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Health Should Be Central To Habitat III’s New Urban Agenda

The Lancet: A missed opportunity for urban health
Editorial Board

“…The document agreed and adopted at the [Habitat III] meeting … is … lofty. The so-called New Urban Agenda outlines an agreed framework and aspirational agenda for sustainable urban development as the new way to frame and plan cities, and to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. The language of the New Urban Agenda hits many of the right notes: it is inclusive, green, and clean. But it fails badly on one main aspect at the heart of cities: health. … One dreadful form of urbanization is slums … Habitat III acknowledges slums are a growing form of urbanization that deserve special attention but offers no specific action. It seems certain that if the problem of slums is not adequately addressed, the new urban agenda will fail. … As it is rolled out, the New Urban Agenda should draw more upon expertise and stakeholders in the health arena, and specifically focus on evidence…” (10/29).

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