GPR2C promotes local debate on Right to the City Prior to Africities


The GPR2C – Global Platform for the Right to the City is promoting an important debate
about the implementation of the Right to the City on a regional perspective in
Johannesburg, South Africa, on November 28th, 2015. The Regional Meeting in Africa will be held at the University of the
Witwatersrand (WITS), in the Dorothy Suskind Auditorium, John Moffat Building,
from 8 am until 6 pm. Access is through Yale Road (from either Jorrisen or
Empire Wits East Campus). The meeting is hosted by Centre for Urbanism and Built
Environment Studies (CUBES).

The event comes at a
strategicmoment, whenmany countries are meeting in South Africa to participate in
Africities Summit 2015, an event that brings, one day after,
several entities to discuss the inclusion of this cornerstone theme in African

Around 60 participants will
be together at the GPR2C event, representing Angola, Benin, Botswana, Egypt,
Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland,
Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia, Zimbabwe South Africa and also Brazil, Italyand
United Kingdom. They are from different working fields – social movements representatives,
academics, human rights defenders, public authorities, among others. The Deputy
Minister of Human Settlements of South Africa, Ms ZouKota-Fredericks will be attending
the conference.

Pat Horn, coordinator of
Streetnet International, entity focused on workers in the informal economy and based
in Johannesburg, emphasizes the importance of enforcing the Right to the City
in African cities. “We are not yet seeing the practical application of the
inclusive urban policies and participatory processes that were being spoken about
by African Mayors at the UCLG conference in Rabat [Morocco] in November 2013, as far as the right of street
vendors and informal traders to their secure workspace in publics paces in
their cities.”

For Wiego, effective planning
must include consultation with the full range of public space stakeholders to be
representative and inclusive. The organization will bring to the meeting issues
regarding public space as a point of intervention to promote inclusiveness and enable
the voices of the marginalized to be heard in urban planning, housing and slum upgrading,
governance and basic services projects.

In note, the International
Network IAI (International Alliance of Inhabitants) considers that the growing slums
in Africa together with massive evictions as seen in the not so recent Nigeria
case, shows the difference between a good proposal and a given hard reality of human
rights violations. “If we want to win this challenge, it is necessary to do the
right mobilization of all the stakeholders, inhabitants on the front line together
with their demands, proposals, and their
day to day rhythm grounded on the human and environmental rights, not on the neo-liberal
and neo-colonial principles and policies.”

Local building of the New Urban Agenda

In the Regional Meeting
in Africa, the GPR2C also intends to involve the organizations of the region and
identify potential participants from Africa region to discuss the New Habitat
Agenda building, in a regional perspective, and share information among the participants
all processes of Habitat III
(Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development)
such as the reports available and strategies developed by civil society.

The Regional Meeting aims to:

1. Present
the Global Platform for the Right to the City and disseminate its principles,
goals and actions, strengthening regional alliances and inviting new
organizations to join;

2. Discuss
the meaning of the Right to the City in the region and conduct capacity-building
activities (i.e., learning) on the conceptual, legal and institutional dimensions
of this right, based on findings from the research conducted by HIC and Polis
Institute, which analyzed these dimensions within case studies fromLatinAmerica,
Europe and Africa ( full
text available here

3. Promote
an exchange of experiences on policies, projects and actions that implement the
Right to the City;

4. Review
the Global Platform´s ActionPlan in order to localize, interpret and complement
it consistently with the regional participants’ priorities and other regional

5. Analyze
setbacks, challenges and/or particular regional developments (national and
regional reporting, consultation with civil society, evaluating Habitat II
commitments, etc.) in the Habitat III process New Habitat Agenda;

6. Share
information about the discussion processes and documents relating to the Right to
the City within the Habitat III Conference, preparatory process and follow-up
(e.g., partnerships, implementation, monitoring and reporting against targets and

Download here the event´s program.

Global Platform for the Right to The City

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