New SLoCaT Knowledge Product illustrates How Sustainable Transport is Reflected in Principal Habitat III Documents
The Partnership on Sustainable Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) has conducted a review of the principal Habitat III documents to investigate the level of attention to sustainable urban transport (and key supporting enabling factors) within the process of defining a New Urban Agenda (NUA) to shape the course of sustainable urban development for the next 20 years. Habitat III documents reviewed include 24 national reports, 10 policy unit papers (and accompanying comments from member states and non-state actors), and 4 regional and 7 thematic workshop declarations, in addition to the 6 May 2016 Zero Draft NUA.
The SLoCaT review finds that developmental role of transport is reflected in regional declaration statements on urban-rural linkages, equity, and safety and security, and a focus on transport financing mechanisms (and strategies to reduce mobility needs and costs) in these declarations is an important step forward. Sustainability issues are well represented in regional workshop outcomes, with a primary emphasis on integrating land use/transport planning and containing sprawl, and an important secondary emphasis on increasing resilience; however, stronger linkages could be made to SDGs and climate change goals in the regional declarations.
While sustainable urban transport is reasonably well addressed in Habitat III documents, the addition of concrete, quantitative targets is required to accelerate the global scale-up of sustainable urban transport to make tangible gains over Habitats I and II. To make these needed gains, it is essential that the transport sector is fully integrated within the various “enabling factors” described in different parts of the Habitat III process, which include among others infrastructure financing, national planning, and local capacity building. However, prioritizing cross cutting approaches over sector-based approaches will contribute to a New Urban Agenda that is weak on specifics; thus, it is essential that discussions at Habitat III go in depth into the respective sectors that will enable sustainable urban development.