Theme and Programme

Concept Paper updated on the 20th of October.
Final programme at a glance
Cuenca Declaration

The city of Cuenca, Ecuador, will host a Thematic Meeting, as part of the preparatory events on the path to Habitat-III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to be held in Quito in 2016.
The thematic meeting aiming to generate a space for a joint work that establishes focused guidelines and actions towards the construction of more equal cities and societies based on local knowledge and best practices.

The main theme of the meeting will be “Intermediate cities: Urban Growth and renewal.

Intermediate Cities: Urban Growth and Renewal

The processes of fast urbanization and development of human settlements produced in many parts of the world, the metropolis or megalopolis, not so favorable frameworks in which it is often hard to achieve good quality of life; nevertheless they also brought to foreground the intermediate cities as centers that attracts most of the global population and are submitted to continuous changes in its ecological niche due to its own social and economic dynamic.

It is in this context that these cities referred as “secondary or smaller” arise as “intermediates” not only in size and scale, but also fundamentally on functionality.
These cities, come under processes of construction and reconstruction and do not compare to the transcendental social and cultural changes which will lead to taking on these multiple challenges, since it is necessary to “modify the existent”, extracting everything that has been identified as “obsolete” and insert new structures of “vital support” for the city and its surrounding areas.
, The “power of intermediary cities”, is being debated in many spaces worldwide, as if it depended on them to find an alternative to the future demands identified for the next years, or if its pronunciation was a globally qualified voice when it comes to formulating proposals and practical solutions that work and are takenas good examples to achieve a sustainable urban development in different geographic and cultural areas.

That is why we believe that the Thematic Meeting, which aims to debate these topics, becomes more relevant as part of the contributions on the road towards Habitat-III in 2016, in which beyond doubt, the initiatives developed by Cuenca to promote the planning of mobility and territory, the management of its natural resources to satisfy basic needs of water and sanitation, the integral management of solid waste, landscape protection and heritage conservation, will be shared to show that it is possible to go in the right direction with encouraging though not definitive results.

The city of Cuenca offers itself to support the formulation and identification of these challenges, aspiring that the inputs provided are routed to acknowledge the progress but fundamentally the existing limitations that must be overcome, starting with a modest but meaningful model that supports itself at the local level, the recognition of the population values and its capacity to communicate to find shared solutions to the problems and take on optimistically the great challenges ahead of us.