Cities

Transforming Urban Systems

The major underlying ideas of this work stream are ‘Planetary Urbanization’ - the urban is everywhere - and the need for ‘Systemic Change’ rather than efficiency improvements or eco-cities. 

The current project ‘Critical Dialogues Series: the New Urban Agenda ‘on the ground’ is set against the backdrop of Habitat III – the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to take place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016 – in which the New Urban Agenda will be set for the coming 20 years. This is an important process to secure a renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development; however, the chances that this agenda will go further than being merely prescriptive are small. The major question and key to success is how to approach and implement such a New Urban Agenda ‘on the ground’. While urban complexity has most definitely not decreased since the 90s, the effort of the last decades towards ‘sustainability’ has not produced the desirable environmental and social effects, and with the current wave of urbanization on its way, we see a clear need to discuss the translation of the New Urban Agenda into local practice. We use 1) an unconventional angle and 2) an ‘on the ground’ perspective to address crosscutting topics that are of central importance to Habitat III. We move past ‘the usual suspects’ to bring different expertise and opinions into the debate and go beyond the discussion of prescriptions and goals.

For more information on the Critical Dialogues Series, please visit: criticalurbanagenda.de