This century will see a substantial majority of the world’s population living in urban centres. It is now estimated that 54.5% of people live in urban areas. The Habitat III conference was the first Habitat conference to take place a t a point i n history wher e majority of the world's population is urban. This made Habitat III even more pressing, from the scale of global governance to that of the individual.
The Habitat III Conference therefore had, as its mission, the adoption of a New Urban Agenda—an action-oriented document which will set global standards of achievement in sustainable urban development, rethinking the way we build, manage, and live in cities through drawing together cooperation with committed partners, relevant stakeholders, and urban actors at all levels of government as well as the private sector.
The New Urban Agenda was adopted at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, known as Habitat III, which will be held in Quito, Ecuador from 17-20 October 2016. The first Habitat conference was in Vancouver in 1976, and Habitat II followed 20 years later in 1996, in Istanbul. The bi-decennial format allows for the long-range implementation and impact of the conferences to unfold, and be assessed, in a realistic timeframe.