With the end of the successful advocacy campaign for the recognition of the Right to the City by the United Nations Habitat III negotiation process and the New Urban Agenda, the Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C)* comes to the end of a busy and fruitful first cycle that accomplished much in only three years. The Platform has been successful in increasing its presence, particularly in international events and in UN Conferences and meetings, and in advocating for just, inclusive and sustainable cities, villages and settlements worldwide. This success is thanks to the commitment of its members and their contributions at different levels, from local actions to global advocacy campaigns.

There are many challenges ahead of us, and that is why we need a Strategic Plan that clarifies the Platform’s role and goals in the years to come. The GPR2C has been awarded specific funding by the Ford Foundation to implement a planning process during 2017. This process allows for an in-depth evaluation of our past achievements while giving us space to debate what should be our next steps.

The planning process will rely on 3 international planning workshops, the first of which was in Sao Paulo in May. The next two will be in New York City in July, and Nairobi in October. The Sao Paulo meeting focused on our identity as a platform, encompassing discussions on mission and vision, values, goals, and membership. The second meeting will address the Platform’s strategy, particularly regarding advocacy and networking. Finally, the meeting in Africa will take on the Platform’s organizational nature and its communication model, and it will establish decision-making procedures and a working model, and a communications strategy. In addition, the facilitation group will be organizing virtual meetings and bilateral meetings, as well as permanent on-line consultation and validation of the Platform’s decisions by its members.

As the Global Platform for the Right to the City reaches new horizons, all members will decide its organizational nature and structure, and its agenda for the years to come. But their role will not be limited to that. The Platform is nothing else but its members and the work they do, collectively, to achieve the fulfillment of the Right to the City and everything it entails for our collective wellbeing. Therefore, it is the members responsibility not only to decide but to continue working hand in hand to make the Right to the City a reality worldwide.

We have an opportunity to step back and think strategically about the work we are doing and want to continue doing as a platform. This is our process, and its results will only depend on our ability to work together and find the best ways to share knowledge, support each other’s struggles, and put the Right to the City at the center of the political agenda.

* The Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C) is an active and action-oriented advocacy network committed with the promotion of the Right to the City as a core value for policies, commitments, projects and actions at the local, national and international levels.