Barcelona Declaration for Habitat III – “Public Spaces”


We, the participants to the Habitat III Thematic Meeting on Public Space, representing a wide range of
stakeholders including national, regional and local governments, organizations of the United Nations system,
intergovernmental organizations, civil society, , academy and research institutions, workers and trade unions,
private sector, social and solidarity enterprises, community based organizations, philanthropies, women and
youth organizations; while thanking the Municipality of Barcelona for hosting the event, propose the following
Declaration be considered and included as an essential input to the process towards the preparation of a New
Urban Agenda to be adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development
(Habitat III), to be held in Quito, Ecuador in October 2016.
We recall the outcomes of “Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030”, the Addis Ababa Action
Agenda, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” which provides a focus on cities through Goal 11 and
the specific target on public space (Target 11.7) as well as other interlinked goals and targets across the whole
agenda and the recently adopted “Paris Agreement”.
We particularly welcome the acknowledgement of the importance of public space to achieve sustainable
development, made by the 2030 Development Agenda, through the established target 11.7 which states that
by 2030 we should “provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in
particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities”.
We acknowledge with satisfaction the considerable attention that has been devoted to the concept of public
space in the preparatory process including the issue paper on Public Space and the reports of Policy Unit 6
“Urban spatial strategies: Land markets and segregation”. All of them concurring with the following definition of
public space: “Public spaces are all places publicly owned or of public use, accessible and enjoyable by all for
free and without a profit motive”.
We advocate for a central role of Public Space in the New Urban Agenda being a key driver to achieve our
collective aspiration for more sustainable, just and democratic cities and human settlements for all temporary
and permanent inhabitants and users of the city whether living in legal or informal condition.

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