The final draft New Urban Agenda is released

habitat-3-peopleCitiscope | Greg Scruggs

The dust finally has settled from this past weekend’s marathon closed-door negotiations to arrive at consensus ahead of a key summit next month on sustainable urbanization, known as Habitat III.

Out of the ashes: What is expected to be the final version of that conference’s outcome strategy, known as the New Urban Agenda. Dated 10 September, this version, released Tuesday, runs to 24 pages and 174 paragraphs, making it slightly longer than the previous version that came out of the last round of formal talks in late July, held in Surabaya, Indonesia. (See all previous versions of the agenda here.)

Unlike the Surabaya version, however, the new document contains no “brackets” — no competing proposals on controversial sections that remain under dispute. Instead, last week’s talks resolved all lingering disagreements and questions, although some issues do remain outside of the ambit of the current text.

As a consequence, ministers as well as heads of state and government are expected to finalize and sign onto the agreement in the early days of Habitat III, which will take place from 17-20 October in Quito, Ecuador.

What this means is that, after two years of discussion and four months of negotiation, observers on all sides can finally begin to take stock of the New Urban Agenda’s substance and potential impact. Citiscope will be following up in the coming days and weeks with detailed analysis of this final draft of the New Urban Agenda — stay tuned!