Urban leaders affirm cities key to sustainable urbanisation

The Montreal Declaration on Sustainable Cities states that metropolitan areas are key to sustainable urbanisation. The declaration was drafted at one of several meetings being held in the lead-up to next year’s Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador.

The declaration affirms that metropolitan areas are key players and part of the solution to achieve sustainable urbanisation, said Montreal mayor Denis Coderre, who presided over the meeting. “The New Urban Agenda that will be adopted in Quito will guide U. N. member states on their urban policies for the next 20 years. It’s thus important to recognise the mechanisms that need to be put in place for action at the metropolitan scale.”

Habitat III Secretary-General Joan Clos hopes that the Montreal Declaration on Metropolitan Areas will result in legislation that gives metropolitan areas the tools to quickly respond to urban realities. “The existing jurisdictions don’t reflect the urban reality,” he told Citiscope at the end of the meeting.

The declaration calls for multi-level metropolitan cooperation partnerships among all levels of government as well as business, labour and community stakeholders to establish strategies aimed at improving quality of life in urban, peri-urban and rural areas. The document was finalised at the end of a two-day thematic meeting in Montreal on the subject of metropolitan areas, reports Citiscope.

The Montreal meeting one of seven thematic meetings and four regional meetings that will take place over the coming year to provide formal input to Habitat III, a UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development that will develop a two-decade urbanisation strategy. Delegates met in September in Tel Aviv to discuss civic engagement and will meet next month in Cuenca, Ecuador to discuss the role of intermediate cities in the New Urban Agenda.


Photo credit: barnyz, flickr/Creative Commons

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