The sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) was held in New Delhi from December 14-December 16, 2016.The conference was inaugurated by Union Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.
- Aim: The aim of the conference was to address issues ranging from crowded city centres to peripheral expansion, metropolitan based urban population growth, megacities and urban corridors among others.
- Theme of the conference: ‘Emerging Urban Forms – Policy Responses and Government Structures’.
- The three-day conference was attended by the ministers and senior officials from 68 countries to deliberate on challenges of urban planning and management.
Important Features of the Conference
The conference lead to the formation of Delhi Declaration and implementation plan for aligning urban development strategies of member countries with the New Urban Agenda adopted at Quito, Eucador for the next 20 years.
- During the conference, five working groups deliberated on different sub-themes. It included:
- India: Integrated Planning, Management and Governance Structures.
- South Korea: ensuring access to housing and housing finance in the urban – rural continuum.
- Iran: Unorganised growth in peripheral areas and slum upgradation aspects aomg other.
- The conference also ensured sustainable and natural disaster resilient urban development including climate change.The conference assumes significance since Asia Pacific Region accounts for 60% of the world population and 55% of global urban population.
- The APMCHUD is the first such conference after UN Habitat-III global conference on sustainable development held in Quito in September 2016.Delhi is hosting the APMCHUD after 10 years with last such conference held in 2006.
About New Urban Agenda
It was adopted at the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (also known as “Habitat III” conference) held in Quito, Ecuador in September 2016 for the next 20 years.
- It is a set of 175 commitments that countries need to consider to tackle challenges of urbanization.
It is considered as roadmap for building cities that can serve as engines of prosperity and centres of social and cultural well-being while protecting the environment.
The Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) is an inter-governmental mechanism for collaboration and cooperation in the field of housing and urban development among the Asia Pacific countries. Established under the aegis and support of UN-Habitat, APMCHUD is a consultative mechanism on the promotion of sustainable development of Housing and Urban Development in the Asia-Pacific Region.
- The 1st APMCHUD was held in New Delhi, in 2006 on the theme of ‘A Vision for Sustainable Urbanization in the Asia-Pacific by 2020’.
- The 2nd APMCHUD was held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, in 2008 on the theme of ‘Sustainable Urban Development : Associating Growth with Equity and Identity’.
- The 3rd APMCHUD was held in Solo, Republic of Indonesia, in 2010 on the theme of ‘Empowering Communities for Sustainable Urbanization’.
- The 4th APMCHUD was held in Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in 2012. The theme of the conference was ‘Youth and IT in Sustainable Urban Development’.
- The 5th APMCHUD was held in Seoul, Republic of Korea in 2014 on the theme ‘Equal Opportunity for Sustainable Development’.
Venkaiah Naidu signs New Delhi Declaration on Housing and Urban Development
Urban Development Minister M Venkaiah Naidu on December 16, 2016, signed the New Delhi Declaration after it was accepted by all the member countries on the concluding day of the sixth edition of Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development in New Delhi.
- The ‘New Delhi Declaration’ contained that ‘Asia Pacific countries that account for over 55% of global urban population have resolved to adopt ‘Urban Plus’ approach taking urban planning and development beyond city limits to prevent unmanageable and unsustainable urban expansion’.
- New Delhi Declaration has strongly advocated planning for urban and adjoining rural areas in an integrated manner instead of looking at them as independent entities.
- The Declaration also called for a thorough review of existing policies and formulation of new policies to promote New Urban Agenda adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Development in Quito, Eucador
- An Implementation Plan was also adopted, according to which, the member countries strongly recommended formulation of National Human Settlement Policies to promote inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable city and human settlements.