United Nations' Habitat III Seen as "Dismal Failure" by Prof. Glen Kuecker
October 17, 2016
"As the U.N. Habitat’s World Urban Forum meets this week in Quito, Ecuador to launch a little known, but highly significant U.N. agenda called Habitat III, the stakes couldn’t be higher," declared Glen David Kuecker. He offers an op-ed for teleSUR, headquartered in Caracas, Venezuela, which notes that Kuecker's first-year seminar City Lab students contributed to the essay.
"Habitat III’s aspirational goals are set out in its draft outcome document, entitled 'The New Urban Agenda.' It has 175 items that center around two core objectives: inclusive urbanism and sustainable urbanism. The twin concepts will guide humanity into the urban century, or at least until 2036. In that time, a perfect storm of global crises -- climate change, energy transition, demographic transition (growth, aging, and urbanization), food insecurity, ecological distress, pandemics, economic stress, and political instability -- will test the resilience of the urban form. The fate of our species rests on the city and the answer to a fundamental question: are cities humanity’s greatest invention, as neoliberal urban economist Edward Glaeser would have us believe, or are they the dystopian nightmare of Mike Davis’ Planet of Slums?"
Dr. Kuecker states, "Facing the question of if cities will save or condemn us, The New Urban Agenda provides us with a shockingly empty response of 'everything above' urban planning that states lofty aspirations without any specifics on how the two-thirds of humanity’s projected 10 billion people will accomplish the goals. Given the urgency and seriousness of humanity’s great predicament, Habitat III is nothing short of being a dismal failure."
Read the complete piece here.
Glen Kuecker was quoted in an April Wall Street Journal article. Learn more about the professor, who is co-editor of Latin American Social Movements in the Twentieth Century and Globalizing Resistance: The New Politics of Social Movements in Latin America, in this previous story.