Sanandaj Declaration (5 May 2016)


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International Conference on Urban Slums

Sanandaj, 5 May 2016


We, the participants of the International Conference on Urban Slums, which took place between 3-4 May 2016, hosted by the University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Kurdistan Province, Islamic Republic of Iran,

Appreciating the efforts of the Organizers of this Conference, in particular, the University of Kurdistan, and its sponsors, especially Urban Development and Revitalization Corporation (Ministry of Roads and Urban Development), public agencies and NGOs of Kurdistan Province, UN-Habitat Office in Tehran, as well as other partners, for their effective organization, and thanking the people and authorities of Kurdistan Province and Sanandaj City for their warm hospitality;

Aware of the Conference Objectives, namely: sharing views and ideas on regularizing, urban upgrading and sustainable regeneration of slums and informal settlements;

Cognizant of the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals, population growth and concentration in cities, threats caused by Climate Change at global level, and the necessity for realization of a resilient economy and improving urban community resilience throughout Iran;

Expressing hopes that the Recommendations of this Conference will be considered as an adopted national document in deliberations of forthcoming international conferences, in particular, the HabitatIII Conference,

Taking Note of the presentations, deliberations and consultations of this Conference, hereby, declare:


  1. Urban Upgrading and Regeneration is based on the following approaches:
  • Controlling the disaster and urban poverty vicious cycle,
  • Promoting social and spatial justice and alleviation of discrimination;
  • Balance between physical and social aspects in urban upgrading;
  • Advocating innovative and development-oriented concepts;
  • Controlling social disorders with particular attention to the needs of vulnerable groups;
  • The need for good governance;
  • Empowerment and participatory upgrading of urban communities;


  • The need for establishing legal mechanisms for ensuring security of tenure;
  • Revising urban management and planning practices to increase intra- and interagency cooperation; and
  • Integrated planning to preserve integration with the whole city.

Key Policies

  1. The following key policies are important for urban upgrading and regeneration of slums:
  • Equitable access to living opportunities in social, economic and environmental aspects;
  • Constant monitoring and assessment based on appropriate indicators;
  • Establishing institutional arrangements and organizational procedures based on integrated innovative urban planning and management;
  • Establishing an empowered multifunctional multilayered institutional network at neighborhood, city, regional and national level;
  • Establishing and/or capacity-building of community-based organizations in urban slums;
  • Upgrading infrastructure, community development services and developing public spaces;
  • Upgrading and/or renovation of safe affordable housing;
  • Entrepreneurship and employment-generation drawing on environment-friendly technologies within a green economy;
  • Readjustment of urban development rules and regulations to allow for empowerment;
  • Social and peer learning and improving the competency to work with people in public agencies and NGOs;
  • Collaboration between urban upgrading/regeneration and urban development plans;
  • Ensuring adequate public grants and subsidies for public interventions in urban slums; and
  • Enhancing the social dignity of slum residents and preventing the formation of a poverty culture.

Done at Sanandaj on 5 May 2016.

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