Global Planning Updates

July 9, 2019

Global Planning Updates

UN-Habitat General Assembly

The arm of the United Nations that is focused on cities, UN-Habitat, held its first-ever General Assembly in Nairobi in May. The American Planning Association (APA) has partnered with UN-Habitat and provided information and participation in preparing its most recent strategic plan. In addition to the formal meetings of Habitat, the World Urban Campaign, a collection of non-governmental organizations, met to consider its role in providing advice to UN-Habitat.

Since the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) were adopted, the World Urban Campaign has focused on five areas:

  • Awareness
  • Influence
  • Practical application
  • Integration of reports and conventions
  • Changes in policies and practice

Awareness of the value of planning and value of cultural and natural heritage has grown over the period since the adoption of the SDGs in late 2015. This is evidenced by increased participation of cultural and natural heritage experts in meetings and in the incorporation of language that reflects goals and objectives reinforcing the value of heritage in urbanization.

The concept note that ICOMOS — the International Council on Monuments and Sites — prepared has achieved wide recognition and continues to inform, influence and expand awareness. At recent high-level meetings in New York on the future of urbanization within the United Nations, representatives from member states reflected the increased influence of planning for cultural and natural heritage in their comments.

Planners for Climate Action

Planners for Climate Action (P4CA), a “cooperative initiative” under the UNFCCC’s Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action, is an initiative that provides a significant vehicle for knowledge sharing and exchange, to coordinate and apply best practices in implementation. It brings together key associations of planning professionals, educators, and practitioners.

At the UN-Habitat General Assembly, P4CA held a side event that packed the room to:

  • Announce/analyze the results of the global call for courses for the Repository (and commit to renewing the global call on a continuous basis)
  • Announce the growing number of members/affiliates (now 100!) and appeal to join
  • Explain the communication work (website, social media, appeal to follow us, etc.), the mapping exercise (about 30 people/organizations have replied to the survey and submitted some interesting best practices)

Global Planners Network Updates

The Global Planners Network (GPN) is a network of planning organizations and supporting organizations that shares information and promotes good planning, globally. GPN meets by telephone regularly and face to face at each other’s national planning conferences.

The administration of GPN rotates among members. After a three-year leadership stint, APA turned over the management to the Planning Institute of Australia’s capable team. The next few months will see the GPN update its strategy, which currently dates to 2016. All suggestions are welcome.

Please contact Jeff Soule, FAICP, for more information

Documents in Resources

Check out links to three new UN-Habitat Documents on the GPN Resources page.

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