Habitat III and The New Urban Agenda

For billions of people around the world, the future will increasingly be urban. IDS research has been charting this dramatic change for nearly a decade, highlighting the complex challenges this shift poses for people, sustainability and development.

Favela 5 by Erin Williamson on Flickr

Habitat III

Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development. IDS and our partners will be at the Conference in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 to 20 October 2016.

Habitat III is one of the first United Nations global summits after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It offers a unique opportunity to discuss the important challenge of how cities, towns, and villages are planned and managed, in order to fulfil their role as drivers of sustainable development.

The New Urban Agenda

The Conference’s mission is the adoption of a New Urban Agenda - an action-oriented document which will set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the civil society and private sector.

IDS at Habitat III

With a particular emphasis on 'inclusion', IDS researchers and partners have been contributing to the Habitat III process through various policy influencing activities, events, publications and blogs. Many of these are highlighted in the key resources section below.   

Members of the IDS Cities Cluster participated in a number of events at Habitat III and were proud to host a side event ‘Creating Safe and Inclusive Cities That Leave No One Behind’ at which we launched a new film called 'No One Left Behind' that draws on voices from marginalised city communities in six focus countries and gives a grave security message from the poor: ‘do not weaponise the city’.  

Key resources

Recent publications: 



Digital story:


  • Karhera: A photo book’ tells the story of change in Karhera, a farming village in the midst of urban India, through words and images. The photos were taken and collected with the collaboration of local residents.

Impact story:

Photo: 'Favela5' by Erin Willimanson, cc on flickr. 

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