Parliamentarians Roundtable - WUF10 (8-13 February 2020, Abu Dhabi, UAE)
Rules and laws are reflections of culture and society. Societal norms, which are the rules of behaviour accepted by a certain community or society, drive city ordinances, new by-laws or building codes.
Rules and laws are reflections of culture and society. Societal norms, which are the rules of behaviour accepted by a certain community or society, drive city ordinances, new by-laws or building codes. Fifty-five percent of the global population now resides in urban areas and cities are becoming more heterogeneous. Cultural diversity, therefore, has important implications for how urban areas are planned and managed to ensure that everyone living in the city can access its benefits and cultural advantages. Similarly, laws, institutions, and policies governing cities will have a direct impact on the safeguarding of the world's cultural heritage. Innovative use of technology in 'Smart Cities' improves governance, efficiency in the delivery of urban services, mobility, competitiveness, the environment, mobility, and quality of life for all. New 'frontier technologies' ranging from renewable energy technologies to biodegradable plastics, artificial intelligence, and electric vehicles — hold immense potential to improve people's lives and significantly accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change. 'Smart Cities' do not exist in law but derive from a set of policy choices. However, policy choices have legal consequences. The four central areas of laws governing smart cities are: Governance structures, including transparency and accountability at the city level; intergovernmental relations; transboundary issues; and ownership and control. Secondly, citizen protections including privacy, security, and liability. The legal question whether the data processing is 'lawful, fair and transparent' for the millions of individuals affected. Urban law defines conditions for access to land, infrastructure, housing, and basic services; lays out rules for planning and decision making; guides the improvement of livelihoods and living conditions by setting requirements for urban development initiatives; and, sets the context within which urban authorities, local governments, and communities are expected to fulfill their mandate and react to emerging challenges. The role of legislators is accentuated to achieve the desired outcomes of the New Urban Agenda – "Community consultation, multi-stakeholder approaches, good governance and so on are all important. However, they do not replace the role of local governments and professionals, nor the ingredients required for them to set the stage for productive, sustainable and equitable urban growth" (AFINUA). Collaboration, coordination, and partnerships between legislators are key ingredients in the implementation of the NUA (22), which forms the basis of this Roundtable meeting. Objectives: This session will bring together Parliamentarians from around the world who are dedicated to sustainable urban development to: Assess mechanisms to review legislation for its compatibility with core international and national principles and the issues outlined in the SDGs and NUA. Make recommendations for and monitor effective legislation for policy implementation and executive action. Identify means of cooperation and knowledge sharing amongst various fora of Parliamentarians. Guiding Questions: How can the implementation of the NUA drive sustainable change, and accelerate progress towards achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework, and other relevant global agendas? How can we ensure that in the process no one and no place is left behind, overcoming growing inequalities? Considering current trends, what are the key elements required to change the way we plan, build, and move people and goods as well as our consumption patterns while sustaining the natural environment and using nature's potential to be part of the solution? The New Urban Agenda calls for its implementation across a diverse urbanizing world, including in risk-prone fast urbanizing settings affected by conflict. What challenges and opportunities does this present for implementation of the or the New Urban and the outcomes it can contribute to, including sustaining peace? How does it help to localize global agendas? What role do culture and innovation play in the implementation of the NUA and its transformative commitments - social inclusion and ending poverty ensuring that no one and no place is left behind; sustainable and inclusive urban prosperity and opportunities for all; and environmentally sustainable and resilient urban development?