Urban Themes



Although needed for sound urban development, legal systems are among the major impediments preventing urban innovation. Read more about challenges relating to urban legislation and UN-Habitat's initiatives in that domain.


Despite the increasing level of urban mobility worldwide, access to places has become increasingly difficult, and dependency on cars and other motorized transport is growing. Read more about today's mobility challenges and how UN-Habitat is addressing them.

Housing & slum upgrading

Today, 24% of the world's urban population lives in slums, and by 2030, about 3 billion people will be in need of proper housing. Find out more about what UN-Habitat is doing to overcome the housing challenges.


60% of all urban residents in developing countries have been victims of crime at least once over the past five years. Read more about safety in urban areas and about how UN-Habitat is addressing this challenge.

Climate Change

Cities are not only one of the main causes of climate change but are also heavily vulnerable to the consequences. Find out more about why and how cities should address climate change, and how UN-Habitat can help.


Despite the many opportunities offered by cities, women and men do not benefit equally from urbanization, with women generally being more vulnerable and excluded. Read more about UN-Habitat's initiatives addressing gender issues.

Planning & Design

Rapid urbanization in the developing world and current car-centred cities are bringing about many challenges in the spatial distribution of people and resources. Learn more about how smart urban planning and design can enhance our cities.


Cities are the main creators of economic wealth, generating on average 75 per cent of a country’s GDP. Find out more about the urban economic challenges ranging from employment to municipal finance, as well as UN-Habitat's initiatives regarding urban economy.


The world has witnessed an increasing series of disasters which have resulted in the dramatic loss of human life, and the destruction of homes and infrastructure. Learn more about UN-Habitat's reconstruction work and solutions.


Many urban residents are highly vulnerable to natural disasters such as earthquakes, storm surges and tsunamis. Read more about the current and future challenges and the ways to improve the resilience of our cities.

Human rights

Human Rights, including the rights to adequate housing and safe water and sanitation are contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international human rights instruments, including  the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights which have been ratified by most UN Member States. These rights, once so endorsed, do not have a […]

Water & Sanitation

Challenges related to water and sanitation in cities will magnify in the future due to an ever growing urban population. Find out more about the challenges and the ways to address them, as well as UN-Habitat's solutions.


By 2030, as many as 60% of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18. Find out more about youth and the challenges they are facing, as well as UN-Habitat's initiatives and solutions for the younger generation.


Energy is needed for urban development, but current reliance on fossil fuels brings up a number of challenges such as pollution and depletion of resources. UN-Habitat therefore helps cities to develop sustainable energy action plans.
Associated Materials

GIS Handbook for...

This handbook serves as an introductory guide to geographic information

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规划的地位至关重要。全球城镇化正在迅速推 进,到2050年,每十个人中将有七个人居住在 城市。规划政策、方案和设计不当导致了人群 和活动空间分布的不合理,贫民窟蔓延,交通 拥堵,穷人难以享受基本公共服务,自然环境 恶化,社会不公和隔离。

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Urban Lab calls for multi-stakeholder approach to urbanization in Caribbean_1

Urban Lab calls for...

Suriname, 29 April 2016 – Participants at a recent workshop

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Barcelona meeting group meeting discuses gender and post-conflict

Barcelona meeting...

Barcelona, 27 April 2016 – An Expert Group Meeting (EGM),

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