Habitat International Coalition
Global network for the right to habitat and social justice
 
Habitat International Coalition and the Habitat Conferences 1976-2016
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10-01-2018

HIC launches publication on World Habitat Day commemorating more than 40 years of struggle for Social Justice



















"Habitat International Coalition and the Habitat Conferences 1976-2016" brings together the memory of 40 years of local and global struggles and HIC’s experiences throughout the process of the Habitat Conferences

On the day designated by the United Nations as World Habitat Day, HIC joins the reflection on the state of our human settlements and on the human rights related to habitat. The World Habitat Day aims "to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns" and therefore from HIC we want to share the experience lived by our Coalition from its birth to its 40th anniversary, celebrated during Habitat III.



The ambitions enshrined in the Habitat II Agenda had soon lost their momentum and their enshrining documents passed into oblivion. Exactly ten years after Habitat II, the programme of the World Urban Forum III at Vancouver barely mentioned it(…)…However, a review of HIC’s "Housing for All” statement to Habitat II (1996)suggests that the same text would apply today (…) The 1996 reference to "structural adjustment” today would be replaced by its latter-day counterpart. The reforms imposed by international finance institutions effectively bring about the withering away of the State (…) This global pincer effect on the planet’s most vulnerable inhabitants makes public goods and services dearer for them, while systematically destroying their social production”. 

Joseph Schechla,  about Habitat II


The nineteen-nineties was the decade of UN global conferences, and women and habitat issues were by now right up front. (…) the women and habitat set of issues were beginning to develop more "bite” in terms of critical analysis, grounding in poor women’s concerns, and influencing international meetings of governments through the UN. At the Global Forum in Huairou, a suburb of Beijing at the time of the Fourth World Conference on Women, it was suggested to include individual women who are important figures in public life across the globe. Subsequently, (…) objections were raised to its role, suggesting it was a biased interest group”. 

Diana Lee-Smith about Habitat II


The most regressive dynamics that have taken place during the 40 years between Habitat I and Habitat III has been the shift in the importance assigned to land —to urban land, an essential element for the development and sustainability of human settlements. In Habitat I, the different patterns of land tenure and its control were at the core of the debate and within the proposals of urban planning. The governments are the ones who will watch over the imperfect markets (of urban land) to guarantee that they work efficiently and in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. The Habitat II Agenda transferred the initiative to real estate agencies, indicating that States would support the development of land markets by means of effective and flexible legal frameworks."

Alfredo Rodríguez and Ana Sugranyes about Habitat II



The 1976 Human Settlements Conference in Vancouver will probably best be remembered because it was there that the world realized with a shock that in the developing countries a mass migration had started to take place from the rural to the urban areas. The high birth rate in those countries had as a consequence that the fertile land available was not sufficient to provide an adequate income for the newly-born and many of them had to go to the cities in order to find a job. They had to live in slums and low-grade settlements."

Han van Putten on Habitat I




 If (...) the Conference were to consider settlements without this fundamental dimension of human need, if it were to investigate their possible lack of aesthetics or functional convenience or cultural opportunities while ignoring the mass of misery festering at their base, one would have to say, adopting the contemptuous judgment of Tom Paine, that it 'pities the plumage and forgets the dying bird'."

Barbara Ward on Habitat I




 The 1976 Human Settlements Conference in Vancouver will probably best be remembered because it was there that the world realized with a shock that in the developing countries a mass migration had started to take place from the rural to the urban areas. The high birth rate in those countries had as a consequence that the fertile land available was not sufficient to provide an adequate income for the newly-born and many of them had to go to the cities in order to find a job. They had to live in slums and low-grade settlements."

Enrique Ortiz on Habitat I




This publication is a joint work that aims to serve as an inspiration for the coming years, to motivate the continuation of the fight for a habitat underpinned by human rights at local, national and international levels. In addition, it is a reflection and critique of the conference process and the role of HIC since 1976.

Through a collection of declarations, analyses, news articles, discourses, experiences and images the publication reflects the different voices within the Coalition, from social movements and organizations to academia, researchers and experts.

The final part of the publication seeks to honour people who will always be part of the HIC family, as a token of our appreciation and gratitude for their valuable work and true life example.

Finally, a list is included with all the Members, Allies and Donors without whom the Coalition’s fight for social transformation towards a fairer, more inclusive, democratic and sustainable world would not be possible. With this publication from HIC we also want to thank all of them for their conviction, will and tireless struggle for the right to habitat.

For more info:
Click here to download the publication: "Habitat International Coalition and the Habitat Conferences 1976 - 2016", available in high resolution and low resolution.
Check out HIC Members activities on the occasion of the World Habitat Day
 
Tags
• Housing and Land Rights / Right to Adequate Housing   • Right to the City   • Social Production of Habitat / People's housing process   
 
   
 


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