Author(s): Helene Opsal, Douglas Ragan, Jon-Andreas Solberg
In order to create a positive correlation between urbanization and development – addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality – urban regulations and policies need to be reflective of the realities affecting young people. Cities can benefit from new thinking on how a youthful population provides opportunities for local economies to close income gaps and expand revenues for local authorities. Coupled with plans that account for larger youth populations living in and migrating to urban areas, cities can increase their potential for becoming prosperous, equitable and innovative. Ensuring youth have a voice and are recognized as stakeholders in legislative frameworks allows cities to harness the potential inherent in the urban demographic youth bulge. This paper intends to strengthen awareness and collaboration between UN-Habitat and its partners with the goal of promoting the relevance of issues pertaining to youth living in cities; present and future. It will emphasize the importance of ensuring that any urban development outcomes, as a result of UN-Habitat’s own programmatic interventions, Habitat III or the Sustainable Development Goals, are attentive to and inclusive of youth, providing recommendations that build on foundations of human rights and youth-led development to create integrated, inclusive and sustainable cities as part of the three pronged approach and the New Urban Agenda.