The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour award was launched in 1989 and is one of the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. It aims to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in the field of human settlements, provision of housing, highlighting the plight of people living in poverty or who have been displaced, developing and improving human settlements and the quality of urban life to leave no one behind echoing the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 with emphasis on Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Call for nominations for the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Awards is now open until 8 August 2021. The winners will be presented with their awards at the Global Observance of World Habitat Day on Monday 4 October 2021.

To nominate a candidate please fill in and submit the online submission form in English. 

Download the PDF version of the outlined Guidelines for the 2021 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award nomination.


Individuals and organizations working on sustainable urban projects which have had great impact in society, can be nominated for the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour.

These include:

  • Government and inter-governmental organizations or agencies, including bilateral aid agencies
  • Local and Regional Governments or their associations
  • Civil society organizations
  • The private sector
  • National Habitat Committees or focal points
  • Research and academic institutions
  • Public or private foundations
  • Multilateral agencies (United Nations Agencies, World Bank, etc.)
  • The media
  • Individuals

Nominations must come from a third party. Examples include: A government can nominate a programme of a ministry, or an institute. An institute can nominate another different institute or different entity like an NGO, or an individual. The head of a university can nominate a professor from a different university, or an institute. A government can nominate a city or an individual. A city can nominate a government representative, programme, project, university, NGO. An individual can nominate an institution or programme as long as the individual is not employed by the institution or project, neither is affiliated in any way to the institution or the project.

Outlining main achievements

One key area in the online form is the ‘Short description of main achievements of the Project, Individual or Organization.’ This section of 800 words should include information on :

1. Background

Substantive information about the organization or individual nominated, including mission, goals, history and duration of experience in the field of human settlements.

2. Description of the initiative or project

Situation or problem addressed, objectives, target beneficiaries, investment in the project in terms of capacity, material and financial resources, activities undertaken, duration of the project, achievements and outputs (provide photographs/evidence of outputs), lessons learnt, best practices from the project.

3. Main partners

List partners and their roles and levels of participation in the planning, design, implementation and funding of the project.

4. Impact

Estimated number of beneficiaries, types of beneficiaries e.g. women, children, people living in poverty, victims of displacements, etc. Impact on beneficiaries’ living conditions e.g. social, economic, environmental, health, education, employment, security of tenure, crime reduction, community involvement in decisions/ governance, etc. Provide quantitative and qualitative values.

5. Sustainability

Describe how the initiative has created lasting change (by enacting new legislation or policy, by promoting capacity building and community empowerment, by strengthening the institutional framework, by enforcing efficiency, accountability and transparency etc.). Indicate how long the positive impact has been sustained so far.

6. Transferability and upscaling

Indicate whether this is a replicable best practice and explain the process of replication where applicable.

7. Innovation

Describe the main innovative aspects of the initiative.

8. Recognition of the initiative

Provide a list of references, articles, publications, media reports about the initiative starting with the most recent ones with URLs of the articles.

The Selection process

After the closing date of 8 August, UN-Habitat will make an initial assessment of the nominations and submissions and verify that the submission conforms to the standards outlined in the guidelines. Qualifying submissions will be sent to the Selection Committee comprising UN-Habitat experts and senior management.

The Selection Committee will choose their winning candidates and make their recommendations to the Executive Director outlining their reasons for the selection of a maximum of five winning initiatives.

UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, based on the recommendations of the Selection Committee, will make the final selection of the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour winners.

The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour nominees will be notified by 31 August 2021 on the outcome of the selection.

The winners will receive their awards during the global celebration of the World Habitat Day observance on 4 October 2021.

Areas of achievement

In selecting the winners for the award, the Selection Committee will look out for best practices initiatives and achievements related to Sustainable Development Goal 11, which consists of 10 targets and 15 related indicators. This could be in the context of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and innovative solutions. In addition, particular attention will be given to achievements related to the World Habitat Day theme “Accelerating urban action for a carbon free world”.

The future of our planet depends on national and local governments, communities and the private sector to join efforts and work as one towards reducing urban greenhouse gas emissions. UN-Habitat plays a crucial role in building inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities, and strengthening the capacity of local governments to create zero-carbon, climate-resilient and socially just cities for all.

Cities are hubs of human creativity and innovation. UN-Habitat seeks to tap into their potential to achieve carbon neutrality. Together, transport, buildings, energy, and waste management account for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions from cities, and their better management is crucial to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, and the Paris Agreement targets by 2050.

Through the World Habitat Day theme UN-Habitat aims to foster the discussion on the state of our urban environments, and explore collaborative pathways for the creation of sustainable, carbon-neutral and inclusive cities and towns.


22 April 2021

Call for nominations opens

8 August 2021

Deadline for submissions

31 August 2021

Winners selected and notified

4 October 2021

UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour awards presented at the Global Observance of World Habitat Day

Terms and Conditions

  • The prize for the winning entry will be awarded to the person or organization named in the submission form but can also be received on their/its behalf by an officially appointed representative.
    • All entries will be available for international exhibition, demonstration, publication and media coverage and UN-Habitat will not be required to seek further permission for any such use.
    • Where the submission of a project is made by someone other than the overall organizer/holder of the copyright,  it is assumed that they have given permission for the submission and the terms indicated in points 1 and 2 above
  • Supporting material as part of the online submission such as media articles (URL) videos (URL) and photographs (JPEG) are highly welcome.
  • Please note that all details with attachments in line with the guidelines for nominations are to be submitted online in English.
  • Submissions in another language than English will be disqualified.
  •  Any submission which does not meet the criteria, is incomplete, or received after the deadline of 8 August 2021 will not be considered.

 In case of questions please contact us at



SDG 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainables.


SDG Target 11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums



11.1.1 Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing


SDG Target 11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons.



11.2.1 Proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


SDG Target 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries



11.3.1 Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate.

11.3.2 Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically


SDG Target 11.4 Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage



11.4.1 Total expenditure (public and private) per capita spent on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by type of heritage (cultural, natural, mixed and World Heritage Centre designation), level of government (national, regional and local/municipal), type of expenditure (operating expenditure/investment) and type of private funding (donations in kind, private non-profit sector and sponsorship).


SDG Target 11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations



11.5.1 Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population

11.5.2 Direct disaster economic loss in relation to global GDP, damage to critical infrastructure and number of disruptions to basic services, attributed to disasters


SDG Target 11.6 By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management



11.6.1 Proportion of urban solid waste regularly collected and with adequate final discharge out of total urban solid waste generated, by cities.

11.6.2 Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g. PM2.5 and PM10) in cities (population weighted).


SDG Target 11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities



11.7.1 Average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, by sex, age and persons with disabilities.

11.7.2 Proportion of persons victim of physical or sexual harassment, by sex, age, disability status and place of occurrence, in the previous 12 months.


SDG Target 11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning.



11.a.1 Proportion of population living in cities that implement urban and regional development plans integrating population projections and resource needs, by size of city


SDG Target 11.b By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.



11.b.1 Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030a.

11.b.2 Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies


SDG Target 11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials.



11. c.1 Proportion of financial support to the least developed countries that is allocated to the construction and retrofitting of sustainable, resilient and resource-efficient buildings utilizing local materials.


Please submit your submission online through the below link