Since November 2018, Catalonia has a new body: the Urban Assembly of Catalonia. It is a forum with a very concrete mission: establish a document – the Urban Agenda of Catalonia- that will guide the sustainable development of cities in the future. The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) is among the institutions that will conduct this collective task.
The Urban Assembly of Catalonia was born under the coordination of the Directorate General of Territory and Sustainability, and its mission is to adapt, in Catalan territory, the new Urban Agenda approved by the United Nations General Assembly as a reference for global urban development over the next decades. Overseeing how cities develop and ensuring it is done in a sustainable way is key at a time when global projections predict a sharp increase in city growth and a large population movement from rural to urban areas.
The new Urban Agenda of Catalonia aims to “place people at the centre of public policies and ensure the consolidation of a balanced, sustainable and inclusive urban model.” This master document will build upon 6 main pillars:
- Healthy urban habitats
- Urban quality
- Territorial dimension
- Good governance
The Urban Assembly of Catalonia, which has set the year 2020 as deadline to present the document, is comprised by 95 different organizations, including Catalan government representatives, local governments, and different civil society actors. ISGlobal is one of the six academic institutions in the Assembly providing knowledge.
"Cities cannot continue to be places favouring certain diseases and environmental exposures. The establishment of the new Urban Agenda of Catalonia represents a unique opportunity to help ensure that future generations may live in cities that are respectful of their health and of the environment,” says Jordi Sunyer, Head of the Childhood and Environment Programme at ISGlobal, and representative of the institution in the Urban Assembly of Catalonia.