The IKD Research Centre is a major contributor to the OU's international development activity
As made explicit in last October’s Habitat III summit organised by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, cities play a key role in the new global development agenda. Importantly, the core output of the summit – the New Urban Agenda, to be implemented by cities across the world – is the first international policy document to recognise the ‘right to the city’ of different groups: youth, women, the poor, the LGBT community, different religious groups, those with disabilities, and more.
According to the agenda, it is ordinary people who should define how cities are planned and managed. In urban contexts often characterised by conflicts, patterns of exclusion, and racial/ ethnic/ religious/ gendered divides, this means finding new avenues of encounter.
As part of Imagine, Belfast's annual festival of ideas and politics, members of SRA-IDII will host an interactive session showing the relevance of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda in the context of UK cities. To do so, they will present cutting-edge work that mainstreams the contents of the SDGs and their implications for cities such as Belfast.
In particular, the event aims to highlight the voices of children and young people living in the city. What does the ‘right to the city’ mean for them? How do they imagine the Belfast of their dreams? And what problems and conflicts need to be addressed if those dreams are to become reality?