City Space Architecture meets the UN General Assembly in New York City (2022)

April 29, 2022
By City Space Architecture


United Nation General Assembly Hall at the New York City headquarters.


City Space Architecture has been accredited as a stakeholder to attend the High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York City on 28 April 2022, to review progress on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda six-years after its adoption at the Habitat III Conference in Quito, Ecuador. The accreditation has been granted to our Founder and President Dr Luisa Bravo by the UN office in New York.

The General Assembly is one of the six main organs of the United Nations, the only one in which all Member States have equal representation: one nation, one vote. All 193 Member States of the United Nations are represented in this unique forum to discuss and work together on a wide array of international issues covered by the UN Charter.

The High-Level Meeting on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda will be action oriented. Member States, local and regional governments, and other constituencies of the New Urban Agenda such as professional associations, grassroots organizations, and business leaders will utilize the platform to highlight policy directions and programmatic initiatives they have been engaged in, and to put forward concrete commitments for the next two years.


The High-Level Meeting on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda comes at a critical juncture for urban development. Africa and Asia are rapidly urbanizing, while urban populations in other parts of the world are stagnating or shrinking. All cities are faced with substantive challenges on how to ensure a livable future for urban residents in social, economic, and environmental terms. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed systemic inequalities in cities everywhere, highlighted pre-existing urban challenges, created new vulnerabilities and pushed hundreds of millions of people back into poverty. Urban areas are also responsible for most of the global resource consumption and greenhouse-gas emissions, with a drastic disparity among levels of income. The world’s richest one percent create double the CO2 emissions of the world’s poorest 50%, who are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

Sustainable urban development has the potential to address or reverse many of these negative trends. The New Urban Agenda contains recommendations and commitments that can enable governments across the world to fight inequalities, achieve equitable low or net-zero urban transformations, and improve the quality of live for all. And yet, the New Urban Agenda is poorly represented in the global discourse and receives little attention by member states and other relevant stakeholders. The High-Level Meeting in this way will build upon the cumulative actions and future commitments of governments as well as of local and non-State actors underscoring the importance of the New Urban Agenda as a catalyst for sustainable development.

The quadrennial report of the Secretary General of the United Nations highlights the centrality of the right to adequate housing, including access to land, public space and public services. Public spaces contribute directly to local development, social cohesion, climate mitigation and economic recovery. The pandemic has underlined the role of public space in public health and, in response, many cities have developed temporary solutions that have translated into longer-term action on mixed-use neighborhoods, alternative mobility and urban regeneration (notably Barcelona, Milan, Nairobi, New York and Paris).

Considerable progress has been made since 2018 on public space reclamation, greening and inclusive use, including through gender-sensitive design. Design and management of public spaces have become more participatory and the legally required urban green area per capita has increased in many countries.
We are experiencing unprecedented crises and challenges, at the social, environmental and political levels, with increasing inequalities, raise of poverty, conflicts, migrations and marginalization of most vulnerable individuals and communities with insufficient or inadequate housing solutions. Cities are at the core of the actions towards resilience and urban sustainability, to improve the quality of life of urban and rural residents, leaving no one and no place behind.

Our Founder and President Dr Luisa Bravo at UN High-Level Meeting on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in New York City on 28 April 2022.

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