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The Human Habitat III Conference.

“Implementing the New Urban Agenda” – Sydney to Newcastle High Speed Rail: A Value Capture Model.

By 2050 more than 70% of the people on the planet are forecast to live in cities, compared to about 50% currently. This creates a significant need to appreciate the qualities and characteristics of successful communities to enable planners to create new cities that support their human inhabitants thriving.

On October 2016, in Quito, Ecuador, the 3rd United Nations Conference on housing and sustainable urban development known as Habitat III, was held.

The Nation states present, in consultation with local authorities, grass roots and indigenous organisations, women’s and youth groups, the private sector and charitable sector created ‘The New Urban Agenda’ (NUA) identifying a recommended global strategy on sustainable urban development. Ref: About the New Urban Agenda

Of interest to us was the enshrining of the “Right to City” calling on Governments to make cities for people rather than profit. This needs to ensure inclusion for all including: gender and age sensitive approach to city planning, as well as continuing efforts to reduce urban poverty.

On 4th and 5th May 2017 the next chapter of The New Urban Agenda is taking place in Melbourne , at the Implementing The New Urban Agenda Conference.

I quote section 31 of the NUA which is a passionate plea to support social equality in the plan.

“We commit ourselves to promoting national, subnational and local housing policies that support the progressive realisation of the right to adequate housing for all as a component of the right to an adequate standard of living; that address all forms of discrimination and violence and prevent arbitrary forced evictions; and that focus on the needs of the homeless, persons in vulnerable situations, low-income groups and persons with disabilities, while enabling the participation and engagement of communities and relevant stakeholders in the planning and implementation of these policies, including supporting the social production of habitat, according to national legislation and standards. “

Through my network, I have been invited to present at “Implementing the New Urban Agenda” conference in Melbourne on the 4th and 5th May 2017: Title: “The Sydney to Newcastle High Speed Rail Link: A Value Capture Model”.

This project seeks to address a number of these considerations and there are some examples below.

Affordability:
Linking Smart Cities via HSR to allow access to affordable dwellings;
• Offer $600,000 prices for two bedroom apartments that are 15min to 35min travel from Central Station in Sydney.
• Support First Home Buyers and Owner Occupiers with a discounted HSR fare of $60 per week. The same as the current fares for regular rail travel.
• Provide a fractional ownership structure for purchase in conjunction with Domacom’s fractional ownership platform.

Social Housing:
• Provide up to 100,000 new social dwellings, on Government provided land, for the low income and disadvantaged members of the community. The number is dependent on the taxation treatment of gifting these properties to social housing groups.

Environmental Sustainability:
Using city waste as a biofuel to generate power for HSR and the Smart Cities.
Using safe and strong recycled materials, as appropriate, in the 140Km tunnel and smart city construction.

Cultural and Educational Integration
• Establish community centres celebrating and integrating ethnicity.
• Establish educational centres from primary school through to university as part of technology incubators. The purpose of this is to prepare students for work and to foster innovation.

Encourage investment
• Providing innovative property investment products that create a separate market for property investors, so they are not competing with home owners. Disabled housing facilities, and multiple occupancy dwelling.

The funding model is ‘value capture’ where profits from the development of Smart Cities are used to create the HSR infrastructure, environmental initiatives, social housing and green living.

Connect with me on LinkedIn and join the High-Speed Rail and Smart City LinkedIn Group to contribute your professional comments to this important project.

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