The last several decades have seen significant changes in
territorial, demographic, climatic, social, economic, technological and
cultural dynamics, which have accelerated urbanization processes throughout the
world. Insufficient policies and a shortfall of adequate housing interventions
and development models have added to the arena high rates of exclusion,
inequality, inequity and rights violations, as well as increases in the cost of
land relative to income, precarious housing conditions and urban poverty. These
changes, their related consequences and the various intents to address them are
central to discussions surrounding development agendas.
For the first time in history, more than half of the worlds
population resides in cities, and more than 90 percent of urban growth is
occurring in developing countries.
Globally, approximately one billion people are living in
slums. They lack access to basic services, suffer inadequate housing conditions
and insecure tenure, and face issues related to environmental degradation,
vulnerability and a host of social problems such as unemployment, violence and
crime. Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) is the developing worlds most
urbanized region, with more than 75 percent of its housing in urban areas. We
must work together to seek solutions that will help improve the housing
conditions of more than 120 million Latin Americans.
The First Forum on Adequate Housing for Latin America and
the Caribbean, Shared solutions for inclusive cities," took place in
Bogota, Colombia in 2012, with the objective of building partnerships and
solutions to increase access to safe, adequate housing.
The Third United Nations Conference on Housing and
Sustainable Urban Development, to take place in 2016, will lay out a New Urban
Agenda focused on policies and strategies that will create more sustainable
and equitable urban spaces. This New Urban Agenda will influence decisions and
priorities over the next 20 yearsboth within the region and throughout the
world. Accordingly, the Second Forum on Adequate Housing for Latin America and
the Caribbean, Housing for Life (May 6-8th, 2015), will unite stakeholders
from the various sectors (private, government, civil organizations and
academia) that play a role in the regions urban agenda to discuss ideas,
experiences and proposals that turn innovative solutions and models into
effective, multi-actor systems, and establish the pathways needed to
institutionalize these systems and ensure the urban future we envision.