Many of you who have read this blog know this author is of the opinion that Toronto as whole and in particular the greater Junction area requires more public space. Space that is not governed commercial interests, such as many main streets in the community where commercial groups have greater control.
Although many people may not see the connection of a UN agencys actions to the Junction the United Nations agency UN-HABITAT aims this resolution at just such communities, stating “Invites Governments and local authorities to facilitate the use of public spaces of cities such as streets, parks and markets to foster social, cultural, economic and environmental convergences so that all citizens have access to public spaces in a socially just landscape and within resilient environmental condition”.
In Ward 13 and 14 as well as ward 12 we have good amount of parks and parkettes. Ward 13 is one of the highest areas in the city in area devoted to parks as well as community centers. Places to meet and base activities which would be unsuitable for parks and community centers just do not exist.
The resolution (for PDF click here) includes the following seven invitations and requests:
1. Invites Governments to formulate and implement sustainable urban development policies that promote socially just and environmentally balanced uses of urban public space in conditions of urban security and gender equity that foster urban resilience;
2. Invites Governments and local authorities to facilitate the use of public spaces of cities such as streets, parks and markets to foster social, cultural, economic and environmental convergences so that all citizens have access to public spaces in a socially just landscape and within resilient environmental conditions;
3. Invites national Governments and development partners and encourages local authorities to consider:
(a) Implementing urban environmental planning, regulation and management that promotes equilibrium between urban development and protection of natural, historic, architectural, cultural and artistic heritage, that impedes segregation and territorial exclusion, that prioritizes social production of public space and that encourages the social and creative economic function of cities and property: for that purpose, cities should adopt measures that foster integration and equity with quality urban public spaces that respect environmentally friendly processes;
(b) Integrating the theme of urban safety for all citizens, especially for women, girls and other vulnerable groups, as an attribute of the public space, taking into account gender and age considerations in the laws regulating the use of public space;
4. Requests the Executive Director through the medium-term strategic and institutional plan to advance the agenda on place-making and public spaces in a specific way that will consolidate local and international approaches to creating inclusive cities, enhance the knowledge of partners of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme and local authorities of place-making, public spaces and the quality of urban life and facilitate and implement exchange, cooperation and research between partners working in this field;
5. Also requests the Executive Director, in collaboration with Habitat Agenda partners, to develop a policy approach on the role that place-making can play in meeting the challenges of our rapidly urbanizing world, to disseminate that policy and its results widely and to develop a plan for ensuring its application internationally;
6. Further requests the Executive Director to assist in coordinating partners of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in disseminating knowledge to existing sustainable urban development processes at all governmental levels;
7. Requests the Executive Director to report to the Governing Council on operating paragraphs calling for action by the Executive Director, at its twenty-fourth session, on progress made in the implementation of the present resolution.