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Climate Action 2014-2015


RESILIENT CITIES ones, and existing plots can be densified according to the exigencies of urban development. Integration versus segregation. One basic principle in the early stages of development was to avoid becoming a dormitory town, and hence the focus was on creating jobs in a mixed-use environment. Part of the area was designated for industrial and agricultural uses (“Before the houses, build factories!”). Likewise an inclusive public facilities policy, emphasising service to all households, was also adopted. Connectivity versus congestion. The proposed, well-articulated road network (again see Figure 4) is well connected to the existing train and road network at the national (Pan Americana Sur), metropolitan and local level. The basic planning module of Villa El Salvador provides for 28 per cent street space, 10 per cent public space and 62 per cent built-up area – proportions that allow for sufficient provision of street and public space and adequate vehicular and pedestrian connections within the neighbourhood. UN-HABITAT AND PLANNED CITY EXTENSIONS The majority of future urban population growth will take place in small- to medium-sized urban areas in developing countries, most notably in Africa and Asia (Cities and Biodiversity Outlook, 2013). Most in need of planned city extensions are those rapidly growing cities in developing countries (i.e. with low GDP per capita; see Figure 5), where local authorities often lack the capacity needed to promote effectively sustainable urban development. Drawing on lessons from Villa El Salvador and numerous other experiences, UN-Habitat is working with a wide range of partners from different levels of government and a variety of other sectors to help plan city extensions in a number of countries. In Rwanda, Kenya, Egypt, Philippines, Colombia, Haiti and elsewhere, we are supporting local authorities in rapidly urbanising agglomerations to provide the appropriate "Most in need of planned city extensions are those rapidly growing cities in developing countries." legal, institutional and financial frameworks for sustainable city extensions. Our work reflects the following five principles for planned city extensions, with corresponding guidelines: Adequate space for streets and an efficient street network. The street network should be adequate not only for vehicles and public transport but also for pedestrians and cyclists. UN-Habitat’s research indicates that, in high density, mixed-use urban areas, at least 30 per cent of land should be allocated for roads and parking, and at least 15-20 per cent should be allocated for open public space. To develop sustainable mobility, the design of the street network should differ from the modernist practice in the following aspects: Public transport, walking and cycling should be encouraged. Road hierarchy should be highly interconnected. Sufficient parking space should be provided. Relatively high density. As previously discussed, relatively high density development offers numerous socioeconomic and environmental benefits. High density development: Slows down urban sprawl because high-density neighbourhoods can accommodate more people per area. Reduces transport needs, especially for motorised transport, reduces parking demand, and increases support for public transport. Increases energy efficiency and decreases pollution. Decreases the costs of public services such as police and emergency response, school transport, roads, water and sewage. Figure 5. Countries – urban population growth rates and annual GDP per capita Source: UN-Habitat 92

RESILIENT CITIES Provides for better community service. Allows for an improved provision of public open space. Mixed land use. Advocates of mixed land use development seek to develop a range of compatible activities and land uses close together in appropriate locations, in design modules that are flexible enough to adapt over time to the changing market. The purpose of mixed land use is to create local jobs, promote the local economy, reduce landscape fragmentation and support mixed communities. Mixed land use can be applied at different spatial levels: city, neighbourhoods, blocks and buildings. Mixed land use reduces urban sprawl, car dependence and traffic congestion, and increases vitality of urban centres. HABITAT III: A NEW URBAN AGENDA The third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in 2016 will offer an opportunity to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanisation, and for member states to agree on a New Urban Agenda. Habitat III will be the first UN global summit after UNFCCC COP21 in Paris, and the adoption of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda; it thus will offer a chance to view the results of those efforts through an urban lens. The preparatory process and the Conference itself will afford a unique opportunity to discuss the important challenge of how cities, towns and villages are planned and managed, in order to fulfil their role as drivers of more sustainable development, and leading partners in the global effort to address climate change. "Social mix provides the basis for healthy social networks, which in turn are the driving force of city life." Social mix. Encouraging the proximity of rich and poor within the urban fabric promotes the cohesion of and interaction between different social classes in the same community. It helps to ensure accessibility to equitable urban opportunities by providing different types of housing. Social mix provides the basis for healthy social networks, which in turn are the driving force of city life. Social mix is a socio-spatial concept, with the following objectives, all of which will increase social resilience within the city: Promoting more social interaction and social cohesion across groups Generating job opportunities Overcoming place-based stigma Attracting additional services to the neighbourhood Sustaining renewal/regeneration initiatives. Social mix and mixed land use are interdependent and promote each other. Mixed land use and appropriate policy guidance lead to social mixing. In a mixed land use neighbourhood, job opportunities are generated for residents from different backgrounds and with different income levels. People live and work in the same neighbourhood and form a diverse social network. Limited land use specialisation. Providing for flexibility in land use helps to ensure the implementation of mixed land use and increase economic diversity. Limiting overly rigid land use specialisation is important in creating mixed land use. The five principles presented above for developing more sustainable planned city extensions are strongly interrelated and mutually supportive. Together they offer a basic recipe for urban development that provides for more compact, inclusive and connected cities. This approach can not only help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience, but also confers important other co-benefits. Dr Joan Clos was appointed Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) at the level of Under-Secretary-General by the United Nations General Assembly. He took office at the Programme’s headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, on 18 October 2010. He is a medical doctor with a distinguished career in public service and diplomacy, and was twice elected Mayor of Barcelona, serving two terms during the years 1997-2006. He was appointed Minister of Industry, Tourism and Trade of Spain (2006-2008) under President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. In this role, he helped rationalise the Iberian energy market in line with European Union policies. Prior to joining the United Nations, he served as Spanish ambassador to Turkey and Azerbaijan. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. UN- Habitat’s programmes are designed to help policy-makers and local communities get to grips with the human settlements and urban issues and find workable, lasting solutions. UN-Habitat’s work is directly related to the United Nations Millennium Declaration, particularly the goals of member states to improve the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020 (Target 11, Millennium Development Goal 7); and Target 10 which calls for the reduction by half of the number without sustainable access to safe drinking water. 93