Quito, Ecuador has been selected to host the next United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development — a major global gathering held once every 20 years.
The event, set for October 2016, aims to promote “sustainable” urban growth and reduce poverty and inequality in cities, according to UN-Habitat.
Participants would seek to secure “political commitment” for environmentally-friendly development, identify new and emerging urban challenges and craft a “New Urban Agenda” for the 21st Century. Habitat III would build on Habitat I, held in Vancouver, Canada in 1976, and Habitat II, convened in Istanbul in 1996.
The 2016 conference will take place as cities throughout the Global South grapple with exploding populations, hazardous pollution levels and climate change impacts. But it also will occur as more cities prioritize renewable energy, public transport and clean-air initiatives. The UN will hold preparatory conferences in Nairobi, Kenya in April 2015 and Indonesia in July 2016 on the road to Quito.