13 Dec 2018
2nd International Implementing the New Urban Agenda and SDGs Congress

Following the Second Cities symposium, the 2nd international Implementing the New Urban Agenda and SDGs Congress was held in Newcastle, in partnership with the 26thEAROPH World Congress.

Focusing on the theme Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities:Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda, the congress brought together national and international experts and leaders to discuss implementation of the SDGs and the NUA at the local urban level. Key themes included environmental sustainability, addressing inequality, urban renewal, economic development, ethical cities, and housing for all.

Under the theme “The Role of Second Tier Cities”, Joana Correia presented key learnings from second cities in Europe, UK and USA, from the research project ‘Winning fromSecond: What Geelong can learn from Second Cities’, which was commissioned by the Committee for Geelong and undertaken by Joana Correia andTodd Denham. The session promoted dialogue and discussions on the unique part second-tier cities can play in promoting the principle of “leaving no one behind”, and their capacity to address the challenges of urbanisation.

Michael Nolan and Professor RalphHorne convened the workshop “Project Design for Affordable and Sustainable Cities; an Ethical Framework”. During this workshop, the City of Newcastle project selected for the UN Global Compact– Cities Programme led ‘Australian City Partnerships’, was presented and key aspects of design were undertaken. This project, Stories of Country – Tourism Incubator, is being developed to build indigenous economic, social and cultural capital through development of a centre for Indigenous tourism, and associated networks and capabilities. Int his workshop, specific attention was placed on how to ensure the outcome is an ethical city project; meaning that it (1) enhances environmental sustainability, (2) addresses inequality, and(3) delivers transparent, accountable governance. Different groups, each with particular expertise, focussed on different aspects of the project proposal and an integrative session then brought together design elements.

Professor Ralph Horne also presented a keynote address in the Plenary panel “Affordable Living in Sustainable Cities” on the final day of theCongress. His keynote address on Smart and Ethical Cities referenced housing policy challenges and opportunities for SDGs and ethical city principles to enhance affordable living in sustainable cities.