Achieving sustainable development and green recovery simultaneously while providing shelter and basic amenities and improving the conditions of every human settlement is important.
The pandemic has created an awareness that cities and local governments around the world can move towards eliminating inequalities and poverty levels and providing access to basic amenities like shelter, food, and water for all.
Another important factor is that as the world’s climate continues to change, there is an ever-increasing risk of natural disasters. This risk is particularly significant in the Philippines where the cities are exceptionally vulnerable due to poverty and population density and diversity.
Today, 55% of the world’s population live in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 68% by 2050, according to the United Nations (UN). Hence, the UN’s Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goal 11 “to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” puts sustainable urbanization at the centre of the global agendas for development. The adoption of the New Urban Agenda in 2016 has seen national and local governments embark on a transformative path towards making SDG11 a reality.
Therefore, in facing the threats of health and climate crisis, the national government agencies and local government units must effectively implement the Republic Act No. 7279 or the Urban Development and Housing Act of 1992 which highlights the right of underprivileged and citizens to a decent housing and basic services. Adequate physical shelter protects people against multiple safety risk. With the increase of extreme weather events, housing for all contributes to building the resilience of communities and cities to climate change.
This is intended to remind everyone of the basic rights and necessities such as adequate shelter, food, and clothing, the ability to make transformative changes and valuable contributions in the society towards sustainable development of the cities and urban dwellings, and the responsibility for the habitat of future generations. By engaging all stakeholders, cities can harness transformational change and ensure a better life for all in an urbanizing world