Third Expert Meeting Tehran Declaration (30 November 2015)

Third Expert Meeting of the Regional Slum Upgrading Working Group (RSUWG)

Slum Upgrading: Bridging the Gap between Policy and Practice

28 November~1 December 2015


We, the participants of the Third Expert Meeting of the Regional Slum Upgrading Working Group of the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) held in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran, on 28 November~1 December 2015, to share information and experiences on challenges in slums upgrading and to explore opportunities of housing and urbanization in Asia and Pacific Region in accordance with the stipulations of the Seoul Implementation Plan adopted in 2014 by the 5th APMCHUD,

Expressing our sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran, specifically the Urban Renovation and Upgrading Corporation, Ministry of Roads and Urban Development, as the Secretariat for the Regional Slum Upgrading Working Group (RSUWG) for the organization of this Expert Meeting and our gratitude to the people of Iran for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to us throughout our stay;

Also expressing our sincere thanks to India, Iraq, Republic of Korea and Republic of Indonesia for providing excellent leadership and successfully chairing the sessions of this Expert Meeting;

Appreciating the presentations by Thailand, India, Iraq, Republic of Korea, Republic of Indonesia, Islamic Republic of Iran and UN-Habitat delivered in line with the Expert Meeting themes;

Conveying our gratitude to UN-Habitat, in particular its Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme and UN-Habitat Office in Tehran for their support provided to the RSUWG Expert Meeting;

Expressing our appreciation for the continued support by the Government of India as the host of the APMCHUD Permanent Secretariat for their assistance in organizing this Expert Meeting;

Cognizant of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially Goal 11 which requires: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” and targets 11.1 and 11.3;

Aspiring that the recommendations of this Expert Meeting, presented herewith, to be included in the APMCHUD contributions to the consultation process of the forthcoming Habitat III Conference, its PrepCom Meetings and the resulting New Urban Agenda;

Taking into account our deliberations, the participants in this Expert Meeting hereby recapitulate:

Best practices documentation

  1. The participants took note of the commendable works presented by Thailand about the City-wide Slum Upgrading by Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI), by India on the community participation in slum improvement/upgradation processes, by Republic of Korea on the best practices of urban regeneration for declined neighbourhood, and the Islamic Republic of Iran on documenting best practices;
  2. To implement an effective urban regeneration policy, the participants lay emphasis on the importance of creating incentives for community participation, establishing flexible, adaptable and innovative funding mechanisms, consultation and engagement with communities/community-based organizations for community–led development, paying attention to the role of women, and making communities and cities child-friendly and peaceful;
  3. Participants also appreciated the importance of adapting and scaling-up successful practices by maintaining quality, drawing on the rich knowledge and experiences available in the Region;
  4. The participants invite all APMCHUD member states to work towards establishing an award for successful practices undertaken in the Asia Pacific Region and sharing them, through broad-based consultation on documentation methodology and selection criteria reflecting the diversity of this Region;

Slum identification Indicators (SIIs)

  1. The participants took into account the extent and rapid growth of slums in Iraq and the road map developed by the Government of Iraq to address this challenge, as well as the National Strategy Documents adopted by the Government of Islamic Republic of Iran for empowering informal settlements and undertaking urban regeneration;
  2. Taking into consideration the studies presented by Islamic Republic of Iran regarding the Slum Identification Indicators (SIIs), the participants underscore the need for identifying a limited set of general indicators, applicable to a wide range of countries with an uncomplicated cost-effective data collection methodology, reflecting specificity of location and time;
  3. The participants in this Expert Meeting invite all APMCHUD member countries, as well as UN-Habitat and research institutions to contribute to this exercise by sharing their experiences in developing and collecting data for slum identification indicators, in particular indicators produced by community, and their application to national/local development policies;

Virtual Scientific Committee (VSC)

  1. The participants took note of the presentation delivered by Republic of Korea on the evolution of urban regeneration policies in this country, as well as the presentation of the RSUWG Secretariat on the Virtual Scientific Committee;
  2. The participants noted with pleasure, the links already established between the VSC, APMCHUD and UN-Habitat online platforms and emphasize the need for furthering such linkages as a cost-effective vehicle for constructive international, regional and sub-regional collaboration and dialogue, in particular by online/offline sharing of their information, knowledge and experience;
  3. The participants invite all APMCHUD member states to vigorously participate in this VSC by encouraging their public agencies, private sector, academia, non-governmental organizations and local communities to share their knowledge and experiences in its consultation processes via this online platform;

Slum upgrading indicators (SUIs)

  1. The participants took into consideration the presentation by Islamic Republic of Iran on the methodology for developing Slum Upgrading Indicators (SUIs) as an initial, but significant, step towards elaborating a set of indicators applicable to a wide range of countries and a credible calculation methodology, bearing in mind the rich diversity in the conditions of countries in the Asia Pacific Region;
  2. The participants invite all APMCHUD member states to contribute to the development of SUIs by sharing their experiences and knowledge in this area through the Virtual Scientific Committee of RSUWG;
  3. The participants in this Expert Meeting request UN-Habitat PSUP to contribute to this exercise by sharing their experience in developing SUIs and their application to national/local development policies.

Issues for further consideration

  1. Considering the increase in global natural and man-made disasters, in which slums are most affected, the participants call on APMCHUD member states to give priority for urban regeneration programmes in their national policies and programmes to make vulnerable cities and communities more resilient.
  2. The participants call on APMCHUD member states to participate in the SIIs and SUIs development with due regard for their specific problems, and note with appreciation the fact that Tabriz City, Islamic Republic of Iran volunteers to engage in this exercise as a pilot city.
  3. The participants express their gratitude to International agencies, in particular UN-Habitat for strengthening South-South cooperation mechanisms to stimulate mutual learning and call on all partners to further elaborate this effort.
  4. In the context of large cities having substantive slums population including children, it is necessary that efforts are made to promote peace in community through advocacy and related measures.
  5. Strengthening the support to UN-Habitat in the provision of global lessons learned, case studies, tools and methodologies as well as the collection of slum identification and slum upgrading indicators should also be considered.

Adopted at Tehran on 30th November 2015

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