Habitat III opens the door to towns and regions!

14 September 2016

The final draft of the new Urban Agenda finally opens the door to local and regional governments. The document released on 13 September constitutes an important recognition of the key role subnational governments have played and will play towards sustainable urban development. 

  • Firstly, there is in the final draft a clear commitment to empower towns and regions through decentralisation reforms in line with the subsidiarity principle, and to improve their involvement in decision-making processes;
  • Secondly, it supports the climate action measures implemented at subnational level as key to fighting climate change;
  • Thirdly, it recognizes the importance of promoting city to city cooperation and decentralised cooperation as a mean to reinforce the capacities of local and regional governments and exchange best practices;
  • Finally, it calls on national and local authorities to jointly develop implementable follow-up and review mechanisms of the new Urban Agenda.


This final draft, to be adopted at the Habitat III Conference in Quito in October, is the result of months of intense negotiations. It is both in line with PLATFORMA demands and the Global Task Force (GTF) for Local and Regional Governments’ key recommendations.
The local and regional governments’ constituency, represented through the GTF, has been an active participant throughout the entire process and has crucially influenced its outcome.
It is now time for towns and regions to propose ways to translate the new Urban Agenda into concrete actions and to ensure national governments remain committed to the principles therein. PLATFORMA and CEMR stand ready to discuss with the GTF, the EU institutions and UN-Habitat on how to best localise the new Urban Agenda in Europe and beyond.
In Quito, PLATFORMA and CEMR, with the support of the Global Task Force, will again ensure towns and regions’ voice is heard and taken into account. We will be present there at a side event on 18 October from 8.00 to 9.00 am (local time).
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