope instead of desperation, cities must promote a sense of belonging and cross-generational collaboration every step of the way, and most importantly, treat young people as equal and capable partners. If local authorities harness the qualities of youth and work closely with them to plan, design and manage cities, we could see more liveable communities and thereby, a more liveable world.
This article was co-authored by Siamak Sam Loni (@siamak_sam) and Anastasiya Kostomarova (@AnastasiaEugene).