The Quality of Life Initiative Side Event at the UN-Habitat Assembly,  Quality of Life Initiative: Putting people at the heart of transformative change was a policy oriented discussion to look at promoting a people-centred Quality of Life approach to urban living that also promoted implementation of global agenda. 

The event was attended by some 60 participants and covered a wide range of relevant issues including the sub-national government perspective, the place of quality of life in global development agendas and the need to use better data more effectively.


Mr. Ignacio de la Puerta Rueda, Director of Territorial Planning and Urban Agenda, Ministry of Territorial Planning, Housing and Transport, Basque Government, Basque Country, Spain opened the main session with a talk on A subnational government perspective in which he said that information around objective indicators was needed for the Basque country. He said the local government was working on improving conditions and building relations between areas such as social health and employment 

Dr. Sukaina Abdul Ilah Al-Nasrawi, Social Affairs Officer, Sustainable Urban Development (SAN) Lead, United Nations Regional Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia  who addressed Quality of life in global development agendas said the issue was  reflected in the global development agendas particularly the Sustainable Development Goals which capture all dimensions including access to main necessities, gender equality, employment, education, representation, sustainable cities and affordable housing. She said quality of life also intersects with the New Urban Agenda as a framework of initiatives on concepts of inclusion, liveability, resilience and participation. 

Ms. Norah Alyusuf, Quality of Life Program Center, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia speaking on Prioritizing Quality of Life as ultimate objective for all  said quality of life was an all encompassing umbrella but overall it was about putting the human centric approach at the heart of policies. 

Dr. Kevin Johnson of Geografia Ptv Ltd, Australia looked at Measuring quality of life: there's greater need, renewed appetite and new capabilities and said he was a big advocate for using better data more effectively in modelling growth, change and the impact of investment and policy decisions. He added that there is a real appetite in countries and cities to explore as quality of life as a decision making tool.  

There followed a discussion which included looking at subjective and objective factors around Quality of Life, balancing policies and trade offs and how to convince people to change their lives at a local level.