Habitat International Coalition
Global network for the right to habitat and social justice
WSF 2015: How to implement the Right to the City to build democratic and sustainable cities
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Report of HIC's activity at WSF 2015


The workshop organizers presented: the content of the Right to the City and its principles starting from a historical reconstruction and emphasizing its collective dimension; this process started from the first World Social Forum and led to the development of the World Charter for the Right to the City, and was driven by many actors; other documents currently existing on this issue include the Statute of the City of Brazil and the Mexico City Charter for the Right to the City; the conformation of an International Platform on the Right to the City that seeks, among other objectives, to influence Habitat III; and referred to existing struggles in different parts of the globe in the name of this Right or of some of its components. The presenters also shared the results of research on the Right to the City in Jerusalem and Cairo, which are included in a broader effort of documentation that also includes the status of this right in Europe and Latin America.

During the workshops second stage, the floor was given to invited persons to share their experiences on the right to the city. In this context, the coordinator of UCLG’s (United Cities and Local Governments) Committee on Social Inclusion, Participatory Democracy and Human Rights gave her presentation on the first article of the Charter of Human Rights in the City dedicated to the right to the City. This presentation clarified the difference between Human Rights in the City, the Right to the City and the Rights of the City. Following this presentation, the Secretary of Human Rights and Citizenship of the city of Sao Paulo spoke about the process of implementing the universal basic income through specific government programs.

The event concluded with a Q&A plenary session focused on the role of local authorities in implementing the Right to the City. It also included a discussion on the care to be used when explaining the Right to the City in countries that are predominantly rural, in particular African countries, and where rural people are often evicted because of plunder of natu ral resources; and on the presentation of regional experiences based on building links between social movements in the rural areas and the city, especially in surrounding areas, to defend public spaces and other aspects of the Right to the City. Participants included those from Algeria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Egypt, Spain, England, India, Mali, Mexico, Peru, and Tunisia.


- Participation in the International Platform for the Right to the City; further deepen the convergence of these issues (during the World Assembly of Inhabitants, Habitat III side events, etc.); maintain dialogue on the content of the Right to the City and its use.

Common Agenda:

- Training Workshop on the Right to the City in the frame of the second preparatory committee towards Habitat III, Habitat III and alternative activities.

Other suggestions:

- Need to find simple and quick formulas to explain that the Right to the City does not necessarily involve urbanization. For example, it could be the subtitle of new documents drafted on this issue.


Habitat International Coalition
General Secretariat