Today, the Minister of Territory and Sustainability, Josep Rull, highlighted the need to develop a Catalan urban agenda “to transpose” the NUA directives reached at the Habitat III United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. The conference, which took place last October in Quito, was convened to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable urbanization and focus on the implementation of a New Urban Agenda.
In an event entitled “The Local Commitment to the New Urban Agenda”, organised by the Catalan Government and the Barcelona Provincial Council to assess the implementation of the new Agenda, Rull explained that the Catalonia’s future urban agenda must have a “holistic vision” and be based on “a balanced territorial model”. “An urban agenda has to be transversal because it involves many areas such as spatial and urban planning, housing, social inclusion, economic promotion, environment, energy and mobility”, he asserted.
For this reason, the Minister announced his proposal to convene a meeting in early 2017 with other Catalan institutions to start working on the new Catalan Urban Agenda. The meeting would include the attendance of local and regional councils and will be aimed at developing an inclusive Agenda while exerting “leadership” in the implementation of the NUA. “We want to provide new solutions that come from experience and innovation”, Rull assured.
The Minister of Territory and Sustainability also noted that 54.5% of the world’s population lives in urban settlements, a figure that will reach 70% by 2050. In this context, it is “the middle governments who are the ones with the ability to understand the territory as a unit and incorporate the concept of territorial cohesion and balance”, he affirmed.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva, who was also present to close the event, affirmed that the international community “knows it can count on Catalonia to be a committed actor”. Furthermore, “the solution to the challenges we face is only possible if all the actors do their bit”, he added.
“Solutions can only be reached through a coordinated global effort”, he explained, “this is why, with the leadership of international organisations, we will start working in these debates, summits, conferences and multilateral actions”. “And we do this”, he continued, “not just to debate about it but to contribute the resources that we have at our disposal”.