A global database has been relaunched to track how local authorities are implementing the “right to the city”, a concept that gained international recognition during the run-up to last year’s Habitat III conference on sustainable cities.
The Inclusive Cities Observatory, a project spearheaded by the global United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) network, has been revived to highlight lessons and strategies that can shape municipal governance.
The right to the city is the notion that urban environments should be inclusive and free of discrimination, and that public services and investments should benefit all residents. While the right to the city is not a human right per se, advocates portray it as a synthesis of human rights.
The ambitious concept is enshrined in the New Urban Agenda strategy adopted by national governments in October. Read about other implementation strategies here.
The observatory originally debuted in 2011. With the relaunch, UCLG intends to update and refresh the initiative’s content and reach a wider audience with its message. The new goal will be to advocate for the right to the city by disseminating more information about it.
“The aim of this observatory is to identify and analyze experiences that can provide insights to inspire other cities in the design and implementation of the Right to the City,” according to a statement.
The fluid nature of the right to the city concept has made it complex to translate into specific policies and programming. Helpfully, then, the observatory is currently featuring 68 case studies of such implementation, from five continents. These range from human rights, justice and anti-discrimination initiatives to those focusing on community development, poverty eradication and public services.