the Lab @ Habitat III - Quito, Ecuador, 15-21 October 2016

Curious about what is happening in Quito? Read our beginners guide to the conference: "what is habitat III?"


The Lab team has been busy in the past two years since the 7th World Urban Forum with a variety of research lines centred around key themes for UN-Habitat, the United Nations New Urban Agenda and the challenges of sustainable urban development in the years to come. Building on initiatives launched in at around WUF7, the Lab team will have a wide presence at this year's pivotal Habitat III summit in Quito, Ecuador, between the 15 and 21 October 2016. If you are attending Habitat III come and say hi, and if you are interested in hearing more contact us.

Key side events organised by the Lab at Habitat III in Quito are:

Safer Smarter Cities for Women and Girls

a SIDE EVENT by the Lab & the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts

Where: 17 October, 11am-12pm, room R7

download the Event flyer here.

Can smart technologies make our cities safer for everyone? Or are smart cities a risk too far for local authorities attempting to manage complex strategic outcomes? This action-oriented workshop explores how digital technologies can give voice to women’s experience and contemplates the role of government in responding effectively. The session will present findings from the UN-Habitat’s Technical Working Group on Safer Smarter Cities, exploring practical examples of how digital technologies are promoting safety outcomes in cities across the world. WAGGGS will also present data gathered through U-report (a platform designed to aggregate and amplify the voice of young people to speak out on issue that matter to them) on girls’ and young women’s experiences and perspectives. Through our global U-report poll, we will be able to develop a clearer understanding of the challenges girls’ and young women face in navigating urban space and gain insight into what they consider to be the best solutions. As an interactive session we will allow space for participants to reflect upon and share how they plan to use digital technologies to promote safer cities for women in their own organisations. Participants are also invited to join an on-going community of organisations, governments and institutions who are interested in developing knowledge and action in this area.

City Diplomacy: connecting global cities strategically

a SIDE EVENT organised by the Lab and the Chicago Council on Global Affairs

Where: 19 October, 9.30am-10.30am, room R13

download the Event flyer here.

This event explores the capacity of city diplomacy and transnational municipal networks to support effective implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 11 and the New Urban Agenda. It will convene representatives of key city networks, as well as experts in global politics and urban planning, to explore the challenges and possibilities of paradiplomacy, networking, and other collaborations, to launch a global commission on city diplomacy, and to develop indexing and training resources for local governments. By gathering representatives of some of the major global and regional city networks, as well as of internationally active global cities, the event will launch development of an action plan to encourage network-to-network collaboration on global challenges, develop a roadmap to an index of city diplomacy efforts, and test a training program in negotiation and diplomacy for cities (between December 2016 and July 2017) in order to further enhance the capacity of city diplomacy linked with major other processes such as the Sendai Framework and the Addis Ababa Agenda. The side event will be followed by additional international meetings of the commission, specifically in the United Kingdom in December 2017 and the Chicago Forum on Global Cities in the United States in June 2017.

Shaping informed cities

an URBAN FUTURE presentation  by the Lab & the Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO)

Where: 19 October, 5-5.45pm, Urban Futures room

download the Event flyer here.

Urban observatories can play critical roles in decision-making, providing research and analysis relevant to the successful implementation of New Urban Agenda. The event seeks to showcase, explore and promote discussion around the functions of existing institutions involved in the generation and analysis of data to support urban decision-making. These institutions can inform specific policy decisions, implementation and monitoring, and promote inclusive approaches to governance. The event is designed to strengthen the existing network of shared interest in evidence-based governance, and deepen effective practices within this space. The focus of the session will be illustrated by a case study that profiles the work of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO), a research agency that exists as a collaboration between two local universities and the Gauteng city-region government, South Africa. The presentation will illustrate the challenges of achieving evidence-based adaptive governance in a developing country urban context, including the constitution of hybrid research agencies, methodological approaches to knowledge co- production and the absorptive capacities of city executive systems.