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Nairobi, 26 Apr 11

Naples, Italy: a view of a historic center

A Meeting of the Habitat Professionals Forum (HPF) was held on 12 April in Nairobi, parallel to the 23rd session of the Governing Council. The HPF represents in excess of 6 million Human Settlements professionals who together, as urban planners, architects, surveyors, landscape architects and engineers, constitute a key partner in delivering the Habitat Agenda.

HPF constituents reinforced their commitment in partnering among built environment professionals and formally approved the "Habitat Professional Charter: the role of human settlements professionals in delivering a sustainable and equitable future" presented and debated during the last HPF Meetings at the fifth session of the World Urban Forum in Rio de Janeiro, 2010.

UN-HABITAT representative recalled the role of HPF within the Habitat Agenda and the key role of professionals to deliver sustainable urbanisation policies (MDG 7), in partnership with UN-HABITAT. HPF partners fully welcomed the Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos' statement given during the opening session of the Governing Council, in which he stressed the role of urban planning, design and infrastructure in delivering sustainable cities. They also welcomed the new direction that UN-HABITAT is setting through getting « back to the basics » and tackling urban needs through concrete action.

Representatives of the Habitat Professional Forum agreed on a road map towards the preparation of an in-depth publication that will articulate the elements of the Habitat Professional Charter:

  • Social, economic and environmental harmony which seeks to ensure that the strategic management of economic, natural and human resources will promote well – being in increasingly complex, interconnected and rapidly changing urban systems and that development is based on practice which integrates social, economic and environmental issues into policy – making and the design process;
  • Pro – poor and inclusivity which seeks to ensure that human settlements professionals are responsive to the challenges posed by urban poverty and inequality and are sensitive to cultural differences, are gender aware and are agents for participatory governance;
  • Heritage, culture and sense of place which seeks to reconcile development needs while maintaining identity, sense of place and protecting heritage in an increasingly interconnected world; natural and cultural heritage need to be respected and conserved: every human settlement is unique and a sense of place is an attribute to be fostered and cherished.
  • The impacts of climate change and disasters which will make increasing demands on our knowledge and skills. Human settlements professionals need to be able to plan, design and deliver settlements which are more resilient and carbon-efficient, and where risks are reduced through prevention, adaptation and mitigation.
The publication will be a collective contribution of urban planners, architects, surveyors, landscape architects and engineers towards delivering a sustainable and equitable future, to be launched in Naples at the sixth session of the World Urban Forum.

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