The right to the city is the individual and collective right of all residents of a city/town/village to an equal share of its benefits and to participate in its development. It is not to be viewed as a new legalistic right, but merely as an articulation to consolidate the demand for the realisation of multiple human rights. It includes, inter alia, the human rights to:
The concept of the right to the city is a means to combat the exclusionary development, selective benefit sharing, marginalisation, and discrimination rampant in cities today.
The implementation of the right to the city needs to be grounded in the basic human rights principles of: non-discrimination; indivisibility of human rights; gender equality; progressive realisation; non-retrogression, subsidiarity; solidarity; and, cooperation. It emphasises priority attention to persons and groups in situations of vulnerability, including the homeless/landless, children, persons with disabilities, religious and sexual minorities, older persons, informal sector workers, Dalits/members of Scheduled Castes, indigenous and tribal peoples, persons from economically weaker sections, single women, and women-headed households, among others. It also stresses responsibility and sustainability as core principles.
The adoption and implementation of strong human rights - based approach is the only way to preserve and uphold the dignity of all residents of the city, and to address the multiple violations and problems being faced by millions in cities across the world today.