The AIA and New Urban Agenda

An opportunity for architects to impact the next 20 years of urban development

The United Nations Conference on Housing and Urban Sustainable Development (Habitat III) took place in Quito, Ecuador on October 17-21, 2016. The bi-decennial conference focused on reinvigorating the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, the implementation of a New Urban Agenda, and building on the Habitat Agenda of Istanbul in 1996.

New Urban Agenda aims to:

  • embrace urbanization at all levels of human settlements
  • integrate equity to the development agenda
  • foster national urban planning and planned city extensions
  • support relevant sustainable development goals through sustainable urbanization.
  • align and strengthen institutional arrangements to ensure effectiveness
  • strengthen urban rules and regulations
  • advance urban planning and design
  • improve municipal finance

Read more about New Urban Agenda at

The AIA’s engagement in regards to Habitat III and New Urban Agenda is focused on how architects are key to making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

As part of the commitment to global urban solutions for some of today's most challenging problems, the Institute sent an esteemed delegation to Quito and showcased a carefully curated collection of projects selected from various AIA award programs.

The AIA's delegation included:

  • Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, 2016 AIA President
  • Thomas V. Vonier, FAIA, 2016 AIA First Vice President/2017 President
  • Jamie Blosser, AIA, executive director of the Santa Fe Art Institute
  • Mary Kell, AIA, acting chief resilience officer for the City of Tulsa
  • Catherine Baker, AIA, principal at Landon Bone Baker Architects

Delegate stories and Habitat III showcases

The delegates also shared their stories, before and during Habitat III, on how architects can get more involved in global solutions:

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