Transforming Beyond Borders,
Starting the New Urban Agenda
Institut Teknologi Bandung, Bandung, 3rd- 5th of April 2018
Economic, social and cultural activities, as well as environmental and humanitarian impacts, are increasingly concentrated in and around cities. In the era of planetary urbanization and technological revolution, cities have transformed beyond its proper borders into hinterlands, city-regions, urban corridors and mega-regions, in which the development challenges become far more complex than those were anticipated in the ‘traditional’ conception of ‘city’. Transforming beyond their natural and human resources capacity, the cities currently face significant sustainability challenges in terms of governance, land and housing, infrastructure and basic services; food, water and energy security; and disaster risks.
Within the United Nations, the Habitat Agenda has set out the New Urban Agenda (NUA), which seeks to create a mutually reinforcing relationship between the trends of urbanization and development. In this context, the urbanization will become a parallel vehicle for achieving sustainable development. The NUA attempts to address the development trends while also recognizing that cities and metropolitan areas are the major drivers of regional, national, and global economies. The idea of the NUA is to offer guidelines on a range of ‘enablers’ that can further strengthen the relationship between urbanization and sustainable development.
Currently, the NUA has not been well recognized and integrated in urban and regional development strategies. In fact, there is limited recognition of the NUA in the current academic research and policy-making process. Considering the urgency of the NUA in the planning, development, and governance of contemporary cities, we should start incorporating the agenda into academic research and policy making, as well as communicating its problems and potential solutions in a scholarly and practically relevant discussion.