Since 2016 UN-Habitat has supported the government of Argentina in the implementation of the global agendas, #2030Agenda and the #NewUrbanAgenda. UN-Habitat’s technical assistance has helped define the National Urban Policy for Argentina, organize the first National Urban Forum, and strengthen the National Urban Observatory. By doing so UN-Habitat has contributed to foster a collaborative and knowledge-based approach towards more inclusive and sustainable cities.

Population (2018)
44.69 million
Total value of projects
US$ 595,000
No. of projects (2014 - 2019)
Total: 1

Argentina is a highly urbanized country. Out of a total estimated population of about 44.500.000 for 2018, more than 92% live in urban areas. However, 47.6% of the country’s urban population is concentrated in only 8 agglomerations with a predominance of the Metropolitan area of Buenos Aires. Due to poor planning, urban growth was disorganized and lead to urban sprawl, low density and often lack of infrastructure.  Around 12.000.000 people live in vulnerable areas.

The way in which cities have developed led to a deficient mobility scheme, strong inequalities regarding land access, and a productivity system that has had important impacts on the natural resources. Although the consequences affect the entire population, they do affect stronger those that are the most in need.

357 participants from 18 provinces and 75 local governments participated in the first National Urban Forum that took place in the Province of Mendoza in June 2017.
Over 70 people, coming from civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, UN agencies and development banks, and the government, took an active part in shaping the National Urban Policy
Urban numbers
The housing deficit reaches 4.100.000 households, where 2.700.000 corresponds to qualitative deficit and 1.300.000 to quantitative deficit (2010).
16% of houses lack drinkable water and 45% sanitary sewer (2016).
17% of the population face lack of tenure security (2016).
Juan Maquieyra, President of the City of Buenos Aires Housing Institute

"The New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals are key frameworks for our work. We, from the Housing Institute of Buenos Aires City (Instituto de la Vivienda de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires - IVC) also understand that integration needs to be approached from multiple dimensions: housing, urban and socio-economics and we work to create equal opportunities for everyone to live in a more integrated City. Rethinking public policy from a new habitat paradigm implies an inclusive administration and planning in pursuit of a common future."

Juan Maquieyra, President of the City of Buenos Aires Housing Institute

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

The prioritisation of human rights addresses the structural causes of inequalities and discrimination in an integrated manner. Urbanisation can only be sustainable if it is human rights based, and living conditions can only be improved for all if everyone’s human rights are comprehensively promoted and protected. UN-Habitat applies the Human-Rights Based Approach to address inequalities and discrimination, reaching the furthest behind first by placing power relationships in human settlements at the heart of its analysis and action.

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In order to promote gender equality, the gender perspective was included in the National Urban Policy for Argentina as part of the community empowerment guidelines. The recommendations include taking a gender perspective in issues related to territorial management and participation, public spaces and access to land and housing.

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Youth, children and older persons, especially those in situations of particular risk of marginalization, such as girl child and female-headed households, are often excluded from access to housing, urban basic services, public spaces and infrastructure, and the overall benefits of urbanization. Young women and men have been a key focus of UN-Habitat’s work. The agency has successfully advocated for the role of youth as leaders in sustainable urban development, recognizing the guiding principle of the SDGs of “leaving no one behind,” and the New Urban Agenda vision of cities for all. 

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Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

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Donors and partners

The success of our work in Argentina relies on successful partnerships, particularly with national authorities. For the last two years UN-Habitat has been involved with the Ministry of Interior, Public Works and Housing. The agency has also developed partnerships with the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. Our work in Argentina led us to interact with multiple actors coming from the Academia, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector, becoming part of a network of active actors pushing the urban agenda and working to foster more sustainable and resilient cities.


Alain Grimard
International Senior Human Settlements Officer - SHSO
Rio de Janeiro/Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (Brazil and Southern Cone)

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