HABITAT III: Quito in the Centre of the Urban World
Quito is the highest official capital city in the world and the one which is closest to the equator – hence the nearby village ‘La Mitad del Mundo’ (the middle of the world). It was also the place where nearly 50,000 persons convened for the Habitat III Conference organised by the United Nations. Founded by the Spanish in 1534, on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito proudly possesses one of the most extensive and best-preserved historic centres of Spanish America. The historic centre of Quito has one of the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved historic centres in Latin America. Quito, along with Cracow, was the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978.
Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, which took take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 to 20 October 2016. The Habitat III conference welcomed the participation and contributions of all Member States and relevant stakeholders, including parliamentarians, civil society organisations, regional and local government and municipality representatives, professionals and researchers, academia, foundations, women and youth groups, trade unions, and the private sector, as well as organisations of the United Nations system and intergovernmental organisations. Habitat III is the first United Nations global summit after the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. It offered a unique opportunity to discuss the important challenge of how cities, towns, and villages are planned and managed in order to fulfil their role as drivers of sustainable development, and hence shape the implementation of new global development and climate change goals. After the release of the Surabaya Draft of the New Urban Agenda at the third session of the Preparatory Committee for the Habitat III Conference in Surabaya, Indonesia in July 2016, the New Urban Agenda has been agreed on at the Habitat III Informal Intergovernmental Meeting which took place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from 7 to 10 September 2016, and it was finally adopted in Quito, Ecuador, on 18 October 2016.
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