Barcelona Declaration on Public Spaces for Habitat III


The participants to the Habitat III Thematic Meeting on Public Space, representing a wide range of stakeholders including national, regional and local governments, organizations of the United
Nations system, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, academy and research institutions, workers and trade unions, private sector, social and solidarity enterprises, community-based organizations, philanthropies, women and youth organizations proposed the following Declaration be considered and included as an essential input to the process towards the preparation of a New Urban Agenda to be adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), to be held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016.

They stressed that:

· Human rights are key to advancing and developing urbanization that is sustainable and socially inclusive, that promotes equality, combats discrimination in all its forms and empowers
individuals and communities. The New Urban Agenda is a unique opportunity for state authorities at all level to realize the human rights of all inhabitants.

· The Right to the City is a new paradigm that provides an alternative framework to re-think cities and urbanization. It envisions the effective fulfillment of all internationally agreed human rights, sustainable development objectives as expressed through the Sustainable Development Goals, and the commitments of the Habitat Agenda.

· There is a need to preserve the character and quality of existing historical public areas, in order to promote local identity and to transmit heritage to the future generations; improve
existing public areas in central and peripheral parts of the city, in order to upgrade their quality and foster the sense of belonging of the communities; design new public spaces in built areas and in new urban expansions, to increase the quality of life of the inhabitants and strengthen social stability.

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