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The Right to the City: Fulfilling the vision of cities and human settlements realized by and for all its inhabitants

First conceived by the French philosopher Henri Lefevbre as a “demand for a renewed access to urban life”, the right to the city has progressively emerged as a call for action fostering local communities to transform urban reality under principles of socio-spatial justice and democracy. For local governments, the right to the city arises as an opportunity to promote a renewed social contract at the local level, based on human rights, equitable and sustainable development and participatory democracy.

Adopted as a pillar of UCLG action agenda in 2016, the right to the city has been, for many years, a relevant approach on the basis of which our Committee has analyzed challenges related to urban development. It poses a relevant framework to understand urban reality and propose ways to transform it. It also nourishes those debates that seek to build the human rights-based approach at the local level, and presents local governments with an opportunity to cooperate with civil society in order to co-create and achieve fairer and more democratic cities.

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Participating in the UCLG Policy Council on the Right to the City and Inclusive Territories

UCLG enshrined in 2016 the right to the city as a pillar of its agenda as a way to advance local democracy and human rights universality. In order to continue fostering debates on this topic, it created a Policy Council on the Right to the City aimed at developing the organization’s policy agenda on this matter. Our Committee works with UCLG to ensure members participation in the Council and to consolidate its messages.

Organizing debates and seminars of local governments for the Right to the City

Our Committee supports local governments that wish to organize “International Seminars for the Right to the City”. These seminars allow to go further in the implementation of human rights in the city and launch political alliances for more inclusive, fair, democratic and sustainable cities. Organizing an international seminar for the right to the city also provides with an opportunity to strengthen dialogue with civil society.

Promoting the Right to the City in sustainable urban development agendas

The Habitat III process provided a key opportunity for local governments and civil society to advance networking. The Committee promoted the right to the city in this framework through two main platforms: The Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments facilitated by UCLG and the Global Platform for the Right to the City. After 2016, the Committee and the Global Platform have focused on promoting the right to the city and human rights in 2030 Agendas.

​Participating in the Global Platform for the Right to the City

The Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C) is an international umbrella organization gathering civil society and grassroots movements. Its main goal is to promote the right to the city and human rights in local and global agendas. To do so, the Platform facilitates cooperation between stakeholders and coordination between its members. The Committee is part of the facilitation group of the Platform as well as its working groups on advocacy and communication.