Mendoza, 11 July 2017 - The first National Urban Forum (NUF) of Argentina, and the first in the Southern Cone after the adoption of the New Urban Agenda at the Habitat III conference in Quito in October 2016, took place at the end of June.
The forum was attended by the Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos, Undersecretary of Habitat and Human Development, Marina Klemensiewicz, Undersecretary of Territorial Planning of Public Investment, Fernando Álvarez de Celis, the Governor of Mendoza, Alfredo Cornejo and the Mayor of the city of Mendoza Rodolfo Suarez, among others.
The Executive Director congratulated the Argentinian Government on the celebration of the forum, highlighting the crucial task national governments have in the urbanization process, a remark in line with the concepts of the New Urban Agenda of Quito.
Hosted by the Interior Affairs, Public Works and Housing Ministry together with the Mendoza Municipality and supported by UN-Habitat, the Forum debated the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, and collected perspectives on the central elements that need to be part of the National Urban and Habitat Plan; a project in conjunction with UN-Habitat.
The Mendoza Agreement
Over 350 participants, coming from the national and local governments, civil society, private sector and development agencies as well as the academia, were involved in the day-long event. The NUF proposed a dynamic schedule with short talks and workshops, allowing participation and encouraging all voices of society to speak up.
During the forum the challenges and opportunities regarding growth and urbanization at the local, regional and national level were discussed. Some of the outcomes were the need for and urban planning and territorial policy plan, the central role the national state has in the implementation of urban expansion and regeneration projects in vulnerable areas and in creating cities which are more human-development friendly. The need to reach an agreement for a new legal framework, which can be discussed at the Parliament before the end of the current administration, was also highlighted.
The “Mendoza agreement” was read at the end of the event and signed by national and local authorities, and supported by UN-Habitat. Although not binding, the agreement is symbolically meaningful and represents the intention of all parties to work together towards inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.