Category Archives: New Urban Agenda

Is Urban Farming Impossible?

By Achmad Solikhin

The adoption of the Urban New Agenda remains challenging for urban think tanks, most notably agriculturists who strive to resolve a dilemma between urban population expansion and agricultural land use. For instance, in Bandung, Indonesia, the increase in urban population growth needs two hundred hectares of agricultural lands to be converted into human settlements, industries, and other public properties. The increase also exacerbate the ecological burdens, such as pollution, water crisis, fossil fuel energy issues, and climate change.

Besides Bandung, the lack of agricultural landscape for farming that would feed the urban inhabitants has been an emerging issue throughout Indonesian cities. This is not in line with the Indonesia Government Regulation No. 19, 2016, which demands sustainable farming land for food. In addition, it is contradictory to paragraph 95 of the New Urban Agenda, that clearly supports urban agriculture and farming. Furthermore, if interlinked with nexus approach and Indonesian commitment for green house gas emission reduction and food security, 41% GHG reduction will be very tricky to be implemented in urban area over rural area.

With all these challenges, urban farming seems impossible on a scale. On the other hand, with new technologies and willingness to make a change, it can be done. As a possible solution, urban farming has been introduced to the urban sites, using various innovative techniques such as vertical gardens, aquaculture, small agriculture and rooftop agriculture,to name few. These techniques are demonstrated in the following projects, which are potent for tackling alarming urban farming burden, such as: Food Field, Farm, Sky Green, The Distributed Urban Farming Initiative, and Sharing Backyard. Inspired by these great initiatives as a potential urban landscape solution, a project called : “Carbon Farming Schools” initiated by the Indonesian Green Action Forum emerged.

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The Carbon Farming Schools are suported by UNEP Eco-Peace Leadership Center, Yuhan Kimberly, YUNGA UNFAO, UNESCO, and Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition. The project focuses on both food source and education. I tis run in Bogor, approximately 2 hour drive from Jakarta. Two elementary schools are engaged and supported young agriculturists of Bogor Agricultural University. Around 500 students have been actively involved.

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There is a wide participation also from other segments of society including other youth and local farmers. In the schools, the students are educated about climate change, urban farming, and ecological issues to find solutions and suggest innitiatives to tackle these issues. Subsequently the innitiatives are translated into real action plans. To test-run and implement them, they use a small agroforest in abandoned lands and limited spaces. And how does it look in practice? For example, a small number of fast growing and multipurpose tree species are coupled with vegetable plants. A vertical farming is also alternative technique suitable for limited spaces in front of a house or backyard. The great thing about the project is that it supports the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, making it more than just a collection of words on paper.

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Peace, Progress and Employment Opportunities for Youth

GC26

Courtesy of Rhoda Omenya, UN-Habitat

‘Opportunities for the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda (NUA) – an apt theme of the twenty-sixth session of the Governing Council (GC26) delving into prospects for attaining the NUA – a global roadmap setting global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities by fostering cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private sector.

Commitments have been made in the NUA such as: “Everyone has the right to benefit from what their cities offer. The New Urban Agenda calls on local governments to take into account the needs of women, youth and children, people with disabilities, marginalized groups, older persons, indigenous people, among other groups.

With this in mind, experts and practitioners from the UN, World Bank, private sector, and national and local government; were brought together to deliberate in a side event dubbed Combating Poverty and Promoting Peace through Job Creation Opportunities for Young Men and Women in African Cities that took place on 8th May 2017.

John Sibi Okumu, a Kenyan media consultant, editor and translator; moderated the event that began with a moment of silence and remembrance for the late H.E. Abass Siraji, Somali Minister of Public Works, Housing and Reconstruction, who was killed in an accident involving bodyguards of another government official. The late Abass, who was Somalia’s youngest member of cabinet, was to give the keynote address that was given by Mr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda.

Mr. Mohieldin shared on the World Bank’s researches on Africa showing dense and disconnected cities that are expensive for households. Further city growth in Africa has not in tandem with economic growth as is the case in Asian nations such as China and Vietnam. He also shared on the collaborations that World Bank has with UN-Habitat such as – municipal finance. Improved municipal finance, infrastructure investment and improved land management as some of the key action points for policy makers to focus on in light of sustainable growth of cities. Moreover, he emphasized on the need to incorporate technology in order to gain the involvement of youth in city growth.

‘Before proposing a new idea, it is useful to eliminate existing bad ideas’ – Mr. Mohieldin.

Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the Deputy Executive Director, UN-Habitat then thanked all participants of the side event, welcomed them to GC26 and specifically to the discussion on youth, women and jobs.

Her opening remarks were followed by a case study presentation on Shaqeso  Training Programme – part of the Youth Employment Programme (YES) in Somalia. As an integrated 3 month training programme targeting youth aged between 17 and 25 – launched in Oct 2016; YES aims to capitalize on recent security, governance and reconciliation achievements in Somalia. Through the programme youth acquire comprehensive life skills, construction skills training, how to build your own business, among others. Through the programme Mogadishu youth are able to meet, socialize an acquire skills that will increase their employability given the bleak employment landscape in Somali especially for youth and more so in the formal sector.

The case study presentation was part of a moderated discussion on the same by a panel comprising:

  • Ms. Aminata Traore, Former Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mali
  • Mr. Nick Langford, Country Head, Kenya, Tatu City
  • Ms. Mary Kawar, Director, ILO Country Office, East Africa
  • Ms. Margaret Koli, UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board
  • Joyati Das, Senior Director, Urban Programs, World Vision International

Here are some snippets of their comments:

  • Ms. Aminata Traore: ‘The more important thing is to question the economic model. Is it creating jobs? If the economy is not able to create jobs, then the country is in trouble. Peace building starts by job creation’.
  • Mr. Nick Langford: ‘Kenya’s most pressing problem is youth unemployment’.
  • Ms. Mary Kawar: ‘African women have a higher economic participation in comparison to the Arab States and yet the work is not paying enough. Peacebuilding has direct implications on labor relations – fair working conditions for everyone (both employer and employee)’.
  • Ms. Margaret Koli: ‘Collaboration among young people has resulted in a myriad of innovations’.
  • Joyati Das: ‘With guidance and active involvement, youth can become peace builders’.

Throughout the session, the emerging theme was that youth are not only leaders of tomorrow but leaders of today and they matter. When equipped with the right tools and given opportunities to lead, youth are catalysts of progress and peace.

In his last speech at TEDxMogadishu 2017, the late H.E. Abass emphasized the importance of young people in rebuilding a nation. Before he finished the talk, Abass posed a very emotional question: “Everyone should ask themselves, what can you do for your country?

We ask: “What can you do for your youth?”

 

New feature at GC! Welcome to the SDGs Digital Media Zone!

For the first time ever, we’ve brought the SDGs Digital Media Zone to the UN-Habitat’s Governing Council. The SDGs Media Zone is a platform for editors, bloggers, content creators and influencers to communicate innovations, partnerships and discussions as a call to action for humanity to engage the Sustainable Development Goals. Inspired by the original model developed by the Pvblic Foundation, and heavily supported by their incredible team, we have adapted the plan to create a space to talk about everything important, highlight the best practices from the field and discuss the role of young people in the New Urban Agenda and other global processes. All of these have been captured on short videos and posted across our social media, powered by #GC26, #Cities4All and #SDGLive.

The team of dedicated volunteers enthusiastically interviewed our special guests, ranging from government officials, ambassadors, civil society representatives, partners and of course, youth. Everyone had something interesting to say or share and we can only encourage you to watch the full videos of the interviews as there are some interesting stories right there! Find out how Colombia is planning to include young people in the peacebuilding process or how a small NGO is fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria. You will not regret!

Links to the videos:

http://fb.me/26e8iIKNu  (Norwegian Youth Delegate, Aleksander Gjøsæter)

http://fb.me/8pnVDPvb4  (Colombian Ambassador to Kenya, her Excellency Ms. Elizabeth Taylor)

http://fb.me/1Ozv7cQW0 (Secretary General of the Moroccan Ministry of Housing and Urban Spaces, Ms. Fatna Chihab)

http://fb.me/3mxqMP0rf (SENA-Colombia representative, Ms. Luisa Fernanda Gallo)

http://fb.me/6AFHqQSHZ  (AIESEC Representative, Ms. Tanya – Part 1)

http://fb.me/1aiq9FKLI  (AIESEC Representative, Ms. Tanya- Part 2)

http://fb.me/4ltFnLy0a (North East Youth Coalition organization (Nigeria) representative, Mr. Ballisum Luka)

http://fb.me/62p1B0gzy (Mr. Alfred Otieno from Police is My Brother Initiative organization).

http://fb.me/1ma2GOdAU (Mogadishu One Stop Youth Centre, Life Skills trainer, Mr. Abdikadir Dubow Mohamed)

http://fb.me/yAsz4udh (UN-Habitat Somalia Programme, National Programme Officer, Mr. Liban Mallin)

http://fb.me/11xD73Fqi (National Environment Management Authoritative in Kenya, Mr. Kimani Muruku)

https://www.facebook.com/youthfund/

 

 

 

#Urban Action Game On!

The countdown is on! Since the adoption of the New Urban Agenda in Quito in October 2016, we’ve been working with our partners, AIESEC International, to develop a global campaign and a game to spark the real action of young people in their cities that will contribute towards achievement of Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda.

To celebrate that young people were recognized as key stakeholders in the drafting process of the New Urban Agenda as well as in its implementation, we want to put them in the front line of action to turn NUA from paper to reality. The power of 1.8 billion is not just in its volume! Young people’s potential, capacity, passion and drive are the reasons we believe they can be the first ones to act! Unlike governments, they have the freedom and flexibility to start working immediately and we want to ensure that every young person out there feels the same way.

At the occasion of UN-Habitat’s 26th Governing Council, Ms. Tanya Landysheva from AIESEC International paid us a visit in Nairobi to help us launch this exciting game.

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#Urban Action is part of a larger campaign to engage youth on the Road to 2030, Youth 4 Global Goals. To make it all more fun and engaging, we’ve created a game around the process and results. The game revolves around all SDGs and their relation to SDG 11. The main mission is to create better cities while fighting typical urban challenges along the way. 16 challenges posted weekly shall contribute to creating nicer, safer, more resilient, and more sustainable cities, thus not only hitting SDG 11. targets but also significantly contributing to implementing the New Urban Agenda.

While we’re still fixing some last details, stay tuned and keep checking the youth4globalgoals.org/urbanaction website so you don’t miss the start! Game on!

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GC26 Youth Events Programme

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Join the conversation by using #Cities4All.

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Young People at the Centre of the New Urban Agenda

UN-Habitat Youth Unit

Announcing our side event plans for the 26th Session of Governing Council

Are you attending the 26th session of the Governing Council taking place from May 8th-12th? The UN-Habitat Youth Unit is excited to announce our side events taking place throughout the session. The youth side events will highlight a different innovative youth-led programme each day, which include enhancing youth participation in peace, local governance and development featuring the One Stop Youth Centre model.

Our planned activities include:

…and much more. Please view the Side Event page for a full list of other events.

Join the conversation by using #Cities4All.

Please help us spread the word by sharing this communique with other colleagues attending the 26th Session of the Governing Council.

 

Youth taking #UrbanAction for the New Urban Agenda

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.

#UrbanAction is part of the Youth 4 Global Goals Campaign.

Risk of “outright violence” increasing against LGBT in cities

The risk of “outright violence” against the LGBT community is growing in cities but hopes are high that a newly-adopted agenda for future urban living will create more “safe spaces”.

That’s the view of Cicely-Belle Blain, a Canadian youth worker, who was one of the delegates to the recent Habitat III conference on the future of cities, which took place in Quito, Ecuador.

The New Urban Agenda, adopted at the conference in Ecuador, does not specifically mention lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender issues, although it calls for greater inclusion of minority groups.

Ms Blain told Matthew Wells why her delegation had lobbied for the inclusion of a so-called “queer declaration”.

Listen to Podcast: Duration: 3’26”

Source: United Nations Radio

Super Urbana, Young Journalism for Habitat III!

— By Alice Junqueira

A lot of people around the world don’t know the international agendas and don’t follow the discussions on the commitments signed by our governments within the United Nations (UN). To help change that a very different coverage of Habitat III was prepared! 

We are talking about the Super Urbana project! This is a journalistic coverage, with a youth lens, that started during the YoutHab –the youth pre-conference for Habitat III– and is now checking out all Habitat III’s activities and exploring the landscape of people’s connections with the official programme.

Why are we doing it? Usually, the coverage of international conferences remains very technical and lacks alternative languages to approache and engage population in general, in particular youth.

superurbana3Also, if we believe that information should be plural and democratic, youth must be represented, in both information sharing and in the media!

Who is Super Urbana? Super Urbana [Super Urban] is a young super heroine who will be interviewing people and checking in with all the discussions of Habitat III, in particular it will focus on three essential challenges that we need to face in our cities and that young people are concerned with: the non-realization of the right to the city; gender racial and ethnic inequality; and climate change!

superurbana1The urban world is in need of super heroines and super heroes and these super heroes and super heroines are all of us! This is the call to action of Super Urbana.

The coverage is a youth – led iniative co-realized by the Youth and Land Project and the Brazilian Collective Clímax Brazil. Check out the videos at: https://www.facebook.com/climaxbra