Madrid, 12 May 2014: In collaboration with Barcelona City Council, UN-Habitat recently organized two Experts Group Meetings in Madrid and Barcelona on National Urban Policies and on Sustainable Urban Mobility, respectively.
The meetings were held under the framework of the Project “Towards a New urban Agenda” which is building debate and consensus in the run up to the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, Habitat III, which will be held in 2016.
The Madrid meeting, “Towards Effective National Urban Policies: Lessons from current practice” was attended by several urban policy experts from national and regional governments, international organizations and academia including research and training institutions. The meeting, also supported by Cities Alliance and the Spanish Ministry of Development, aimed to share recent experiences and approaches on National Urban Policies (NUP), and develop a broad “roadmap” for National Urban Policy implementation strategy. As a result, the participants drew a joint communiqué capturing what was discussed.
In Barcelona, “Fostering Sustainable Urban Mobility Solutions”, was attended byinternational experts and aimed to advance the global agenda on sustainable urban mobility and promote the adoption of measures by cities to solve problems related to urban transport, such as emissions of greenhouse gases, noise and air pollution and road accidents, not necessarily resolved by the construction of new infrastructure. A final communiqué on the role of urban electric mobility for sustainable development was produced.
As result of the discussions and interventions held, it was found that urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together, by creating cities that focus on accessibility, rather than simply increasing the length of urban transport infrastructure or increasing the movement of people or goods.