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Three members of our team recently attended a series of meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, in preparation for the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – also known as Habitat III. 

Hadley Remas, Karishma Busgeeth and Johan Minnie were part of the South African delegation that attended the second session from 14 to 16 April, and the 25th session of the UN Habitat Governing Council from 17-23 April.

The meetings brought together a range of UN member states, stakeholders and organisations working in sustainable urban development to discuss projects, innovations and solutions to a range of urban development challenges.

We also had an exhibition that focused on the Master Spatial Plan (MSP), developed by the HDA for the national Department of Human Settlements to guide human settlements development in South Africa. Delegates from all over the world visited the stand and positive feedback was received on our presentation.

Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampa, policy adviser at the United Nations Development Programme, said that “the HDA’s exhibition is very interesting and that other African countries can learn a lot from South Africa’s approach to address critical issues in human settlements”.

He said more technical people − such as scientists, researchers and planners − should attend these kinds of events, because they are ultimately responsible for the groundwork that is needed for policy implementation.

Habitat III will take place in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016.