Grassroots leaders, academics, mayors, and nonprofit organizations from around the world came together the week of Oct. 15 to map out a plan for the future of cities. They descended on Quito, Ecuador for Habitat III for the adoption of the New Urban Agenda and to compare notes on how to best achieve its principals and vision. The US Delegation was led by Julian Castro the US Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
Residents of North Brooklyn attended via the leadership of the locally headquartered Huairou Commission, an international organization that brought hundreds of women leaders and men allies from various parts of the world to participate in the conference.
Among the local leaders who attended was Luz Esperanza Paltan, a leader of Williamsburg and Greenpoint’s United Neighbors Organization (UNO) a grassroots housing advocacy organization affiliated with St. Nicks Alliance. Paltan was invited by leaders of the Huairou Commission to join with citizens from around the world to develop and adopt the New Urban Agenda.
I am honored to have been selected by the Huairou Commission to participate as a Huairou delegate from New York City at the international Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, and had a wonderful time sharing and exchanging with representatives the very similar North Brooklyn issues affecting communities worldwide — such as lack of affordable housing, community participation, and transparency. I enjoyed how the conference highlighted the importance of grassroots leadership and why it is critical to organize and create an organizing base is for communities. I look forward to sharing the many ideas and inspirations from the conference with members of UNO and my community in North Brooklyn.
— Luz Esperanza Paltan
St. Nicks Alliance also participated and introduced JOE-NYC, a new innovative entity created by community housing developers to find more effective means to strengthen and improve current portfolio of affordable housing and together pursue new opportunities for affordable housing development.
The Huairou Commission has collaborated with women across the globe to shape the New Urban Agenda, which focused on creating inclusive cities, addressing the issues of migration, making cities safer, building urban culture, and the legislative and governance process. Maureen Friar, the new Executive Director, was joined by Jan Peterson as the Huairou Commission’s Board Chair.
We celebrate participatory advancement innovation of this UN Habitat process in fostering the involvement of diverse urban stakeholders in the design of the New Urban Agenda, in the shaping of the cities of the future.
— Jan Peterson