Madrid, Spain, 27 April 2022 - More than 120 cities and towns in Spain are implementing Local Action Plans under the Spanish Urban Agenda, following the principles of the New Urban Agenda, to become more sustainable, inclusive, safe and resilient, for the benefit of more than 8.5 millions of people.
The President of the United Nations General Assembly has called for a High-Level Meeting in New York this week to put more focus on the New Urban Agenda and encourage countries worldwide to publish and implement their plans.
UN Secretary-General (SG), Antonio Guterres, recognized Spain for its progress in urban policies in his 2022 quadrennial report on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda published in March.
He also highlighted the approval, in 2019, of the Spanish Urban Agenda (SUA), a key and strategic document that aims to achieve sustainable urbanization under the criteria of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the principles of the New Urban Agenda and the Urban Agenda for the European Union.
The SG Report also highlights that Spain has implemented gender responsive planning using gender impact statements, technical norms, as in the case of Extremadura, and regional and local plans, as in the Basque Country, improving women's access to jobs, housing and services.
The SUA is a fundamental driver in the national government's approach to progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“With the adoption of the Spanish Urban Agenda, you have established a national action plan for all urban actors, public and private, contributing to equitable, fair and sustainable development from their different perspectives,” UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif told the first National Urban Forum last October.
The SUA promotes the development of urban-focused policies, strategies and action plans at all levels of government and territories. Five regions -subnational governments of Basque Country, Andalusia, Extremadura, Catalonia and Valencia, in addition to the 120 cities and towns - have developed or are developing their own urban agendas.
The SUA offers a Decalogue of Strategic Objectives that unfold, in turn, a total of 30 specific objectives, and 291 lines of action, making available to those who are interested in its implementation, a true "à la carte menu" so that they can develop their own action plans.
These guidelines from a broad perspective that includes all towns and cities regardless of their size and population, and under the triple prism of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. It also constitutes a working method and a process for all actors, public and private, to implement the principles of the New Urban Agenda that propose a compact, mixed, integrated and connected city model.
The Spanish Urban Agenda has allowed the Government of Spain to prioritise the use of Next Generation Funds, allocated by the European Union to repair the damage caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Part of these funds support local Action Plans aligned with the objectives and methodology of the Spanish Urban Agenda.
With the aim of exchanging ideas and promoting the participation of urban actors, Spain held its first National Urban Forum last October within the framework of the UN-Habitat Urban October as a platform to share and facilitate discussion and debate on the sustainable urban development of the country. More than 300 participants attended more than 30 events in Seville, the city that hosted the Forum, to discuss the role of cities and territories in social and economic recovery.