Towards HABITAT-III: Housing and Sustainable Urban Development
Today, Asia is under the magnified impacts of urbanization—the challenges are increasing at an unprecedented scale and are intensified by the ongoing convergence of urbanization with other high-impact processes including climate change. It is, therefore, crucial to identify key urban and environmental challenges to focus on, as well as define, the measures and approaches to be taken to tackle them. The New Urban Agenda shall put in place the economic, social, political, institutional and environmental mechanisms to be adopted by nations and stakeholders in order to address these issues.
The United Nations (UN) acknowledges that urbanization is an unprecedented challenge. Habitat III is envisaged as the implementing instrument for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 11 that aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. In doing so, the UN is stressing that it is time to think urban: to mobilize the global community and focus on all levels of human settlements for demographic and economic growth. Habitat III is promoting a new model of urban development that is able to integrate all facets of sustainable development so as to promote equity, welfare and shared prosperity. In light of the above, the special issue of the journal focuses on the themes to be discussed at HABITAT III, with particular reference to Asian cities.