Foundations for a New Urban Agenda

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Renegade Economists Show 499

As broadcast on the 3CR airwaves 5.30 – 6pm Wednesdays.
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Show Notes
Alanna Hartzok (Earth Rights Institute) joins to discuss policy machinations at the UN level in the face of the commodification of real estate. Water rights, inequality and the root causes of inequality are also discussed. Please dedicate some time to read Alanna’s Democracy, Earth Rights and the Next Economy.

Related Links
From Full Spectrum Dominance to Earth Rights Democracy – Another Hartzok classic, particularly in light of Trump.
Mason Gaffney – The Taxable Surplus in Water
Gaffney – Whose Water. Ours?

Key quotes from the UN New Urban Agenda:

14(b) Ensure sustainable and inclusive urban economies by leveraging the agglomeration benefits of well-planned urbanization, including high productivity, competitiveness and innovation, by promoting full and productive employment and decent work for all, by ensuring the creation of decent jobs and equal access for all to economic and productive resources and opportunities and by preventing land speculation, promoting secure land tenure and managing urban shrinking, where appropriate;

Sustainable urban development for social inclusion and ending poverty

25 We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. We also recognize that growing inequality and the persistence of multiple dimensions of poverty, including the rising number of slum and informal settlement dwellers, are affecting both developed and developing countries, and that the spatial organization, accessibility and design of urban space, as well as the infrastructure and basic services provision, together with development policies, can promote or hinder social cohesion, equality and inclusion.

104 We will promote compliance with legal requirements through strong, inclusive management frameworks and accountable institutions that deal with land registration and governance, applying transparent and sustainable management and use of land, property registration and sound financial systems. We will support local governments and relevant stakeholders, through a variety of mechanisms, in developing and using basic land inventory information, such as cadastres, valuation and risk maps, and land and housing price records, to generate the high quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, sex, age, race, ethnicity, migration status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in the national context needed to assess changes in land values, while ensuring that these data will not be used for discriminatory land use policies.

118 We will encourage national, subnational and local governments to develop and expand financing instruments, enabling them to improve their transport and mobility infrastructure and systems, such as mass rapid transit systems, integrated transport systems, air and rail systems, and safe, sufficient and adequate pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and technology based innovations in transport and transit systems to reduce congestion and pollution while improving efficiency, connectivity, accessibility, health and quality of life.

119 We will promote adequate investments in protective, accessible and sustainable infrastructure and service provision systems for water, sanitation and hygiene, sewage, solid waste management, urban drainage, reduction of air pollution and storm water management, in order to improve safety in the event of water related disasters, improve health, ensure universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all, as well as access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, with special attention to the needs and safety of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations. We will seek to ensure that this infrastructure is climate resilient and forms part of integrated urban and territorial development plans, including housing and mobility, among other things, and is implemented in a participatory manner, considering innovative, resource efficient, accessible, context specific and culturally sensitive sustainable solutions.

120 We will work to equip public water and sanitation utilities with the capacity to implement sustainable water management systems, including sustainable maintenance of urban infrastructure services, through capacity development, with the goal of progressively eliminating inequalities and promoting both universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all and adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all.

134 We will support appropriate policies and capacities that enable subnational and local governments to register and expand their potential revenue base, for example through multipurpose cadastres, local taxes, fees and service charges, in line with national policies, while ensuring that women and girls, children and youth, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and local communities, and poor households are not disproportionately affected.

137 We will promote best practices to capture and share the increase in land and property value generated as a result of urban development processes, infrastructure projects and public investments. Measures such as gains related fiscal policies could be put in place, as appropriate, to prevent its solely private capture, as well as land and real estate speculation. We will reinforce the link between fiscal systems and urban planning, as well as urban management tools, including land market regulations. We will work to ensure that efforts to generate land based finance do not result in unsustainable land use and consumption.

152 We will promote capacity development programmes on the use of legal land based revenue and financing tools, as well as on real estate market functioning for policymakers and local public officials, focusing on the legal and economic foundations of value capture, including the quantification, capturing and distribution of land value increments.

154 We recognize the significant contribution of voluntary collaborative initiatives, partnerships and coalitions that plan to initiate and enhance the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, highlighting best practices and innovative solutions, including by promoting coproduction networks between subnational entities, local governments and other relevant stakeholders.

156 We will promote the development of national information and communications technology policies and e-government strategies, as well as citizen-centric digital governance tools, tapping into technological innovations, including capacity development programmes, in order to make information and communications technologies accessible to the public, including women and girls, children and youth, persons with disabilities, older persons and persons in vulnerable situations, to enable them to develop and exercise civic responsibility, broadening participation and fostering responsible governance, as well as increasing efficiency. The use of digital platforms and tools, including geospatial information systems, will be encouraged to improve long term integrated urban and territorial planning and design, land administration and management, and access to urban and metropolitan services.

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