Food in the New Urban Agenda

The question of how food and nutrition should be positioned within the New Urban Agenda was the subject of a meeting of experts at the United Nations on May 12, 2016 that resulted in a detailed set of recommendations. On June 18, 2016, a Habitat III preparatory committee released a revised zero draft of the New Urban Agenda that included some, though not all of the expert group’s suggestions. The following are excerpts from the draft that address food security, hunger, nutrition, and urban and regional food systems. Comments on the zero draft are being accepted until July 4, 2016:


Quito Declaration on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for All


Shared Vision

We envisage cities and human settlements that: 
(a) fulfill their social function, including the social function of land, ensuring the full and progressive realization of the right to adequate housing, as well as equal access for all to public goods and services, food security and nutrition, quality and accessible public spaces, livelihoods and decent work.


Sustainable Urban Development for Social Inclusion and Poverty Eradication

We commit to ensure equitable and affordable access to basic physical and social infrastructure for all, including affordable serviced land, housing, energy, safe drinking water and sanitation, nutritious food, waste disposal, mobility, health, education, culture and information and communication technologies. We further commit to provide that these services are gender-sensitive and responsive to the rights and needs of children and youth, older persons and persons with disabilities, and other people in vulnerable situations such as refugees, displaced persons and migrants, with no legal, institutional or socio-economic, nor physical barriers.


Environmentally Sound and Resilient Urban Development

We commit to promote the creation of well-connected and well-distributed networks of open, multi- purpose, safe and green public spaces, including the creation of ecological corridors, to improve the resilience of cities to disasters and climate change, reducing flood risks and heat waves, and improving food security and nutrition, physical and mental health, household and ambient air quality, and attractive and livable urban landscapes.


We commit to give particular consideration to urban deltas, coastal areas and other environmentally sensitive areas, highlighting their importance as ecosystems’ providers of significant resources for transport, food security, economic prosperity, ecosystem services and resilience, and integrate appropriate measures to factor them into sustainable urban planning and development.


We commit to support local provision of basic services, leveraging on the proximity of resources, recognizing that a heavy reliance on distant sources of energy, water, food, and materials pose sustainability challenges, including vulnerability to service supply disruptions.


We commit to strengthening the of resources like land, water, energy, materials, food, oceans and seas, freshwater resources as well as the production and environmentally sound management of waste, minimization of hazardous chemicals, and the mitigation of emissions of greenhouse gases and air pollutants, taking into consideration urban-rural linkages, functional supply and value chains in the full-range of resource requirements vis-à-vis the environmental impact and sustainability, striving to a progressive transition towards a circular economy.


Planning and Managing Urban Spatial Development

We will implement polycentric and balanced territorial development policies and plans, strengthening the role of small and intermediate cities in enhancing food security and nutrition systems, providing access to housing, infrastructure and services, and facilitate effective trade links, ensuring that small scale farmers are linked to larger supply chains. We will also support urban agriculture and farming as an option to contribute to food security.


We will promote the integration of food and nutrition needs of urban residents, particularly the urban poor, in urban development planning, contributing to the elimination of hunger and malnutrition. We will promote coordination of food security and agriculture policies across rural, peri-urban, and urban areas to facilitate the production, storage, transport, and marketing of food to consumers. We will further promote the coordination of food policies with energy, water, transport, and other policies in urban areas to maximize efficiencies and minimize waste, recognizing the food-water-energy nexus. 

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