Good water management is vital if Latin American cities are to achieve their potential. Apart from affecting the health of the most vulnerable, water scarcity reduces their productivity. For this reason, ensuring universal access to water and sanitation has become a priority for Latin American governments in the quest to create more inclusive cities.
The Habitat III United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, to be held in October of this year in Quito, will focus mainly on water and urban sanitation. The conference will culminate in a New Urban Agenda, which will serve as a roadmap for the implementation of an inclusive, sustainable urban development model.
The Regional Meeting for Latin American and Caribbean was held in Toluca, Mexico as part of the Habitat III preparation process. This meeting featured the participation of national and local governments, legislators, the academic community and international organisations, who discussed the challenges and opportunities for cities in the region over the next 20 years. The Regional Meeting gave rise to the Toluca Declaration, a document that reinforces the commitment of countries to overcome these challenges and enables the adoption of a clearer vision on sustainable development in the region.