The emerging UN Habitat 3 Agenda, the signing of the Amsterdam Pact on the New Urban Agenda and global change have highlighted attention on urban places. Having regard to global change, The World Towns Leaders Summit, convened in Edinburgh, Scotland from June 15-16 to discuss the evolving nature of civic governance and the changing economic drivers for successful place-making, looking specifically at the qualities of local places for people: towns, neighbourhoods, urban districts, downtowns. An anchor of the Summit was the final shaping of a World Towns Framework: A Public-Private-Social Vision for Urban Centres. The purpose of the Framework is to:
- Articulate the narrative of towns, neighbourhoods and city districts in responding to contemporary urban challenges;
- Shape a new urban agenda for these urban places;
- Assert the need for new alliances and approaches essential for a strong competitive economy combined with a fairer, more equal society.
Drawing on an open and collaborative process, The World Towns Framework is organised around four pillars:
- Unique Identity of Place,
- Local Economies,
- Governance and Citizenship, and
This will act to inform our work and influence both governments and key international institutions in their approach to towns and neighbourhoods. This includes feeding into the United Nations Habitat III Conference, to be held in Quito 17-20 October 2016.