N-AERUS Recommendations for the New Urban Agenda
As part of the preparation for Habitat III, Cities Alliance and the Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South (N’AERUS) established three working groups – for informality, governance, and housing and planning – to provide recommendations for policy and research for the New Urban Agenda. This report presents those recommendations. They include:
Informality. Acknowledge the lack of capacity or willingness of ‘formal’ state, international agency and private sector organisations to provide for the needs of large sectors of the population; define achieving the right to the city and equality as a key urban policy focus; produce policies that acknowledge and consider the existence of informality, and accommodate for an evolving definition of informality in both research and practice; and emphasise the role of local authorities.
Governance. Policy: Devise flexible, adaptive policy frameworks that are participative and ensure inclusion; support learning institutions capable of developing and furnishing capacities to address urban challenges, that are adaptable to a variety of local contexts; and seek a balance of power in which there is equilibrium among public, private and societal interests.
Research: Promote research that provides evidence-based knowledge on specific urban conditions and transformations to create a better understanding of challenges, explores how development actions can successfully achieve sustainable goals at all levels, and builds the capacity of citizens in all positions and institutions.
Housing. Policy: Treat housing as a comprehensive social, economic, and cultural process that is a fundamental component of urban co-production and planning, transcending the formal/ informal binary; regulate land and housing markets by identifying stakeholders who validate and reinforce change; and make housing an integral part of urban development in terms of planning and design, based on the paradigm of mixed use, high-density and connected urban tissue.
Research: Acknowledge postcolonial theory and decolonising knowledge methodologies to help us understand how cities can develop, and use comparative research to scope the value and applicability of urban models; promote research policy and funding programmes that stress comprehensive frameworks and social justice; and acknowledge the importance of a political economic perspective to deepen insight into how different stakeholders influence housing markets and planning standards.