Wednesday, 15.11.2023 - Thursday, 16.11.2023 - Lusaka, Zambia

Defining a Just City in the Zambian Context

In an effort to engage stakeholders effectively in the Just City working line in Zambia, there is need to define what a Just City is in the Zambian context and to establish its Vision and principles. This will provide an opportunity for deeper understanding of the Just City working line.

Picture by FES Zambia

Picture by FES Zambia

The need to define what a "Just City" is in the Zambian context

Cities are a dominant form of human settlement that significantly contribute to social, economic, political and environmental landscape at local and national levels and influence regional and global development. Cities have emerged as the focus for change and the venue where policies are realized with innovative solutions. They are able to forge new linkages among actors including national governments, the private sector, universities, civil society, and common citizens. To effectively accelerate progress towards achieving the SDGs and sustainable urban development, cities should strive to be inclusive, resilient and environmentally sustainable in their effort to harness the transformative power of urbanization by creating jobs and offering better livelihoods; social inclusion; reducing inequality and poverty ultimately improving living standards and quality of life for all.

The FES Zambia working in partnership with the UN-Habitat conducted a base line research in the four (4) cities namely Chipata, Kitwe, Livingstone and Solwezi the purpose of the study was to establish and synthesize base line information on social justice and urban development conditions and challenges in relation with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 11 and outcome was the Issue paper report “Towards the Just City in Zambia”. In an effort to engage stakeholders effectively in the Just City working line in Zambia, there is need to define what a Just City is in the Zambian context and to establish its Vision and principles. This will provide an opportunity for deeper understanding of the Just City working line. The work for just cities is derived from SDG 11 and the theory of the “Just City” by Susan Fainstein. Several other international and regional covenants contain related goals and values. 

On 15th and 16th November, 2023 key stakeholders met at Palmwood Lodge in Lusaka, Zambia to develop principles and guidelines for the shared task to advance the just cities discourse in Zambia and accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Further, the workshop resolved to create a transformative alliance to achieve the Just City agenda to change the narrative about urbanization and ensure poor urban populations live a dignified life.

The 5 Broad Pillars of the Just City in Zambia

  1. Human Rights, Morality and Ethics: A city where everyone has rights and responsibilities, no one is left behind. Further, a city with high standards of morals and ethics, upholding human rights and offering equitable opportunities for all, without discrimination.
  2. Human Dignity, Social Justice and Gender Sensitivity: A city where “urban invisibles”are well represented and respected. Vulnerable groups such as persons with disabilities, older persons’ and women’s views are considered in decision-making processes and fairness in the process of goods and service delivery. Capacity of local communities are built and mobilized to participate in decision-making.
  3. Patriotism and National Unity: A city where citizens are patriotic and united in national affairs and duties, able to participate in decision-making democratically at national and local government level, stakeholders focusing on alternative policy provision and avoid politicking. Conflicts between interest groups and informal settlers must be resolved civilly and a corrupt free society ensured.
  4. Diversity, Integrity and Accountability: A city where individuals are respected, valued regardless of their socio-economic and political status, the government must be inclusive and pro-poor. Advocacy champions, who can represent the “invisibles” and the “voiceless” should be identified and supported.
  5. Sustainability, Policy Dialogue and Implementation: A city where national resources are well ultilised, existing policies, laws and plans formulated and effectively implemented with well-established mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation to benefit future generations.

Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Zambia Office

6 Nalubutu Road Off Addis Ababa Road,
Plot Number 1346,
P.O. Box 30554,

Rhodespark, Lusaka, Zambia

+260 211 295579
+ 260 211 295615-16
+ 260 211 295591

info(at)fes-zambia.org

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