06 May 2016

(This document has not been proofread)



For the first time in history, more than half of humanity lives in urban areas. By 2050, this proportion will reach nearly 70%, making urbanization one of the 21st century’s most transformative trends, intensifying its social, economic, political, cultural, and environmental challenges and opportunities.

Since the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements in Vancouver in 1976, we have seen dramatic improvements in the quality of life of millions of urban inhabitants, including slum dwellers and others taken out of poverty. However, we are still far from understanding and capitalizing on the positive aspects of urbanization and its potential contributions to sustainable development.

Urbanization is not only an outcome of development, but a formidable engine to achieve development. Cities are key to tackling global challenges, such as poverty, social inequalities, and climate change. With more than 80% of global GDP generated in cities, urbanization, if managed well can contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth, in harmony with nature, by addressing inequalities, increasing productivity, and promoting job creation, social well-being, citizen participation, innovation and emerging ideas. Cities are interlinked in regional, national, or even global networks. Strong national systems of cities and other human settlements are the hubs of balanced territorial development.

The battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities. By 2050, the urban population alone will be larger than the current total world population, posing massive sustainability challenges in terms of housing, infrastructure, basic services, and jobs among others. There is a need for a radical paradigm shift in the way cities and human settlements are planned, developed, governed and managed. The decisions we make today will shape our common urban future.

After the historic adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — including the Sustainable Development Goals–, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway, the Istanbul Plan for Action on Least Developed Countries, and other multilateral processes, we take full account of the need to effectively and efficiently implement our commitments. The New Urban Agenda is the first step for operationalizing sustainable development in an integrated and coordinated way at global, regional, national, sub-national and local levels. By creating an action-oriented roadmap for implementation, the New Urban Agenda will drive the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, especially Goal 11, of making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, as well as other targets across the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Habitat Agenda in 1996 called for a partnership action plan to improve the quality of life in our cities and human settlements. The New Urban Agenda will secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assessing accomplishments to date, addressing poverty, and identifying and addressing new and emerging challenges, within innovative and ambitious collaboration frameworks integrating all actors. It is time to build strategic partnerships among governments at the global, regional, national, sub-national and local levels to create strong national systems of cities and urban areas, to ensure a broader financing base for investments and to facilitate more balanced territorial development. Local and sub- national governments play a fundamental role in ensuring the safety, security, livelihoods, and wellbeing of our communities.

The New Urban Agenda aims to be concise, action-oriented, forward-looking, universal, and spatially integrative, recognizing distinct globally evolving trends, regional specificity, and transformative potential, as well as taking into account a wide range of realities and contexts, cultures, and historical urban and human settlements landscapes, avoiding a one-size fits-all approach.

Cities are human creations, places in which we aspire to enable inhabitants to lead peaceful, healthy, prosperous, and free lives with full respect of human rights for all. They are places in which we, the people, aim to achieve gender equality, empower women and girls, reduce poverty, and create jobs and generate equitable prosperity. Cities present an opportunity for us, the inhabitants, to commit to share resources and space in a way that ensures the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. Human settlements are the embodiment of the human spirit, where we determine our rights and responsibilities, both as individuals and collectively.


1.             We, the Heads of State and Government, ministers and delegates, have gathered at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) from 17 to 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, with the full participation of regional and local authorities, civil society organizations, the private sector, the technical and academic community, major groups and other relevant stakeholders, to adopt a New Urban Agenda that harnesses cities and human settlements as a critical means to eradicate poverty, promote inclusive growth, and achieve sustainable development.

2.             Building on the unfinished business of the Millennium Development Goals and the Habitat Agenda of 1996, and fully linking with and reinforcing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, this New Urban Agenda reinvigorates the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, which is now more critical than ever as populations, social interactions, economic activities, and environmental impacts are increasingly concentrated in cities.

3.             We commit to a paradigm shift in the way we plan, develop, and manage urban development, recognizing it as an essential instrument in the achievement of all Sustainable Development Goals. We moreover affirm that, while the specific circumstances of different urban areas vary, the New Urban Agenda is universal in scope, setting out priorities and actions at the global, regional, national, sub- national, and local levels, that stakeholders in every country can adapt to their needs, either alone or in partnership, under a long-term and people-centered vision. In particular, we reaffirm our commitment to work with local authorities and communities in an inclusive and effective manner to renew and plan our cities and human settlements in a way that fosters social cohesion, stimulates innovation and employment, and ensures environmental sustainability.

4.             We commit to the realization of the concept of cities for all, which in some countries is defined as Right to the City and compiles the shared systemization of existing rights, seeking to ensure that all inhabitants, of present and future generations, are able to inhabit, use, and produce just, inclusive, and sustainable cities, which exist as a common good essential to a high quality of life.

Our vision

5.             We envisage cities and human settlements:

(a)            Putting people in the center, and offer quality of life beyond the mere provision of infrastructure and services.

(b)            Inclusive and free from any form of discrimination, where all inhabitants, whether permanent or transitional, are granted equal rights and opportunities, according to the United Nations Charter principles and the relevant provisions of international law.

(c)            Fulfilling their social function and the social function of land, ensuring equitable access for all to public goods and services, livelihoods, and decent work, prioritizing the collectively defined public interest.

(d)            Promoting, protecting and ensuring the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing

(e)            Prioritizing quality and accessible public space and cultural diversity, enhancing social interactions and political participation, promoting socio-cultural expressions, embracing diversity, and fostering safety and social cohesion, while meeting the needs of all inhabitants.

(f)             Resilient to natural and man-made hazards, protecting and valuing their ecosystems, natural habitats and biodiversity, and reducing the global environmental and carbon footprint.

(g)            Participatory and engendering a feeling of belonging and ownership among all their inhabitants, practicing civic engagement, and enhancing participation in the formulation, implementation, monitoring, and budgeting of urban policies and plans, strengthening effectiveness, transparency, and accountability.

(h)            Empowering women, especially through participation in decision-making, equal employment opportunities and pay.

(i)             Capable of fulfilling their functions and responsibilities and prepared and able to meet the challenges and opportunities of future growth, harnessing productive local economies, including the formal and informal sectors.

(j)             Transforming the urban economies and creating high productivity and value-adding activities.

(k)            Promoting planning and investment for sustainable urban mobility systems that link people, places, and economic opportunities.

(l)             Fulfilling their territorial functions beyond the administrative boundaries, promoting urban-rural linkages, cross-sectoral management of resources and cooperation among different scales of cities and towns within and across territories for balanced and sustainable development and that have access to mechanisms that enhance their needed capacities continuously.

Transformative commitments

6.             We commit to a New Urban Agenda that embodies these three main guiding principles:

(a)            Leave no one behind, ensure urban equity and eradicate poverty by providing equitable access for all, to physical and social infrastructure, recognizing and leveraging culture, diversity and safety, while enabling participation and enhancing liveability and quality of life.

(b)            Achieve sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all, enhancing the agglomeration benefits of urbanization, avoiding land speculation, fair and equitable employment creation, productivity, competitiveness, diversification and innovation through a sustainable economic development.

(c)            Foster ecological and resilient cities and human settlements, driving sustainable patterns of consumption and production, protecting and valuing ecosystems and biodiversity, and adapting to and mitigating the impact of climate change while increasing urban systems resilience to physical, economic, and social shocks and stresses.

Effective Implementation: Urban Paradigm Shift

7.             We call for a transformation of urban policies, legal frameworks, strategies, and actions at the regional, national, sub-national, and local levels to change the way that cities and human settlements are planned, built, governed, and managed, taking into account the contribution of sustainable urbanization to job creation and sustainable development. The three drivers of change to realize the transformative commitments are:

(a)            A renewed local-national partnership, in which stakeholders and local and sub-national governments are strategic partners of national governments, building a strong national system of cities and well- balanced territorial development, in support of national development targets. National urban policies, including land and housing policies, formulated and reviewed through ongoing research and evaluation, and able to establish the connection between the dynamics of urbanization, demographics, and the overall process of national development. Effective decentralization, based on the principles of subsidiarity and the recognition of local-self-governance, that strengthen urban governance and management, with co-responsibility and effective contributions from local authorities as well as civil society, within a transparent and accountable framework.

(b)            Strategic and integrated urban and territorial planning and management that serves as an effective mechanism to respond to rapid urbanization and sustainability challenges, strengthening urban-rural and cross-sectoral linkages beyond the administrative borders across the urban-rural continuum. Spatial development should promote mixed, connected, and compact cities and human settlements, through integrated and participatory planning.

(c)            An innovative and effective financing framework and other means of implementation, enabling strengthened municipal finance and local fiscal systems, productivity, competitiveness, optimized partnership with the private sector, capacity development, knowledge transfer, and reliable urban data and analysis, with the engagement of all stakeholders.

Call for adoption and implementation

8.             We emphasize that the New Urban Agenda represents the synthesis and implementation of our unprecedented decisions on development in 2015. We especially reaffirm the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which designate the outcomes that we must strive to achieve through our commitments in Quito.

9.             We ground the New Urban Agenda in the commitments, goals, and aspirations of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat I), held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976, and the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II), held in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996.

10.           We recall “The Future We Want”, the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20); the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway; the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030; and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development.

11.           We reaffirm the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, with full respect for international law and its principles, as well as the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

12.           We acknowledge that particular attention should be paid to addressing the unique and emerging urbanization challenges facing all countries, in particular developing countries — including African countries, least developed countries, landlocked developing countries and Small Island Developing States — and middle-income countries, as well as countries and territories under foreign occupation, countries in conflict or post-conflict situations, and countries affected by natural disasters. Particular attention should also be paid to addressing the specific challenges facing children, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, indigenous peoples, women, grassroots organizations, informal inhabitants and workers, farmers, refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, and migrants in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

13.           We thank the people and the Government of Ecuador as well as the City of Quito for hosting the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) and extend our appreciation to Ecuador for its commitment towards a transformative New Urban Agenda, with the power to change and improve the quality of life of billions of people.

14.           We extend our appreciation to the Governments of Indonesia, the Czech Republic, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates for their engagement in the preparatory process of the Habitat III Conference. We also extend our gratitude to the city governments of Barcelona, the City of Mexico, Cuenca, Montreal, Surabaya and Tel-Aviv.

15.           We furthermore recognize the engagement and commitment of all major groups and other relevant stakeholders in the Habitat III preparatory process, especially the second World Assembly of Local and Regional Authorities and the General Assembly of Partners for Habitat III. We emphasize that the New Urban Agenda is a collective vision, and its effectiveness will rely on the full and meaningful participation of all in its implementation, follow-up, and review.

16.           We urge all countries, all local and sub-national governments, and all stakeholders to promote sustainable urban development and to adopt and implement the New Urban Agenda.


17.           Noting the significant progress made in implementing the Istanbul Declaration on Human Settlements and the Habitat Agenda in making cities a better place to live and work, challenges remain in realizing sustainable urban development, such as growing inequalities, emerging urban poverty and segregation, increasing urban sprawl, pollution, and the high emission of greenhouse gases, and vulnerability to disasters and climate change.

18.           Recognizing the key role of cities as drivers for sustainable development and acknowledging that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development encourages on-going efforts by States in other forums to address key issues which pose potential challenges to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, and respecting the mandates of these processes, we resolve to adopt the Quito Implementation Plan for the New Urban Agenda as a key tool for national, subnational, and local governments to achieve sustainable urban development.


19.           We make these three transformative commitments in the New Urban Agenda: leaving no one behind and fighting against poverty; urban prosperity and opportunities for all; and ecological and resilient cities and human settlements.


20.           We call attention on the growing inequality and the persistence of multiple forms of poverty, as well as social and spatial vulnerability and marginalization affecting both the Global North and South. We also call attention to the dramatic increase in displaced persons moving to urban areas, and underscore our commitment to support them and their host communities.

21.           The success of the universal New Urban Agenda will depend on how we effectively promote urban equity, ensuring that no one is left behind from the equally-shared opportunities and benefits that urbanization can offer, enabling all inhabitants, with temporary or permanent status, whether living in formal or informal settlements, to lead decent, dignified, and rewarding lives and to achieve their full human potential.

22.           Stressing that spatial organization, patterns and design of urban space together with development policies can promote or hinder social cohesion, equity, and inclusion, as well as the reduction of poverty and hunger. The New Urban Agenda promotes people-centred urban development and the realization of human rights of all, facilitating living together, combating discrimination in all its forms, and empowering all individuals and communities, while enabling their full and meaningful participation.

23.           We recognize that international migration is a multidimensional reality of major relevance for the development of countries of origin, transit and destination and is a phenomenon that is transforming countries, cities and towns around the world. In this regard, we reiterate the need to strengthen synergies between international migration and development at all levels, including the global, regional, national and local levels.

24.           Also we recognize that the influx of large numbers of displaced people into towns and cities poses a variety of challenges, yet the social, economic and cultural contribution of migrants to urban life remains unrecognized, often leaving them vulnerable and excluded.

Equitable access to physical and social infrastructure

25.           We recognize that we must ensure equitable and affordable access to basic physical and social infrastructure for all, including affordable serviced land, housing, energy, water and sanitation, waste disposal, mobility, health, education, and information and communication technologies. We further recognize that provision must be sensitive to the rights and needs of women, children and youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, and other people in vulnerable situations such as refugees, migrants, and displaced persons, removing all legal, institutional, physical, and socio-economic barriers that prevent them from participating equally in urban life and the opportunities it offers.

26.           We commit to adopt appropriate measures in cities that ensure equal access for all to the cities, in particular persons with disabilities, to the physical environment, to transportation, to information and communications, including information and communications technologies and systems, and to other facilities and services open or provided to the public, both in urban and in rural areas. These measures shall include the identification and elimination of obstacles and barriers to accessibility.

Adequate housing and shelter at the center of the New Urban Agenda

27.           Housing is both inseparable from urbanization, and a socioeconomic development imperative. The expansion of adequate and affordable housing is central to achieving inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities in a world where rapid urbanization has exacerbated housing shortages. We call for housing to be elevated as one of the highest priorities for national governments, and we reaffirm the right to adequate housing for all as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living without discrimination of any kind.

28.           Developing housing programs and their spatial relationship with the rest of the urban fabric and the surrounding functional areas impacts not only social inclusion, but also the economic well-being of the inhabitants. We endorse the integration of housing policies and approaches across all sectors, and at all levels of government, to ensure the proximity of adequate basic infrastructure, as well as to counter segregation.

29.           We emphasize that housing policies should promote equity with provisions that address discrimination, forced evictions, and the needs of the homeless and people in vulnerable situations, enabling participation and engagement of communities and stakeholders.

30.           We commit to developing integrated housing approaches that incorporates the provision of adequate, affordable, safe, and well-located housing, with access to quality public space, basic infrastructure, and services like sanitation systems and public transport, as well as livelihood opportunities, combating spatial and socio-economic segregation, and improving the living conditions of the urban poor, including those in living slums and informal settlements.

31.           Urban informality should be recognised as a result of lack of affordable housing, dysfunctional land markets and urban policies. We must redefine our relationships with informal settlements and slums, including the informal economy, in ways that leave no one behind, taking into account that those areas are also engines for economic growth, prosperity, and job creation.

32.           We commit to promote national and local housing policies that stimulate the delivery of a variety of housing options at scale and diversified in size, standard, location and price to meet the needs of the population, and which are affordable and accessible for different groups of society.

33.           We commit to promote increased security of tenure, recognizing the plurality of tenure types, and to develop fit-for-purpose gender-responsive solutions within the continuum of land rights. It is necessary to strengthen programs and institutions that have been successful in addressing security of tenure to foster housing improvement and planned urbanization, while innovating strategies to cater to groups that have lagged behind the most, with particular attention to women’s tenure security as a cornerstone to their empowerment and gender equality and the realization of human rights. Such innovations should include logic of the proximity of services, adequate financing schemes, and technical, legal, and financial assistance to those who produce their own housing.

34.           We stress the need to acknowledge and support the service provision of local governments and to generate investments in communities and places that are affected by recurrent and protracted humanitarian crises. We further stress the need to provide adequate services, accommodation, and opportunities for decent and productive work for crisis-affected persons in urban settings. It will also ensure that aid flows to host communities in order to prevent backsliding in their own development levels and to ensure the inclusion of refugees and displaced persons in urban formal and informal economies, enhancing their social capital as well as their ability to benefit from the opportunities that cities have to offer.

Public spaces as an enabler of the socio-economic function of the city

35.           We reaffirm the central role of universally accessible, safe and quality public space in the New Urban Agenda. The accessibility of public space and its inherent communal character needs to be guaranteed and its privatization avoided. Its inclusive design, sufficient provision and adequate distribution across urban areas (formal and informal) will increase productivity and prosperity while reducing social exclusion.

36.           Public spaces, which consist of open areas such as streets, sidewalks, squares, gardens and parks, must be seen as multi-functional areas for social interaction, economic exchange, and cultural expression among a wide diversity of people and should be designed and managed to ensure human development, building peaceful and democratic societies and promoting cultural diversity. Public spaces should be free-of-charge and free from physical, legal and architectural barriers that discourage the presence of people who are in vulnerable situations, homeless, poor and/or low-income dwellers, women, children and youth, older persons, and people with disabilities. Green public spaces have positive impacts on health and well-being, and they provide ecosystem services that range from climate change mitigation and adaptation to contributing to water and food security.

Recognize and leverage culture, diversity and safety in cities

37.           Given the increasing diversity of ideas and cultures within urban settings, we commit to embrace diversity in cities, to strengthen social cohesion, gender equality, innovation, inclusion, identity and safety, as well as to foster livability and a vibrant urban economy. We recognize the need to adapt our local institutions to ensure the peaceful co-existence within increasingly heterogeneous and multi- cultural societies.

38.           We commit to leverage culture and heritage in cities through integrated urban policies and to invest adequate budget shares, at both the local and national levels, to safeguard and promote cultural and natural heritage, cultural infrastructures and sites, museums, as well as traditional knowledge and the arts, highlighting the role that these play in the rehabilitation and revitalization of urban areas, as a way to strengthen social participation and the exercise of citizenship.

39.           We commit to a safe and secure environment in cities so that everyone can live, work, and participate in urban life without fear of violence and intimidation. Measures for urban safety and violence and crime prevention must be integrated into all urban planning efforts, including in informal areas, on resilience- building, disaster prevention and mitigation, safer public places and working places, and transportation while increasing community awareness around safety.

40.           Cities must be safe for everyone, particularly women and girls. To eliminate and prevent all forms of violence against all women and girls in public and private spaces, comprehensive multi-sectoral measures should be adopted to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls in public and private spaces. We urge the investigation, prosecution, and punishment of the perpetrators of violence against women and girls, as well as the provision of universal access to comprehensive social, health, and legal services for all victims and survivors, to ensure their full recovery and reintegration into society. We also recognize that the treatment of women and girls can be a broader reflection of societal norms, and we commit to using education and public awareness campaigns as a further tool against abuse.

41.           Measure must be taken to counter prevailing negative anti-migrant sentiments, such as information campaigns, capacity building, promotion of diversity, and addressing the critical role that the media plays. These strategies must be supported by well-managed migration and integration policies that promote the positive contributions of migrants.

Enabling and strengthening participation

42.           We commit to invest in sustainable mechanisms in cities and human settlements to broaden democratic platforms that allow participation in decision-making and planning processes, including gender- responsive approaches. We acknowledge that local governments have a key role in strengthening the interface among all actors, offering opportunities for dialogue with particular attention to the rights and needs of and potential contributions from all segments of society, including youth, children, men and women, persons with disabilities, elderly persons, indigenous peoples, and migrants, regardless of their migratory status.

43.           We will seek to implement inclusive approaches through transparent and accountable institutions, in dealing with the organization and management of the city and its spaces, and reconfiguring the system that includes land and properties in a manner that maximizes use-value for all inhabitants.

44.           Democratizing technical contents of political decisions is essential. We also commit to ensure that sound monitoring systems are put in place for a transparent and participatory data collection and management, as well as open access to data, which is critical for informed decision-making, including the appropriate allocation of opportunities and equal and fair distribution of resources.


45.           We recognize that inclusive economic growth, decent work and jobs for all should be a key objective of the New Urban Agenda for sustainable urban development. Equal opportunities should be promoted to allow people to live healthy, productive, and fulfilling lives. We also recognize that good policy and governance, sustainable infrastructure and urban form, including improved connectivity and strengthened urban-rural and territorial linkages, if implemented within a context of stakeholder participation and equitable sharing of economic benefits, are bedrock drivers of inclusive growth and quality job creation.

46.           We therefore commit to an urban economy model, built on local resources and competitive advantages, which fosters an enabling environment for investment and innovation, as well as one that allocates resources to ensure all residents have the opportunities and skills to meaningfully participate in the economy.

Inclusive and sustainable urban economies

47.           We commit to developing vibrant, inclusive and sustainable urban economies, building on local resources and competitive advantages, including modern infrastructure and cultural heritage, with increased levels of productive employment and decent work. In this regard, support to innovative and sustainable solutions will be provided in order to trigger the potential for a high degree of connectivity and consequent intense economic and social interaction between a larger and diverse range of people, skills, business and market opportunities, all of which contribute to the positive externalities that cities can create, maximizing economies of agglomeration.

48.           We commit to address the underlying conditions that support inclusive economic development such as efficient, transparent, and equitable regulatory and legislative frameworks, promoting the development of inclusive planning systems and effective financial management that enables local governments to plan, mobilize, and use financial resources efficiently, with increased transparency and accountability to all inhabitants and stakeholders. Predictable, secured and substantial sources of revenue should be mobilized for local governments to support services and infrastructure at the level required for long- term urban economic development.

49.           We commit to strengthening local, regional and national institutions to support local economic development, fostering integration, cooperation, coordination and dialogue across different actors and levels of government and functional areas. In this regard, multi-stakeholder partnerships should be developed together with enhancing the capacity of local and national governments to work with the private sector, academic institutions, and community development partners in formulating and implementing local economic development strategies.

Urban form and urban infrastructure for prosperity

50.           We commit to a new set of standards in the selection and design of the urban form and infrastructure, recognizing that they are among the greatest drivers of cost efficiencies, clustering co-benefits, and growth in the urban economy.

51.           The urban economy does not function as an isolated system. It needs to operate in a territorial system that integrates urban and rural functions into the regional and national spatial framework and system of cities. We commit to develop urban spatial frameworks that promote efficient use of land, compactness, mixed uses and appropriate density, through infill or planned extension strategies, to trigger economies of scale and agglomeration, increase accessibility, reduce travel needs and the costs of service provisions, enable a cost-effective public transport system, enhance resource efficiency, and ensure environmental sustainability. Moreover, a safe, comfortable and efficient street network, allowing a high degree of connectivity and encouraging public transport, walking and bicycling, will enhance sustainable mobility, economic productivity, and facilitate local economic development.

52.           We commit to set up effective processes for the formulation of medium and long-term strategic visions, urban and territorial plans and policies, as well as infrastructure development plans, based on rigorous, transparent and participatory needs assessments, as well as the appraisal of the cost-effectiveness of meeting these needs. Adequate physical and social infrastructure will be supported to improve productivity in cities, ensure its efficient and equitable function, as well as generate sufficient wealth to support the level of investment required.

53.           We commit to increase economic productivity through the generation and use of sustainable energy and effective transport infrastructure, achieving the benefits of connectivity and avoiding the financial, environmental (including climate change), and public health costs of congestion and air pollution. Particular attention will be given to the transport needs of the working poor as the economic benefits of extending mobility to informal settlements can be dramatic. Better connectivity will also be pursued between cities and regions, nations and global markets, through transport and communication networks, ports, and airports among others. This will improve the efficiency of the supply chain, reducing production and transaction costs, providing a predictable framework attractive for investments.

54.           We commit to encourage rural-urban interactions by strengthening transport facilities, infrastructure, communication, and ICTs underpinned by planning instruments based on a territorial approach in order to maximize the potential of these sectors for productivity, social cohesion, and environmental protection across urban and rural areas.

55.           Availability and universal access to adequate and quality social infrastructure and facilities, such as health and education facilities, among others, is fundamental to building a healthy society and labor force with the knowledge and skills to contribute to an innovative and competitive urban economy. This will allow cities to compete in the global creative economy, adding value, increasing productivity, and attracting investment and employment.

56.           We also commit to the creation of adequate, cross-linked, accessible and well-equipped green and public spaces as drivers for economic and social development, generating increased of value to be captured for new investment and shared as public revenue towards improved equity.

Enabling business environment, jobs and livelihoods

57.           We commit to ensure equitable access to public goods, natural resources, basic services and the use of public spaces that are essential to the livelihoods of people, in particular the urban poor, as well as formal and informal workers. In this regard, the generation of employment and livelihood opportunities should be pursued, with special attention to the needs and potential of young people, people with disabilities, women and others in vulnerable situations, towards ensuring that all citizens have access to income-earning opportunities, respecting and leveraging culture and territorial specificity.

58.           We commit to create an enabling and fair business environment and support innovations and entrepreneurship with strategies that are able to increase and harness the capacity of both the formal and informal economy, as well as the opportunities offered by the diverse creative potential of cities, while protecting labor rights, and environmental and health standards. We also commit to address the challenges faced by local business communities and to promote and support the millions of homebuilders and small, medium, and micro enterprises, and social enterprises that work in the formal and informal sectors and collaborate in the co-production of cities, their spaces, and their economies.

59.           We will further improve the business environment to make it more attractive to investments through enhanced access to multiple ICT solutions and clean technology, as well as transparent and predictable policies and regulations. This will also need adequate infrastructure facilities, in particular business centers, markets, educational, and research centers.

60.           We recognize that standardization and publication of permitting, registration, and taxation processes is a critical first step, along with labor and environmental standards. We also recognize the value of anti- corruption programs, performance evaluations linked to processing time, and a culture of contract enforcement. We further recognize the role that companies, civil society, media, and other stakeholders can play in improving the ease of doing business.

61.           Urban economies should be sustained and supported to promote the progressive transition to higher productivity jobs through high value added sectors, promoting diversification, technological upgrading and innovation. Qualified jobs in both the formal and informal sectors, including through cultural and creative industries, tourism, performing arts and heritage conservation activities, will create the conditions for sustainable revenue generation. We commit to empower local governments and other local actors to promote local economic development with the inclusion of all the appropriate industries in each locality.

62.           We commit to promote the inclusion of labor standards in procurement and other forms of subcontracting, enforce labor standards in the implementation of public works via direct contracting, use municipal extension workers to train Small and Medium Enterprises and workers, and promote linkages between building inspection and labor inspection.

63.           We commit to recognize the working poor in the informal economy as contributors and legitimate actors in the economic development process of cities. A gradual approach to formalization will be developed to preserve and enhance informal livelihoods while extending legal and social protections, as well as support services for the informal workforce.

64.           We commit to harnessing the urban demographic dividend, where applicable, as critical to increased productivity and shared prosperity in cities. An inclusive approach to formalization will respect the interests of informal workers (whether urban or rural-based), be accompanied by suitable training, capacity development and access to business services as required, and be informed by the needs and challenges facing female workers. Youth access to skills development will be promoted to enable their full and effective participation in the urban economy, as well as the creation of an enabling environment that promotes economic inclusion and entrepreneurship.

Participation for inclusive urban prosperity

65.           We commit to facilitate effective participation and collaboration among all stakeholders including local government, the private sector, civil society, including professionals, academic institutions, trade unions, employer’s organizations, grassroots communities, and others, in identifying the opportunities for urban economic development as well as in identifying and addressing existing challenges. Particular attention will be given to the empowerment of women and their full and equal participation in the economy to enhance economic growth and productivity.

66.           In order to improve social mobility and opportunities for women as well as other marginalized groups, we commit to remove legal and regulatory barriers to equitable participation in the urban labor market, as well as those on salary differentials, discrimination, or traditional expectations.


67.           The New Urban Agenda can be a turning point in the ecological sustainability and resilience of cities and human settlements. We recognize that there is an unprecedented opportunity through planning, technological, and business model breakthroughs to tackle the equally unprecedented threats to urban life from unsustainable production and resource consumption, pollution levels, disaster risk, and climate change.

68.           The New Urban Agenda aims to achieve ecologically sustainable cities and human settlements, strengthening resilience in urban areas with varying characteristics and locations, while changing the root causes of prevailing perception of cities as a significant source of negative ecological impacts to a source of solutions to sustainability issues. The Agenda reiterates the ecological and social function of land and promotes a change in the consumption and production patterns, ensuring that they will not exceed the ecosystem’s regenerative capacity.

Ecosystems and Cities

69.           We commit to facilitate urban development in a manner that preserves rapidly diminishing natural resources while promoting economic development, access to modern energy services, food and water security, health, air quality, more attractive and liveable urban landscapes, and increased human well- being.

70.           We will ensure that sources of critical resources which are part of a city’s basic services and daily consumption (e.g. clean water, food, access to modern energy services) are secured and protected by policy at all levels of governance. We also commit to enact national and territorial policies that safeguard against environmental degradation and to mainstream ecology in the institutional setting, allocating responsibilities for environmental governance to appropriate institutions at all levels of government.

71.           The provision of a well-connected network of open and green public spaces in central and peripheral urban areas, facilitating linkages with and access to the surrounding natural environment, can improve public health and contribute to the quality of life and well-being of all people, through increased leisure and physical activity, while protecting and improving the urban ecosystem and the services it provides, and mitigating climate change risks such as urban heat island, among others.

72.           We acknowledge that the practices and attitudes of residents and users of urban space – both individuals and organizations – strongly determine the extent of environmental impact. We resolve through policy and regulation to increasingly internalize externalities as a driver of behavioral change. We will also use school curriculums and public awareness campaigns as additional tools.

73.           We commit to decentralization of basic resources, recognizing that a heavy reliance on distant sources of energy, water, food, and materials has made some cities vulnerable to sudden disruption of supply.

Sustainable consumption and production

74.           The consumption and production patterns of cities are a critical element of achieving global resilience and sustainability. We therefore commit to strengthening the crucial linkages and efficient management of resources like land, water, energy, materials, food, as well as the reduction and management of waste and the mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, taking into consideration the full-range of resource requirements vis-à-vis the environmental impact and sustainability. We support the development of transparent frameworks for public and private entities to report on their environmental footprints to ensure sustainability.

75.           We call for an integrated system of water planning and management that considers urban-rural linkages, minimises conflicts and ecological risks, maximises positive synergies and mutual benefits, at the local and regional scales. The sustainable use of water should be promoted through a holistic water cycle approach, rehabilitating water resources within the urban area, reducing and treating water waste, increasing water storage, and providing safe and healthy drinking water within short distance in cities and human settlements, emphasizing measures to avoid conflicts and minimize the impacts of climate-related disasters especially floods and droughts and sharing experiences among cities. Human resources capacity development should be a transversal component of the above-mentioned activities, focusing on water utilities and decision-makers.

76.           We commit to the sustainable management of waste, reaffirming the three Rs (reduce, reuse and recycle), setting zero landfill targets, and converting to energy only the inevitable residual waste. These measures will reduce pollution, lessen contamination of water bodies and groundwater, and contribute to addressing spatial, technical, and economic waste management challenges in urban areas, while contributing to creation of jobs.

77.           A shift towards a low-carbon energy system in urban areas should be promoted, consistent with the agreement to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre- industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C, including through cooperation and partnerships at all levels of government and among cities and utility providers.

78.           We recognize that renewable energy and energy efficiency are essential to the achievement of sustainable consumption and production, and that their joint deployment can create new jobs, improve public health, reduce the costs of energy supply, and enable the fastest and greatest carbon gains. We call on governments at the national, subnational, and local level to coordinate on energy target setting and implementation, so that deployment is achieved expeditiously and cost-effectively.

Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change and other shocks and stresses

79.           Strengthened resilience of city systems enables households, communities, institutions and states to resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard, including shocks or latent stresses, in a timely and efficient manner. A resilient city helps to protect its residents, their cohesion as a community, and their habitat by responding, adapting, and transforming whilst taking advantage of reduced risk exposure in ways that restore, maintain, and even improve its essential functions, structures, and identity.

80.           We commit to substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and resilience to disasters. This should include the conduct of pre-disaster risk assessments in urban areas in order to develop a thorough understanding of disaster risks across the various dimensions of hazards, vulnerability, exposure of people and assets, and improve capacity of local and national governments, city administrators, development planners, and decision-makers on disaster and climate risks, to implement risk-informed development at the city and community level.

81.           We commit to significantly reduce the number of deaths and people affected and, displaced, and to substantially decrease the direct economic losses in cities and human settlements relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations. This should take into consideration appropriate land use and urban planning, enforcement of building codes, early-warning systems, business continuity plans and contingency plans for critical infrastructure. Low-risk zones should be prioritized for future urban developments and extensions in order to most efficiently protect them from rising sea levels, flooding, tsunamis, earthquakes, and other hazards.

82.           We commit to ensure the effective planning, management, and conservation of urban deltas, coastal and other environmentally critical areas and hotspots that combine socio-economic and natural/ environmental dynamics in different regions of the world. This is important to address global issues, such as the provision of drinking water and sanitation, rising sea level, food security, and uncontrolled urban development, which are often concentrated in these areas, in order to achieve all ecological, economic, and social sustainability in addition to urban resilience.

83.           We finally emphasize the need to shift from reactive to more proactive approaches, while also committing to ensure timely and effective local disaster response to address the immediate needs of inhabitants following a disaster, as well as the integration of the ‘’Build Back Better’’ principles in the post-disaster recovery process to integrate the lessons from past disasters to future planning and resilience-building measures.


84.           The realization of transformative commitments set out through the New Urban Agenda will require national, sub-national, and local governments to ensure an enabling policy framework, integrated by planning and management of urban spatial development, and effective means of implementation at the national, sub-national, and local levels.


85.           The effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda will be anchored to the establishment of national and local frameworks as well as inclusive and implementable national urban policies, including land and housing policies, to guide sustainable urban development as an integral part of the national development strategy. Sub-national and local governments should be empowered to implement spatial development strategies based on coherent urban planning principles, and the implementing actions required by national and local governments should be integrated with stakeholders’ participation as well as new partnership arrangements.

National Level Framework

86.           We will ensure that national urban policies are complemented by sub-national and local policies, and are adequately linked with finance mechanisms, as well as urban planning guidelines and regulatory frameworks, to integrate urbanization into national development planning.

87.           We commit to develop an integrated national framework to guide urban development in the medium and long term, and develop integrated, multi-sectoral, and participatory national and territorial policies. We will promote the integration of land, housing, public space and the environment in national urban policies, linking them to national development and socio-economic strategies, taking into consideration existing institutional capacities and decentralized competencies, as well as the specificities of each territory in line with a place-based and context-specific approach.

88.           We recognize that multi-level and multi-actor governance requires national urban policies that set out the overall institutional architecture, with the respective competences, tools, and resources clearly defined for each level of governance. In this regard, we recognize the need to enable stronger coordination between national, sub-national, and local governments and relevant stakeholders. We will ensure that legal and policy frameworks based on the principles of equality and non-discrimination that enable local authorities to effectively implement national urban policies and empower them as policy and decision makers, ensuring appropriate fiscal, political, and administrative decentralization based on the principle of subsidiarity and the respect for local self-government.

Sub-National, Metropolitan and Local Framework

89.           We will adopt an integrated approach to urbanization that includes the effective deployment of appropriate and progressive urban and housing legislation and policy frameworks, sound and innovative financing mechanisms, appropriate land governance, quality urban planning and design, and mechanisms for strong civil society engagement in decision-making, as well as implementation and monitoring of urban development.

90.           We will strengthen the capacity of sub-national governments to implement effective local and metropolitan governance, ensuring the involvement of both local and regional governments, but providing metropolitan regions with authority over critical metropolitan concerns. Metropolitan governance will encompass democratic legitimacy, legal frameworks, and reliable financing mechanisms.

91.           We will support local authorities in determining their own administrative structures in order to adapt to local needs. We encourage appropriate regulatory frameworks and support to local governments in partnering with the private sector and communities to develop and manage basic services and infrastructure.

Stakeholder Engagement Framework

92.           We recognize that successful realization of sustainable urban development in all areas considered by this agenda strongly depends on the combined and coordinated effort of all stakeholders involved, both governmental and non-governmental. We will therefore implement broader partnerships in a multi- level governance structure, through the open, democratic and inclusive participation of stakeholders at all levels.

93.           This partnership approach includes all stages of the policy process, from planning to budgeting, implementation, and monitoring through well-resourced permanent mechanisms that include designated times and spaces for all, with particular attention to grassroots and marginalized groups.

94.           This will also be extended to all kinds of partnerships, through ex ante and ex post community-based assessments, to ascertain their environmental, social, and economic impacts. As part of this process, we will help to ensure that multi-stakeholder partnerships contribute to the long-term success of sustainable urban development and are enabled to build effective links with national, regional and local policy initiatives and priorities.

95.           We will put in place broad-based cooperation mechanisms, consultation processes, reviewing mechanisms, and platforms that create ownership among different parties, for the monitoring and continuous review of national urban policies, including land and housing policies, with the goal of informing any amendments, as appropriate.


96.           We reaffirm and reiterate the principles and strategies for urban and territorial planning agreed upon in the International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning, adopted by the Governing Council of UN- Habitat at its 25th session in April 2015.

97.           In this regard, the New Urban Agenda aims to implement integrated urban spatial development strategies supporting the realization of compact, integrated, and well-connected cities and human settlements, including peri-urban areas and the rural hinterland, which will harness the social and economic benefits of the urban form.

Urban Planning and Management

98.           We will implement urban and territorial plans including city-region and/or metropolitan plans, to encourage synergies and interactions between and among separate urban areas, and develop regional infrastructure projects that stimulate economic productivity, promoting equitable growth of regions and reinforcing links between urban, peri-urban, and rural areas.

99.           We will implement planned urban extensions, infill and regeneration, upgrading and retrofitting, as appropriate, ensuring integrated and participatory approaches involving all stakeholders and inhabitants, avoiding gentrification and reducing social segregation. We will design innovative and locally adapted instruments to allow for the planning of organized urban growth, minimizing the prevalence of intra-urban voids and consolidating optimal densities within cities. In this regard, the cooperation for the design, financing, and implementation of state-of-the-art urban indicator systems and geographic information systems is essential.

100.         We will plan cities and territories based on the principles of efficient use of land, compactness, adequate density and connectivity, as well as mixed economic use in the built up areas, to reduce mobility needs and service delivery costs per capita, and harness density and economies of agglomeration. The application of these principles will foster sustainable urban development, including job creation, reduced infrastructure spending, efficient public transport, reduced congestion, as well as reduced urban sprawl and land consumption.

101.         We will implement urban planning strategies that facilitate a social mix and provision of quality public spaces, ensuring economic vibrancy, enhancing safety and security, favouring social interaction and the appreciation of diversity, and attracting high-quality urban services and adequate housing. In this regard, a network of quality public spaces and streets will be designed, considering measures that allow for the best possible commercial use of street-level floors, fostering local markets and commerce, formal and informal, promoting walkability and cycling towards improving the overall quality of life and social cohesion.

102.         We will support practices such as participatory planning and budgeting, citizen-based monitoring, self- enumeration and co-planning that are rooted in new forms of direct partnership between state organizations and civil society.

103.         We will ensure coherence between goals and measures of sectorial policies at different levels/scales of political administration in order to strengthen integrated approaches in areas such as land-use and planning, housing construction, food security, management of natural resources, provision of public goods and services, climate change adaptation and mitigation, resilience-building, and risk management.

104.         We will also implement strategic urban planning and management at the local level introducing information and communication technologies to enhance access to and reduce the cost of quality public services, as well as improving regulatory compliance, transparency, and accountability of public agencies. We will strive to include maintenance and management as an integral part of the design process and establishing participative mechanisms across the whole process from their design, management, and maintenance.


105.         We promote the social and ecological function of land, considering food safety and nutrition, in order to promote just cities through policies that distribute the burdens and benefits of urbanization fairly and avoid the processes of segregation. We will encourage the improvement of combined fiscal, urban planning, and urban management tools, including land market regulations to ensure the capture and distribution of the value created as a result of the process of urbanization and avoid speculative practices. Innovative instruments should be designed to allow for the planning of rational urban growth, minimizing the prevalence of intra-urban voids, consolidating optimal densities within cities and protecting ecological or agricultural land reserves.

106.         We will enhance the public supply of affordable land for housing, including land in the center and consolidated areas of cities, and encourage mixed-income development to offset segregation, to secure land tenure in informal settlements, and to introduce efficient legal and technical systems to capture part of the land value increment accruing from public investment.

107.         We will promote compliance with legal requirements through strong land management institutions that deal with land registration and governance, implementing a transparent and efficient land use, property registration, and sound financial system. Support will be provided to local authorities and stakeholders in developing and using basic land inventory information, such as a cadaster, valuation maps, as well as land and housing price records to generate the data needed to assess changes in land values. In this regard, the cooperation for the design, financing, and implementation of state-of-the-art urban indicator systems and geographic information systems is essential.


108.         The provision of affordable housing at scale remains a key challenge to most countries, especially developing countries. Access to adequate and affordable housing is needed to reduce the vast numbers of households living in inadequate housing in slums and informal settlements. We will develop national housing policies based on participatory planning and the principles of social inclusion and participation, economic effectiveness, environmental protection, and cultural adequacy.

109.         We will include data disaggregation to allow a differentiated analysis of housing supply and demand considering the specific social, economic, and cultural dynamics on subnational levels. This will inform the implementation of housing and urban development programs, with housing at the center of the strategy and to the extent possible, situated at the center of the city. We encourage applying the principle of subsidiarity in the implementation of national housing policies through subnational and decentralized structures in order to ensure the coherence between national and local urban development strategies, land policies, and housing supply.

110.         We will consider policies that promote a wide range of alternative housing options, considering shifting from a predominantly private ownership to other rental and tenure options, including cooperatives solutions such as co-housing and community land trust, in order to improve the supply of affordable housing, as well as to adopt policies that support incremental housing and slum/informal settlements upgrading programs.

111.         We will promote regulations within the housing sector, including building codes, standards, development permits, land use by-laws and ordinances, and planning regulations, ensuring quality and habitability. In this regard, planning initiatives should avoid peripheral and isolated mass housing schemes detached from the urban system.


112.         High transport demand and land consumption through transport infrastructures put urban environments and the accessibility of cities for people and goods under significant pressure. Without a transformation in policy, and step change in effort, they will not be able to cope with the anticipated urban growth. To set a vision and specific targets for the urban mobility and land use policy – in particular to provide access for all to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems, we need a massive transformation from the current pattern of “car-oriented” development towards people-oriented development that improves urban access for all delivered through:

(a)            A massive increase in public transport, walking, and cycling;

(b)            Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) that minimizes displacement of the poor and features affordable housing and a mix of jobs and services; also enabled by an integrated spatial and transport planning through Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans

(c)            Better and coordinated transport-land use planning, including waterways and transport planning, especially for coastal cities and small island developing states.

113.         We will implement polycentric and balanced territorial development policies and interventions, promoting the role of small and intermediate cities in strengthening food security systems through provision of sound infrastructure, access to land and effective trade links, to ensure that small scale farmers are linked to larger supply chains including a density-based fair distribution of diverse services across cities and their territories, which will minimize demand for travel. At the same time, we will foster compact, transit-supported city models, with a well-connected network of mixed-use arteries, integrating mobility plans into overall urban plans, to decrease the demand for private vehicles, as well as to promote efficient and safe multi-modal transport systems.

114.         We will consider establishing urban transport infrastructure funds at the national level, based on a diversity of funding sources, ranging from public grants to contributions from other public entities and the private sector. We will also develop mechanisms and common frameworks at the national, regional/metropolitan and local levels to appraise the wider benefits of urban transport schemes, including impacts on the economy, quality of life, accessibility and road safety, among others.

115.         We will support the development of frameworks for the organization, procurement, and regulation of transport and mobility services in urban and metropolitan areas, including new technology that enables shared mobility services, as well as the development of clear contractual relationship between local authorities and transport and mobility providers which defines mutual obligations.

116.         We will create conditions for better coordination and mutual understanding between transport and urban planning departments at the local level as well as between planning and policy frameworks at local and national level.

117.         We will provide local authorities with the necessary knowledge and capacity to implement integrated transport, and the legal capacity to enforce them upon adoption.

118.         We will support cities to develop financing instruments, enabling them to improve their cities’ transport infrastructure by public transport systems, such as BRT-systems, city trains, cycling lines and technology based transport systems to reduce congestion and pollution improving efficiency. These measures will be complemented by people-centered urban planning based on compactness, improved density, connectivity, and mixed uses, as well as the introduction of vehicle fuel efficiency standards and incentives for vehicles powered by renewables.

Urban Basic Services

119.         We recommend anticipating water issues when planning urban development, rather than adjusting it to the built environment. Factoring in water early on at different spatial scales saves huge economic, social, and environmental costs. Active participation of multiple sectors and communities is required, all of which are dependent on sustainable water management.

120.         We will equip water utilities to realize the human right to water and sanitation and to promote sustainable water development through not‑for‑profit capacity development, including knowledge sharing and peer‑learning partnerships. Global, regional, national, and local mechanisms should be strengthened financially and operationally to fill the capacity gap and meet ambitious development objectives.

121.         Public health cannot be guaranteed without strong local leadership and adequate investments in sanitation infrastructure, services that have been long neglected. Innovative, context‑specific, and culturally‑sensitive solutions exist and must be considered in the planning of a city‑wide universal sanitation access strategy.

122.         We recognize that even for cities that do not directly control power generation, they may control local infrastructure and codes that can drive sustainable energy in end-use sectors, such as buildings, industry, transport, waste, or sanitation. We note the effectiveness of net metering standards, portfolio standards, and public procurement policies on energy, among other instruments, to support deployment. Smart grid and district energy systems should also be prioritized to improve synergies between renewable energy and energy efficiency.

123.         To be effective and sustainable, wastewater management must be an integral part of urban development planning, across all sectors, and transcending political, administrative and jurisdictional borders in all levels. We commit to provide universal access to de-centralized waste management systems, and to pursue alternatives to unregulated and inappropriate forms and locations of waste disposal. In this regard, extended producer responsibility schemes should be established, including producers in the financing of urban waste management systems and reducing the hazards of waste streams and recycling rates through better product design.

Heritage and Culture

124.         We will place urban culture and heritage as a priority component of urban plans and strategies through the adoption of planning instruments, including master plans, zoning guidelines, and strategic growth policies that safeguard a diverse range of tangible and intangible cultural assets and landscapes and mitigate the disruptive impact of development. We will also conduct a comprehensive inventory and/or mapping of these tangible and intangible assets, utilizing new technologies and techniques and involving local communities, as appropriate.


125.         We recognize that sustainable urban development, guided by national urban policies, rests on integrated national and international financing frameworks that are supported by an international economic environment, since without adequate financial resources and capacities at all levels, none of the challenges and opportunities of urbanization can be addressed and none of the objectives laid out in this agenda could be achieved.

126.         The implementation of an ambitious New Urban Agenda will need the deployment of a wide range of means, tapping into all available traditional and innovative sources. Mobilization of resources will be embedded in the concept of partnership including international, national, and local, as well as public and private, based on the principle of equity and solidarity with people that are the poorest and that are in vulnerable situations.

127.         The immense infrastructure financing gap is one of the most pressing challenges to be addressed in order to secure adequate service provision to the people. We realize that bridging this gap, especially at the local level, is a prerequisite for achieving the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs. In this course, we recognize that the enormous investments needed, can only be realized by leveraging on domestic resources and tapping into external financial sources and enabling local government to access these resources.

128.         Each country context requires specific instruments and mechanisms in order to improve the financial situation necessary to achieve sustainable development. We therefore, call for context-sensitive approaches in financing urbanization and in enhancing financial management capacities at all levels of government.

Domestic public resources

129.         Resource mobilization will focus on endogenous resources and revenues generated through the capture of the benefits of urbanization, as well as the catalyzing effects and maximized impact of public and private investments. It is crucial that all financial means of implementation are firmly embedded into national legal and policy frameworks.

Sound financial policy framework

130.         We will ensure a strong and transparent system of intergovernmental transfers from higher levels of government to subnational and local governments that provides for adequate and predictable transfers matching the functions and mandates of local governments, guaranteeing a minimum of at least 20% of national resources to local government and thereby contributing to minimizing the fiscal gap directly and by leveraging further resources.

131.         We commit to implementing sound sub-national fiscal policies, increase local government autonomy over taxes, revenues, expenditures, debt financing as appropriate and will implement specific mechanisms, as appropriate, to enable shared authority and financing between municipalities or metropolitan areas and state or national governments agencies.

132.         We plan to develop vertical and horizontal adequate models of distribution of financial resources to decrease inequalities between territories and urban and rural areas, as well as to promote integrated and balanced territorial development. In this regard, transparency in data spending should be ensured to allow public analysis of resource allocation from national government as a tool to assess progress towards equity and spatial integration.

133.         We will implement specific mechanisms to capture the increase in land and property value generated by public investments, including the increased value of residential and commercial buildings brought about by provision of economic and social infrastructure and quality public space. Measures will be put in place to prevent its solely private capture as well as land speculations, by introducing fair taxation and site and city-wide redistribution of gains with the aim to ensuring the contribution of land owners to a more equitable urban development.

Financial Management

134.         Effective financial management systems are the precondition for any improvement of the municipal finance situation and to achieve creditworthiness. We therefore commit to strengthen local administrations capacities in planning, budgeting, accounting, procurement, reporting, auditing and oversight including the capacities to develop, implement and operate bankable projects and to manage public-private and people partnerships. Capacity development should be anchored in a multi-level institutional coordination framework.

135.         We encourage local governments to implement municipal financial management reforms through incentives such as performance based intergovernmental fiscal transfer systems.

136.         We recognize that it is vital to establish transparent and accountable mechanisms for expenditure control as well as clear regulations and control mechanism that ensure a prudent debt management and prevent unsustainable debt financing.

Revenue and Expenditure

137.         We commit to establish policies and capacities that will enable local governments to register and expand their potential revenue base, and to establish and collect user charges and fees to cover expenditure costs, while ensuring that poor households and marginalized groups are not disproportionately affected. Tax avoidance should also be addressed along with considering the insertion of anti-abuse clauses and transparency mechanisms.

138.         We commit to promote transparent and accountable expenditure control instruments, based on legislative control and public participation which support open and fair tendering processes, procurement mechanism and reliable budget execution.


139.         We acknowledge that access to debt financing is a key element of urban infrastructure investment schemes to bridge the infrastructure investment gap, especially for necessary investments with high public dividend and benefits. We commit to establishing robust regulatory frameworks for municipal borrowing, flanked by revenues and capacities and expressed by local creditworthiness as well as to expand sustainable municipal debt markets when appropriate. Resources will be mobilized to support credit guarantees or other credit enhancements such as interest subsidies, limited guarantees and limited reserve funds to facilitate favourable borrowing in a transparent and responsible way.

140.         Together with partners, donors, development financiers and private sector, we will consider the establishment of financial intermediaries for urban financing, such as national municipal development funds or national development banks.

141.         We understand that, as a number of cities lack experience in borrowing and that some governments are responsible for debts that cities may incur, there is a need for strong cooperation with national and sub- national governments. We are willing, at the request of all implicated levels of government, to participate in the dialogue over fair and rational ways to allocate financial responsibilities to both encourage local governments to source funds for capital-intensive projects that help to achieve the objectives of this Agenda as well as to limit the exposure of the reputation and finances of the central government.

Climate Finance

142.         We recognize that the infrastructure planning and financing decisions that are made today will determine the world`s climate and development outcomes for the next century and that cities have the potential to lead the global community in implementing low-emission, climate resilient projects when the conducive frameworks for their actions are in place. We will implement measures to reduce the cost of capital and stimulate private sector and households to participate in urban resilience programs and resilience-building efforts, including access to risk transfer mechanisms. New opportunities for developing countries have emerged through the Climate Fund, to be used for adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change. We will seek and support a sub national window in the Green Climate Fund to enable cities to secure adaptation and mitigation funding. We will collaborate with local financial institutions to develop climate finance infrastructure solutions and to create appropriate mechanisms to identify catalytic financial instruments. We will collaborate with national and international insurance and reinsurance institutions to develop feasible solutions for future climate risks in cities, with regard to investments in urban infrastructures, urban assets as well as for local populations to secure their shelter and economical needs.


143.         Partnerships with a variety of stakeholders are an important means to financing urbanization. Thus, we promote the use of partnerships in urban development processes, establishing clear and transparent legal and financial frameworks and administrative procedures, as well as planning guidelines for multi- stakeholder partnerships and will consider the establishment of public-private partnership units and/or sectorial nodes to advise municipalities on all aspects of partnerships and provide systematic training and capacity building for local officials and other stakeholders.

144.         We acknowledge that private business activity, investment and innovation in the urban sector are major drivers of productivity, inclusive economic growth, and job creation and we call on all businesses to apply their creativity and innovation toward solving sustainable development challenges in urban areas.

International development cooperation

145.         We underline the high relevance of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and cooperation initiative, next to their direct financial support for urban development measures via grants and loans, as promoters of further public and private investments in local economies, catalyzing new sources of finance by acting as de-riskers for potential investors and enabling capacity-development.

146.         We will promote better articulation of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and cooperation initiatives at national, regional, and international levels on issues related to financial engineering transfer, especially in low-income countries. We will expand the opportunities for international cooperation, including North-South, South-South, triangular, decentralized, and city-to-city cooperation, to contribute to the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

147.         We support the effective engagement of local authorities in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, also by implementing the paradigm set out in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda that includes access to adequate flows of Official Development Assistance (ODA) and additional frameworks that facilitate blending ODA funds with debt financing.

148.         We will support countries as well as international networks to establish project-preparation facilities that provide significant support to create, plan, implement and operate bankable projects.

149.         We urge international and multilateral financial institutions, such as the World Bank Group and regional development banks, to consider and integrate the priorities of the New Urban Agenda in their disbursement criteria for infrastructure and development projects to developing countries.

Science, technology, innovation and capacity-development


150.         We promote capacity building as a multi-facetted approach that addresses the ability of multiple stakeholders and institutions at all levels of governance and combines the individual and institutional capacity to formulate, implement, manage, and enforce public policies towards sustainable urbanization. We commit to strengthen the capacity of local, national, and regional governments, international authorities, local government associations, as well as the academia and research institutions in order to enable them to actively engage and contribute to the implementation of the Quito Implementation Plan for the New Urban Agenda.

151.         Apart from strengthening individual competencies related to sectorial service delivery and planning tasks, management skills for shaping organizational and institutional governance processes and for involving multiple stakeholders in public decision–making have to be improved.

152.         We will implement investments by national and sub-national governments in improving technical and human resources needed for an effective urban planning and management, and to maintain effective local tax systems, as appropriate. Awareness-raising activities and capacity development programmes should be launched to promote the shift from a local financial system (based mainly on grants and subsidies from the national government) to a system based on a financing mix. Performance-based grants and incentives to change behaviors and management culture will be applied.

153.         We will implement programs to increase knowledge and capacity in the use of legal land-based revenue and financing tools as well as real estate market functioning. Policymakers will be informed on the legal and economic foundations of value capture, and local public officials will be capacitated to determine and capture land value increments.

154.         We will strengthen cooperation between local governments and civil society to deliver on capacity development programmes by means of peer-to-peer learning, subject-matter related partnerships, and collaborative action such as inter-municipal cooperation, including the establishment of practitioners’ networks and other policy interface mechanisms, and apply peer-to-peer learning formats based on exchange of experience and dialogue formats for collegial advice.

155.         We will implement training programs and government initiatives that should be geared specifically toward strengthening the skills and abilities of the persons in vulnerable situations to enable them to overcome the causes of their vulnerability and exclusion. These initiatives should be oriented to improve the capacity of community leaders, with particular attention to women’s effective participation in decision-making for urban development.

156.         Local government associations need to be recognized as one of the providers of capacity development and important instruments for knowledge sharing. Public institutions should engage in dialogue and support collaborative partnership approaches.

157.         We will implement capacity development programs to help local governments achieve targets and set the foundation, as appropriate, for transparent and independent oversight/ monitoring processes to review local and municipal performance and compliance, with a focus on improvement and digitalization of the accounting process and records.

Technology and Innovation

158.         We will implement the appropriate use of new and existing technologies to improve city management as well as accountability and transparency, mindful of the protection of public goods and of specific constraints in terms of access to digital information and local habits.

159.         We will implement capacity development programs in order to make information and communications technology accessible to citizens, to enable them to develop and exercise civic responsibility, broadening participation and fostering responsible governance. On-line platforms can be developed to improve access to urban services.

160.         Ensure the successful development and implementation of citizen-centric digital era governance that continuously taps into technological innovations. This will require strong political will, collaborative leadership and new institutional frameworks, “including a national ICT policy and e-government strategy, as well as strengthening institutions and building the capacities of public servants.

Data collection and analysis

161.         Good governance is evidence-based and builds on a shared knowledge base using both globally- comparable as well as disaggregated and locally-generated data. The crucial role that cities may play in data collection, monitoring, and reporting on progress at the local level regarding sustainable development should also be honoured, and corresponding capacities built.

162.         Data collection and indicators are essential at the international, national, and local levels to monitor progress achieved and to make decisions to adjust implementation strategies. The generated data should be transparent, openly accessible, and disaggregated as appropriate to capture existing inequalities and efforts to promote inclusive development.

163.         We will implement the creation, promotion, and enhancement of participatory data platforms using technological and social tools available to transfer and share knowledge among national, sub-national, and local governments and other stakeholders, including non-state actors and people to enhance effective urban planning and management, efficiency, and transparency through e-governance, ICT- assisted approaches, and open data.


164.         We stress the urgent need to carry out the follow-up and review of this New Urban Agenda in order to ensure its effective implementation and progressive impact.

165.         We acknowledge that the implementation, as well as the follow-up and review of the New Urban Agenda, should be a continuous process at the global, regional, national, sub-national and local level, aimed at creating and reinforcing partnerships among all stakeholders, fostering exchanges and testing of urban solutions and mutual learning, and supporting mutual accountability at all levels and by all actors. The follow-up and review should recognize and strengthen existing platforms and processes, avoid duplication, and respond to local and national circumstances, capacities, needs, and priorities. It should be inclusive, open for all people, participatory and transparent, supporting the reporting process by all relevant actors.

166.         We stress the need for a periodic, effective, inclusive, and transparent follow-up and review framework of the New Urban Agenda, at the global, regional, national, sub-national and local levels, feeding into and coherent with the 2030 Agenda follow-up and review, to track its progress and to support its effective implementation. This also refers to the enabling vectors and conditions, such as national urban policies, capacity development, and effective municipal finance systems and legal frameworks. The review should provide for complementarity to the relevant Sustainable Development Goals indicators, and identify fields of observation to inform on progress made by cities.

167.         We recognize the expertise of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), and we reaffirm its existing mandate and leading role in coordinating the United Nations System on urban development issues, supporting governments at all levels to formulate and to implement policies for sustainable urban development to achieve the goals of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda. We invite the General Assembly to strengthen UN-Habitat and entrust it with the responsibility to coordinate the follow-up and review process, and report on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. We emphasize the need to strengthen the UN system-wide coordination and coherence in the area of sustainable urbanization.

168.         We request UN-Habitat, in coordinating the UN System on urban development issues, to prepare a periodic progress report on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in order to provide a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the progress made. The process of report preparation should incorporate the views of national and local governments, as well as the United Nations System, including regional commissions, stakeholders from multilateral organizations, civil society, the private sector, communities, and other groups and non-state actors. We recommend, to the extent possible, to make use of existing platforms for inclusive and participatory discussion and exchange of views, such as the World Urban Forum, as mandated in General Assembly Resolution 56/206 and recognized by General Assembly Resolution 70/210 as the foremost global arena for interaction among policy makers, local government leaders, non-governmental stakeholders and experts, and practitioners in the field of human settlements.

169.         We stress the need to continue strengthening the international dialogue with local and sub-national governments as key players in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the urban dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals, by convening them through their associations and appropriate mechanisms such as the United Nations Advisory Committee on Local Authorities (UNACLA). We call upon local governments to develop implementable mechanisms to follow-up and review the achievements of the New Urban Agenda at the local level.

170.         We reaffirm the need to strengthen mobilization efforts through partnerships, advocacy, and awareness activities via existing initiatives such as World Habitat Day and World Cities Day, as well as to establish initiatives to mobilize society, citizens, and stakeholders around the New Urban Agenda, such as a United Nations Decade on Sustainable Urbanization.

171.         We also stress the need for UN-Habitat and other relevant stakeholders to generate evidence-based and practical guidance for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the urban dimension of the Sustainable Development Goals, in close collaboration with Member States and through the mobilization of experts, including the General Assembly of Partners for Habitat III, and building on the legacy of the Habitat III Issue Papers and Policy Units preparatory process, to consolidate links with existing knowledge and urban solution platforms relevant to the New Urban Agenda. In this regard, the creation of an International Multi-stakeholder Panel on Sustainable Urbanization, coordinated by UN- Habitat in collaboration with the rest of the UN System, might be considered.

172.         We reaffirm the outcomes of Habitat I and II — as adopted in General Assembly Resolutions 31/109, 32/16, 251/177 and 56/205, 56/206, 67/216, 68/239, and 69/226, and recall Resolution 70/210, as well as the Abuja Declaration of the Habitat III Regional Meeting for Africa and the Toluca Declaration of the Habitat III Regional Meeting for Latin American and the Caribbean, and we call for an outcome of Habitat III to be the strengthening of UN-Habitat in implementing the New Urban Agenda — as well as the urban and human settlements component of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — and we reiterate the importance of the Nairobi Headquarters location of UN-Habitat, by considering the following measures:

•               Establishing universal membership in its Governing Council to give it more authority and legitimacy in decision-making;

•               Ensuring adequate, stable, and predictable financial resources, both from the regular and non- regular budget of the United Nations;

•               Improving the ability of the organization to provide capacity development to developing countries in designing, planning, and the implementation and sustainable management of urban and other human settlements;

•               Empowering UN-Habitat as the UN institution that seeks to mobilize and engage all actors on the sustainable urbanization agenda and urban governance, as well as the UN system in the implementation of mandates on urbanization and human settlements

173.         We call on multilateral international and regional organizations, financial institutions, and development partners engaged in urban development to enhance coordination of their strategies and to apply an integrated approach to sustainable urbanization.

174.         We call on international and regional financial institutions and development banks to incorporate and mainstream the recommendations of the New Urban Agenda in their urban development strategies, especially when providing financial support and loans for integrated urban development to developing countries.

175.         We also call upon all to come together to work in partnership, enhancing coordination and cooperation and ensuring that the New Urban Agenda plays its transformative role in an increasingly urbanized world, eradicating poverty, and achieving sustainable development.