Towards inclusive and sustainable cities

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (April 29, 2015) — Housing is the key element to building more prosperous, sustainable and inclusive cities, since houses occupy more than 70 percent of urban areas in Latin America and it is a region that lacks more than 100 million of decent homes.

This is one of the premises under which senior representatives from the public, private and civil society sectors will meet at the Latin American and Caribbean Forum on Adequate Housing, to be held in Monterrey, Mexico, May 6-8.

Co-organized by , the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Federation of the Red Cross, UN-Habitat, Habitat International Coalition and Cities Alliances, the Forum aims to become a space for dialogue and building a regional agenda on adequate housing and human settlements.

This forum is also one of the preparatory events ahead of the UN Conference on Sustainable Housing and Urban Development, , to be held in Ecuador in October 2016.

“This forum is important because it will focus on housing as the element that structures cities and determines whether they are sustainable, inclusive, equitable and prosperous”, said Monica Ramirez, director of Housing and Human Settlements, Habitat for Humanity Latin America and the Caribbean.

“We recognize that neither the government nor the private sector nor social organizations have the solution by themselves. There must be a joint effort to create sustainable cities. That is Habitat III’s big question and towards which we should aim: how to make the houses and neighborhoods we build or improve contribute to more compact cities, with better quality of life”, she added.

The following topics will be addressed during the Forum: Land, housing and territory; Housing and resilient communities; Housing and healthy, inclusive and sustainable settlements; and Models of financing and market development.

Housing Ministers and officials from Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Mexico have confirmed participation; they will debate among mayors, leaders from the private, social sectors and academia, and experts from UN Habitat, CEPAL, IDB, Cities Alliance, Lincoln Land Institute and the World Bank among others.

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About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that safe and affordable housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and offers a variety of housing support services that enable families with limited means to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer, visit