While cities are powerful engines of economic development, the rapid growth of the urban Population resulted in enormous challenges. Ageing and drastic increase in the international migration flows in the UNECE region brought changes in demand and more pressure on infrastructure and social services. Moreover, increased urban expansion has drastically reduced the land available for other uses. Climate change and natural disasters have caused vast economic and social losses and strengthened the need for cities to be resilient. These and other factors in the context of the post-financial crisis amplify the challenges related to the limited access to affordable, adequate and healthy housing and basic infrastructure for all.
Under the umbrella of the intergovernmental UNECE Committee on Housing and Land Management, member States exchange experiences and best practices in order to address these complex challenges in their respective countries. In 2014, the Committee agreed on the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing. The Charter is a non-legally binding document that aims to Support member States as they seek to ensure access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all through effective policies and actions at all levels, supported by international cooperation.
The international conference will discuss the progress of achieving access to affordable and decent housing for all through the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, the New Urban Agenda and the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing by national governments, local authorities and relevant stakeholders. The Conference will also include presentation of best practices of the implementation of these agreements at national, local and international levels.
On the second conference day a public presentation of the Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable housing will be organised as one of the events under the umbrella of the International Housing Exhibition “IBA_Vienna: New Social Housing”. A special focus of the event will be on the impacts of the “Sharing Economy” – how online platforms for private touristic renting change the housing market in cities.