Piet Ubels: Calling all city geeks - join me at Habitat III in Quito!

This October, we're sending a delegation to the UN's Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador.  AYLI alum Piet Ubels will be taking the team - we thought we'd let him tell you why you should apply!


Calling on all young urban planners, engineers, architects, transport geeks, politicians and public space aficionados! An amazing opportunity has opened up for a few of us lucky young Kiwis to head to the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, (or ‘Habitat III’), in Quito this October.

For the first time in 20 years we will see the international community come together to consider an urban agenda for the world. With the current trends in urbanisation, immigration and climate uncertainty impacting human development and environment more than ever, the dialogue and strategy that will come from this event is vital to ensuring global political commitment towards the sustainable development of our communities.

There is clearly a lot at stake when weighing up economic, social and cultural gains against the trepidations of poverty, quality of life, and environmental degradation. 

This is a once in 20-year chance to be at the table that decides the New Urban Agenda for the world. It's your chance to see - and maybe even influence - whether our generation's uncertain future is set in the right direction. 

Attending the Habitat III negotiations is such an amazing opportunity on so many levels.

I know that, in truth, the whole experience of a UN conference can be very overwhelming. With so much going on at any one time it might seem a challenge to just keep your head straight. But soon enough we'll all be deep in the mix of it - participating just like UN regulars. 

For most of you, this conference will be an amazing learning opportunity.  You'll have the chance to gain a deeper understanding of the global political landscape, experiencing negotiation and decision making at the highest international level.  And not only that - there'll be a massive range of fascinating side events going on too!  Those announced so far cover everything from urban gardens and pop up creative spaces - through to public transport initiatives and contemporary building design.

Some of you will seize the incredible networking prospects found in mingling with the world’s experts from over 200 nations - from both the private sector and civil society. These amazing people will inspire you, and change your life through their experiences and stories.

For me personally, though, I’m excited to see you embrace the opportunity you'll have by being right there in the thick of it - at the UN, you'll have the chance to speak out and make your voice heard through actions and interventions, and by speaking to media to let them know your thoughts.

Will you step up? Will you join us in this discussion? Apply now and find out!

 Habitat III applications are open until midday, Friday 2 September - don't forget to get yours in.

Posted on August 29, 2016 and filed under Habitat III 2016, Institute Updates.