The School has been heavily involved in shaping the New Urban Agenda, set by the United Nations, through the engagement of Dr Vlad Mykhnenko as a UN Habitat Policy Expert, in one of the ten policy units responsible for drafting the flagship document.

In October 2016, the United Nations will convene the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador. The Habitat III Conference will renew the global commitment to, and set the New Urban Agenda for, sustainable urban development for the next 20 years. Habitat III will guarantee that the world’s urbanisation outcomes take place within the global development Agenda. It stands to be the first implementing conference of the Post-2015 agenda.

UN headquarters in New York

Taking part in the Expert Group Meetings of Policy Unit 9 (held in Barcelona, November 2015; and Brussels, February 2016), Dr Mykhnenko contributed to the delivery of a Draft Policy Paper Framework and a Policy Paper. Alongside his UN Habitat colleagues, he then presented the Policy Unit paper and the Expert Group’s recommendations on Urban Services and Technology to the national government, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholder representatives at the Habitat III Open-Ended Informal Consultative Meetings at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, from 25-29 April 2016. 

This process led to the Habitat III Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda submitted on 6 May 2016 for further discussions at the upcoming session of the informal intergovernmental negotiations, and informal hearings with local authorities associations and civil society organisations in May, June and July 2016.

The zero draft has been prepared on the basis of inputs from broad regional and thematic consultations, as well as the policy recommendations elaborated by the policy units and comments received by participating states and all stakeholders.

As decided by the UN General Assembly resolution, the zero draft document will be discussed until the final Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador, where Dr Mykhnenko will continue to advocate the key policy priorities on urban services and technology, striking a balance between individual and collective goals; sustainable growth being at the core of urban service and mobility policy, equity and affordability, a balanced and integrated approach to targets delivery, and decentralisation.

UN consultative meeting