Eduard Cabré, GPR2C International Relations Officer.
Right to the City activists from around the world gathered in New York City July 14-16 to advance the Global Platform for the Right to the City’s Strategic Plan for the period 2018-2021. This meeting is the second of a series of three meetings held in 2017 as part of a planning process sponsored by the Ford Foundation’s Built Program.
More than 30 participants from 20 different member organizations* from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia participated in the three-day meeting. In addition to the workshop sessions of the Platform’s planning process, the agenda included a public event and a fieldtrip to Harlem, both co-organized by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, The New School Global Urban Futures, and Picture the Homeless.
On Friday July 14 participants gathered in several plenary sessions to present and discuss the materials produced in the previous planning meeting in Sao Paulo. The Vision, Mission, and Values of the Platform were discussed alongside with the very concept of the Right to the City. Contributions were made to enrich the existing working documents and will be incorporated and further discussed in the next planning meeting in Nairobi, October 2017. In the evening, the public event “Your Block, our World: Building a Global Platform for the Right to the City” gathered more than 100 people around a debate between Huairou Commission, Right to the City Alliance, Picture the Homeless, Instituto Polis and Habitat International Coalition on how to connect the somehow abstract concept of the Right to the City to people’s everyday reality.
On Saturday and Sunday participants devoted lots of energy to identify advocacy opportunities for the Platform and the Right to the City movement at large, and developed strategies at the global, regional, national and local levels to build the basic structure of the Platform’s Strategic Plan. On Saturday afternoon, all participants joined Picture the Homeless on an action to demand that vacant property be turned into affordable housing in Harlem.
The spirit of the Sao Paulo meeting was embraced by all participants and the push for a new Strategic Plan for the Global Platform for the Right to the City continues. All participants were committed to contribute to the working documents and participate to the extent possible in the third planning meeting in Nairobi, October 2017. Long life to the Global Platform for the Right to the City!
*ActionAid, Cities Alliance, City University of New York, Planners Network, Development Workshop Angola, FIAN International, Ford Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Habitat International Coalition, Huairou Comission, Kota Kita, National Economic & Social Rights Initiative, Observatori DESC, Picture the Homeless, Polis Institute, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, SDI, The New School, United Cities and Local Governments, WIEGO – Women in Informal Employment Globalizing and Organizing.