Weekly Urban News Update
In This Update

The Road to Habitat III
Recap of July 11 Habitat III Roundtable
Recap: Solid Ground Panel on Land Rights and Gender Equality
House Panel Approves Level WASH Funding for 2017 Fiscal Year
President Obama at the White House Summit on Global Development
HabitatIIIThe Road to Habitat III
  • A third draft of the New Urban Agenda was released on July 18th. Comments and dialogue are now open. Click here to read it.
  • PrepCom 3, the most important conference leading up to Habitat III, is coming up very soon. It will take place from July 25-27 in the Grand City Convex in Surabaya, Indonesia. Announcements regarding applications to side events and other issues will be made this week. Find out more information about the conference here.
  • To register for Habitat III, click here. The deadline for individual registration is October 1, 2016. For more information, visit our website's Habitat III page here.
Article1Recap of July 11 Habitat III Roundtable

The US Habitat III National Committee held the last roundtable in the After Quito: Implementation of the New Urban Agenda series, in collaboration with the Wilson Center, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Citiscope. Attendees discussed the need to monitor both the fiscal and spatial dimensions of urbanization so that cities can be successfully sustainable and equitable, and how to do so.  Though this was the last of the roundtables, the Habitat III National Committee has provided several resources to the public in preparation for Habitat III, including a  video  of the roundtable, a Habitat III policy paper on municipal finance and local fiscal systems, and a blog post about the importance of financing in the New Urban Agenda.

Thursday morning, Habitat for Humanity International's Solid Ground Campaign, which advocated globally for greater security of tenure for the urban poor and most vulnerable, hosted a panel discussing the Impact of Land Rights on Gender Equality across the world. Piper Hendricks, the Director of Advocacy Communications for Habitat for Humanity International served as moderator of the panel, which also featured World Bank Private Sector Development Specialist in Women, Business and the Law Nayda Almodovar-Reteguis, the Regional Director for Asia at the Center for International Private Enterprise John Morrell and the Global Campaign Director for Habitat for Humanity International Anne Myers. Panelists discussed the progress made across the world in improving women's rights over land, the challenges they still face, and how the private sector can improve upon women's access to land.

For more information, visit the Solid Ground Campaign's website here. IHC Global is a Solid Ground Campaign partner, and gender, land and prosperity rights is a core policy issue.
Article3House Panel Approves Level WASH Funding for 2017 Fiscal Year

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has approved $400 million in funding for programs under Senator Paul Simon's Water for the Poor Act (also known as WASH, initiated in 2005) for the 2017 fiscal year. Though this reaffirms the U.S. Government's commitment to urban sanitation and housing, this is the first year since the 2013 fiscal year that funding for WASH has not increased. John Sparks of the Millennium Water Alliance has expressed his concern that the current funds fall short for both the State Department and USAID, hindering both from operations, training and transparency in their work.  In addition to the resource level limiting the capabilities of these two agencies to respond to the need, IHC Global continues to be concerned about insufficient attention being paid to urban WASH issues.

To read the full bill as approved July 12, click here.

IHC Global was proud to be invited to participate in the White House Summit on Global Development convened on July 20. The day long session featured a speech by President Obama who underscored the importance of development and the eradication of poverty globally. He began is remarks by saying: "... whoever the next president is, development has to remain a fundamental pillar of American foreign policy and a key part of our work to lift up lives not just overseas, but here in the United States. If you care about human dignity, if you care about reducing violence and terrorism, if you care about fighting climate change, if you care about addressing inequality and creating trade and prosperity that works for all and not just some, then you're going to have to pay attention to development. You're going to have to make an investment.  The President's well-received remarks were heartening in their commitment to global development and their understanding that this investment takes time, with results not always immediately visible "in this day of instant gratification." Since the Summit was a review of the US's global development agenda addressing accomplishments and priorities in six key areas: governance, partnerships, youth, energy, food security, and global health. He also said, " Because we know there's a correlation between no education, no jobs, no hope, the violation of basic human dignity, and conflict and instability. So development isn't charity.  It's one of the smartest investments we can make in our shared future -- in our security and our prosperity."

Urban areas are where this correlation is often most evident, and IHC Global is committed to more equitable livable cities and the role they must play in reducing poverty and inequality among more than half the world's population who live in urban areas and thus to achieve the aims of stability and shared prosperity enjoined by the President.  

To read the full transcript of the President's remarks, click here.  

In the News and Around the Web
  • Has China reached the peak of urbanization? Find out more here.
  • Click here to find out about the three key battlegrounds for cities in the war against climate change.
  • Cycling is helping break down social barriers in Santiago, Chile. Click here to read more.
Urban sprawl of Shanghai, China. China is one of three countries in which 37% of all future urban growth is expected to take place. Photo Credit: Guardian Cities
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