Avina at Habitat III: Innovation, Social Investment, and Successful Initiatives in the New Urban Agenda



Fundación Avina and several allied organizations will share their reflexions during a series of roundtable and special sessions at the United Nations Habitat III conference on housing and sustainable urban development in Quito, Ecuador on October 17 – 20, 2016. The gathering will strengthen global commitment to sustainable urbanization and focus on the implementation of a new urban agenda.

Inclusive Recycling: A New Paradigm for Sustainable Urban Solid Waste Management will be our first event on October 18th, 2016 at 12:30 p.m., organized by the Inclusive Regional Recycling Initiative (IRR). The event will take place in Casa de la Cultura Ecuatoriana “Benjamín Carrión”, Room M13.

Avina will participate in this panel alongside the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Multilateral Investment Fund of the IDB Group, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and the Red Latinoamericana de Recicladores (Latin American Recyclers Network).

IRR is one example of a successful initiative. Since its creation four years ago, IRR has expanded to include recyclers in 17 countries, contributed to new legislation in seven countries, and trained nearly 6,000 people. Presently in its second phase, IRR is working to scale up results and attract new members at national, regional, and global levels.

Fundación Avina will also be present at the Stakeholders Roundtable: “Innovation and Collaboration: the role of philanthropy in the New Urban Agenda” on Tuesday, October 19th at 8:00 a.m. in Cine Alfredo Pareja, located in the Casa de la Cultura. Presentations during this event will be in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Gabriel Baracatt, Executive Director of Fundación Avina, will present alongside representatives of the Ford Foundation, AFE, Centro Mexicano para la Filantropía (CEMEFI), Grupo de Fundaciones y Empresas (GDFE), European Foundation Centre (EFC), and Grupo de Institutos Fundações e Empresas (GIFE).

Roundtable participants will explore ideas and innovative practices to help implement the New Urban Agenda and will analyze linkages with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement. They will also discuss strategies for funding development. Leaders of the philanthropic sector will exchange ideas and explain why the sector should support the New Urban Agenda as well as how the sector can be more effective and support a variety of innovative tools, processes, and initiatives. The focus will be on practical applications, monitoring, and implementation.

Also on the agenda for October 19th is the Networking Event: “Meaningful Innovation: urban transformation to build more equitable Latin American cities”.

This event is supported by Avina as well as Fundación Alfredo Zolezzi, CAF Latin American Development Bank, Social Progress Imperative, and World Transforming Technologies (WTT), all of which are participants in the Plataforma de Innovación con Sentido (Meaningful Innovation Platform).

Meaningful Innovation is a process combining social innovation with technological and business innovations to accelerate and bring systemic changes to scale. The convergence of social, technological, and business innovations will increase efficiencies in terms of the goals established under the new urban agenda espoused by the United Nations conference on housing and sustainable urban development, especially among the most vulnerable populations.

The effective transformation of Latin America toward a more inclusive, sustainable, and equitable region cannot be achieved by a disjointed society. Rather this process requires impacts that will reach millions of people and empower public-private alliances.

Another area in which Avina will be present is the Habitat Village at “The Edible City: Bioculture and productive public spaces in La Mariscal”. Fundación ALDEA (Asociación Latinoaméricana para el Desarrollo Alternativo) will also participate. The objective is to improve quality of life, social cohesion, and appropriation of public spaces in La Mariscal through urban agriculture and communal spaces for food production to promote healthy eating as well as combat climate change.

The edible city will establish fixed gardens with plants providing the nutrition, vitamins, and minerals people need daily and implement self-watering mobil gardens with resistant plants that will adapt to the stresses of travel.

At the same time, the area will include vertical cultivation in dedicated spaces serving residences in the La Mariscal area and an easy-to-use “rocket stove” for public demonstrations and tastings using products grown in urban gardens.

These activities will take place at the Edificio Gabriela Mistral, Parque Gabriela Mistral and Public Areas. Mobile gardens can be found on the following streets: Juan Rodríguez, Lizardo García y Rodrigo de Triana, Santa María and/or Enrique Gangotena next to the Juguetón (play area).

Avina will also participate in the “Creating Neighborhoods: Returning Public Spaces to Residents” meeting with Colectivo Urbano Itinerante (CUI), a participatory project run by residents for residents. In a situation where public space has lost its role as a place for social cohesion, it is necessary to the rethink and reestablish the city’s foundation as one of free and open spaces where human relationships become the basis of urban identity.

Visitors can learn more about this initiative at the Sub circuito La Colón (La Mariscal), subsectors Gabriela Mistral, La Pinta, La Pradera.

In addition, Avina will participate in “Block by Block: Micro-intervention, Pop-Up Space for Public Participation” together with UN-Habitat to mobilize a chosen public space to encourage dialogue among citizens about possible ways to improve the city, their neighborhood, and their street(s). The project proposes to include ­conferences, workshops, and meetings among urban development specialists and interested pedestrians to create opportunities to analyze sustainable developme­nt in the city.

Habitat III is the first United Nations global summit subsequent to approval of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. The summit seeks to renew political commitment to sustainable urban development, evaluate achievements to date, and identify new and emerging challenges. This is a unique opportunity for all social, political, and economic actors to develop planning and management for sustainable development in urban areas and in general.

Fundación Avina, a Latin American foundation created in 1994, focuses on producing large-scale changes for sustainable development through building collaborative processes among actors in diverse sectors to positively impact the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Avina has identified, incubated, and supported collaborative spaces, institutions, and initiatives through seeking the best opportunities for systemic change, future technologies, innovative social initiatives, and new business models.

In more than 20 years of collaborative processes, these positive impacts have reached: 35 million Latin Americans now living in cities managed with goals for sustainability and citizen participation; 12 million Mexican migrants who have increased voting rights in the United States; 3 million Latin Americans with secure access to drinking water through democratic resource management; 15 million recyclers in Buenos Aires and Bogota who have been formally included in trash collection systems with both compensation for services and social benefits.

For more information about these events, contact:

“Reciclaje Inclusivo: un nuevo paradigma para el manejo sustentable de los desechos sólidos en las ciudades” (Inclusive recycling: a new paradigm for sustainable urban solid waste management): pablo.banos@avina.net

“Innovación y colaboración: el rol de la filantropía en la Nueva Agenda Urbana” (Innovation and collaboration: the role of philanthropy in the New Urban Agenda): oscar.fergutz@avina.net

“Innovación con Sentido, transformaciones urbanas para la construcción de ciudades más equitativas en América Latina” (Meaningful Innovation: urban transformation to build more equitable cities in Latin America” : marcela.mondino@avina.net

Habitat Village: pedro.carrasco@avina.net


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