[6 June 2018] -- Cities Alliance is gearing up for the 3rd Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) Housing and Habitat Forum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from 12–14 June 2018.
The forum is a strategic opportunity to share lessons and highlight innovative, inspiring practices on housing – a central issue for Latin American cities, where inadequate housing remains an acute political, social, and economic problem.
We are especially pleased that the forum will serve as the official launch for the Urban Housing Practitioner’s Hub (UHPH), an open platform for organisations committed to improving housing conditions for the urban poor in LAC. The UHPH combines a digital space with in-person interactions where people can connect and access information about housing in the region, linking policy and planning efforts with practitioners on the ground.
As the most urbanised region in the world, LAC has a rich and varied set of experiences to share. For the Cities Alliance, the UHPH is a valuable contribution towards sharing that knowledge and supporting the implementation of the global agendas, especially the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agenda and the New Urban Agenda. We also believe the UHPH can help maximise access to high-level technical expertise and communication channels to improve living conditions in the region.
The Cities Alliance partnership has played an important role in establishing the UHPH and getting it off the ground. We are also a co-organiser of the forum together with Habitat for Humanity International, UN-Habitat and other hub partners.
Modules of the UHPH
The Hub has four main modules that are all interconnected:
- Labs that bring people together with experience on a specific topic to reflect on current models and offer responses to the challenges of urban housing. They are demand-based and informed by the global agenda. Several labs have already been piloted, and they have been wildly successful.
- A best practices database that brings together information from databases around the region and consolidates it into a single place where practitioners can access information on robust experiences . The database is currently under production and will include, among others, the results of a Call for Inspiring Practices issued earlier this year.
- A virtual space for housing that enables everyone involved in housing in the region to connect directly with peers and share knowledge, ideas and challenges. This space will be launched at the forum in Santo Domingo.
- A biannual forum where all the modules converge. In 2018 this is implemented as the 3rd Latin American and Caribbean Housing and Habitat Forum in Santo Domingo, where the UHPH will be formally presented. The labs, database and virtual space for housing will be showcased along with high-level political dialogue.
Cities Alliance at the Forum
Cities Alliance will host an Inspiring Practices Exhibition, which highlights best practices on housing collected through the UHPH. The exhibition is the opportunity to showcase experiences that promote adequate housing and habitat as drivers for sustainable development in LAC.
These Inspiring Practices take an integrated approach to housing that links it with areas including economic growth, climate change, and gender, for example. They illustrate the urban innovation processes that are taking shape in LAC region and can help support the implementation of the global agendas. Sharing this knowledge is crucial to building critical mass and contributing to the collective construction of more equitable cities.
We are also co-hosting eight housing labs (Laboratorios de Vivienda, or LAVs) on finance, policies, informal settlements, rental housing, densification/social function of the land, metropolitan governance and resilience/climate change that will feed the UHPH database of experiences.
Our partner hosts for the LAVs are the Lincoln Institute for Land Policies, Unión Interamericana para la Vivienda UNIAPRAVI, the Latin American Network of Researchers on Housing and Habitat (RIVAH), Habitat for Humanity International, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).
Anaclaudia Rossbach, our Regional Adviser for LAC, will participate in two high-level panels: One on finance, and a second on national policies and frameworks. Ms. Rossbach as taken an active role in helping to build the hub, organising pilot LAVs in São Paulo, Brazil and facilitating collaboration at events throughout the region.