Habitat III is the bidecennial United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17–20 October 2016. Since the last Habitat Conference in Istanbul in 1996, the world’s urban population has increased from 45% to 55%, and both the challenges and opportunities experienced by urban dwellers are greater than ever.
The Urban Thinkers Campus is a special initiative of the World Urban Campaign and UNHabitat, developed to gather ideas from people around the world who are passionate about the future of cities. The ideas developed at the UTCs will feed into the World Urban Campaign’s City We Need process, and the agenda and outcome document of the Habitat III Conference: the New Urban Agenda. Twentynine Urban Thinkers Campuses are planned in over a dozen countries on five continents. New York City’s is one of only two in the United States.
Urban Thinkers Campus sessions can take several formats. Urban Labs are opportunities for participants to develop innovative approaches, with a focus on implementation. They are facilitated discussions, and while moderating organizations are encouraged to invite key participants to their sessions, they should not include long introductions or presentations. At the end of each Urban Lab one lead moderator from each group will be invited to join a panel on stage and report back on two specific, implementable policy recommendations that their group was able to reach consensus on (old/recycled and one new). Other lead moderators will be invited to offer feedback and ask questions during this final plenary session.