Formal concise report from Habitat3 for South East Queensland

This UNAAQ event resulted from culmination of 5 years of preparation to endorse Sustainable Development Goal 11 on cities; the 2-year drafting of the New Urban Agenda ‘Habitat3 toward 2035’, and the release of the 2016 draft South East Queensland Regional Plan that envisages 50 years. South East Queensland comprises 6 cities, 17 urban centres, 47 towns and many rural centres, inside an area equivalent to the Netherlands. SEQ is benchmarked against 25 other regions over the past 20 years and our performance has been variable. A range of tools has been instrumental in reporting our stewardship and quality of life. However, SEQ trends are worrying.

79 people from different backgrounds, disciplinary and community roles participated throughout the day. One third of the room represented ‘under 35 year olds’ and about half the room identified as ‘over 50’. Apart from community leaders, there were planners, scientists, architects, engineers, landscape designers, urban professionals, teachers, lawyers, business owners, health and emergency services professionals.

A background paper (attached) was provided to all participants in conjunction with a full set of NUA policy and practice statements that institutionalise action for shared governance and culturally appropriate implementation. This allowed great speed of learning as our 16 speakers and 4 moderators shared their expertise and passion for the better future.

Aunty Ruby gave an indigenous traditional acknowledgement also set the scene for gender sensitive pathways for intergenerational, intercultural and interdisciplinary methods for our common future. Song-lines were gifted to us as the SEQ anthem and sung by the Rachel Hore choir. This is hot-linked in the papers with the Earth Charter art by Graham Payne (community of life drawing). During the afternoon, slam poetry was written for us and shared in the final panel session. This is being gifted to us as a special memento and as a motivational tool to go forward for the next 5 years. 4 Expert Panels each answered set questions to focus our thoughts:

  1. Evolution and achievements for SEQ
  2. The future prospects and possibilities (active Habitat 3 representatives)
  3. Practices and innovative implementation – case studies
  4. Shared governance – roles and responsibilities

After lunch Uncle Desmond gave a welcome to his country. Then participants chose what topics they wished to pursue to advance the NUA themes in SEQ. These included (1) access to affordable housing; (2) empowering vulnerable peoples and the working poor through sharing food, assets, public assets, public transport, and basic human needs (3) jobs and entrepreneurship (4) Greenspace stewardship (5) Protecting public space for use by everyone (recreation, community farm, non- privatisation of river/ beach access) (6) regenerative urban design for climate (7) shared governance framework for SEQ accountability, (8) inclusive infrastructure investment.

After teamwork, a spokesperson shared their innovative approaches that would work here. Wow! People socialised considerably before heading home.

The outcomes included greater goodwill and draft ‘We the Peoples of SEQ Declaration’ to shepherd local action. This will be reviewed over the next 5 years (probably this anniversary date). Special thanks go to UNAAQ team and partners.

For more info & copies of any documents/ photos/ u tube/ reports contact qldpres@unaa.org.au

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