Agenda 21 Opponents Under the Microscope

Writing for Fortune magazine, David Morris examines the influence of the Anti-Agenda 21 movement, especially one of the movement's figureheads, Rosa Koire, who wrote the book "Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21."

2 minute read

June 20, 2014, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Morris's coverage of the Anti-Agenda 21 movement is fairly diplomatic, letting the movement's leaders' words speak for themselves and putting the words like "conspiracy theorists" in the mouths of others.

For an example of Morris's restraint:

"Those who have faced these activists are often mystified by their detection of international influence on local planning, and intensely frustrated by their tone and tactics."


"Agenda 21’s opponents assert direct lines of connection among agencies and governments, with the United Nations at the center. This is what makes talking to Rosa Koire both beguiling and confounding. She’s cogent and detailed as she critiques the elite international influence that has promoted sustainable development through commissions, councils, and nonprofits."

But the irrationality of many of the viewpoints of the movement, as well as the destructive nature of the movement's tactics, is also implied:

  • Koire claims that the master plan behind Agenda 21 is 'to restrict your choices, limit your funds, narrow your freedoms, and take away your voice.' She describes bicycle advocacy groups, 'often dominated by testosterone-laden zealots,' as “the 'shock troops' for this plan."
  • "Rosa Koire defends the tactics that have limited dialogue. 'These public meetings are truly designed to stop people from having an opportunity for input. There are times when the only way to block a thing is to . . . really shut down a meeting.'"

The stakes of the Agenda 21 opposition are fair from resolved. Pending controversies include a suit by Koire against Plan Bay Area, "a set of development guidelines including expanded public transportation and a denser urban core." Moreover, the United Nations is currently considering a new set of sustainable development guidelines, but many nations, including the United States, are balking at the idea of supporting a potentially divisive international platform.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 in Fortune Magazine

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Sketch of proposed city with buildings, trees, and people.

Why Brand New Cities Won’t Solve Our Urban Problems

Building cities takes time and resources. Why not spend them on fixing the ones we have?

39 minutes ago - The Atlantic

Historic brick sugar refinery building redeveloped with glass office tower inside and yellow Domino Sugar sign

Former Brooklyn Sugar Refinery Reopens as All-Electric Office Tower

A historic building was reimagined as a 15-story office tower powered by renewable energy.

1 hour ago - Untapped Cities

Car crash scene with overturned car, emergency vehicles, and firefighter standing at left.

NHTSA: Traffic Fatalities Decline for Fifth Straight Quarter

Traffic deaths were 3.3 percent lower in the first half of 2023 than the same period last year, but not all states saw the same results.

2 hours ago - ABC News

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.