United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
Call for Expressions: Regional Urban Living Lab Centre for Asia

Introduction / Background
The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development. In line with the New Urban Agenda, among other things, UN-Habitat seeks to assist cities in implementing low-carbon solutions in the sectors of mobility, resources and energy. It does so by facilitating policy dialogue, through sharing good examples and by providing technical assistance for the development and implementation of field projects that demonstrate the principles of such low-carbon, smart solutions.

With support from the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), UN-Habitat in collaboration with Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy and UN Environment are implementing the “URBAN PATHWAYS – Supporting Low Carbon Plans for Urban Basic Services in the context of the New Urban Agenda”. The project aims action to deliver on the combined aims and ambitions of the UN’s New Urban Agenda, Sustainable Development Goals, and the Paris agreement – making a direct contribution by focusing on implementation programmes in the area of energy, waste management, and transportation. More information on the project can be seen at:

Under the Urban Pathways partnership,  an Urban Living Lab Centre has been initiated by  the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Technical University of Berlin (TUB), and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, Energy (WI), providing a framework for collaboration among implementation-oriented projects in the field of urban climate action. This Centre also builds on partnerships of other international cooperation projects with transformative potential in key urban sectors, such as the EU funded SOLUTIONSplus (Horizon 2020), Smart Energy Solutions for Africa - SESA (Horizon 2020), and the upcoming IKI supported ACCESS project (commencing in 2023).

In the context of the Urban Living Lab Centre, knowledge, network and outreach partners will be actively supported to co-develop training formats for local authorities, planners, practitioners and entrepreneurs. This will aim to build local policy and planning capacities, improve the ability of local authorities to access funding and financing mechanisms and support the take-up of innovative business models by companies and start-ups in the partner regions.

A key activity for the Urban Living Lab Centre is the development of course curricula for low carbon development in four thematic areas (urban development, energy, mobility and digitalisation) in collaboration with regional hubs. Curricula for different educational stages will be co-developed, focusing on occupations with a high relevance for climate change mitigation and sustainable development. The Center will host the global online learning programme and the joint capacity building toolbox.

Proposed Project: Establish Regional Hubs for Urban Living Labs in Asia for policy dialogue, city exchange, knowledge and skills distribution, and testing of low-carbon urban solutions with a focus on urban energy and e-mobility

Regional Hubs will be developed for Asia to engage in policy development, city exchange, capacity building and innovation support at the regional and local level. The hubs shall be hosted at a partner university or other non-profit knowledge and network institution in Asia, which is involved in low carbon urban development in the Asian Region.

The proposed collaboration will entail:

  • Develop National Low-Carbon Urban Action Plans for the Asia Region with a focus on Vietnam and India (around the topics of urban mobility, energy and solid waste management)
  • Engage in Policy Dialogue with the National and Local Governments in Asia, formulating recommendations on how to support the uptake of low-carbon urban solutions
  • Facilitate in-country and regional city-to-city exchange on the topic of low-carbon action plans for cities
  • Develop context-specific online learning, short courses and on-site trainings, webinars, lectures, and courses for practitioners in public and private sector as well as academic research focusing on policy, finance and innovation around low carbon urban development
  • Facilitate blended learning activities and in-person capacity building tailored for Asia
  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder engagement and foster partnerships to create synergies of ongoing pilot projects in the city/region

The EOI should contain, but not be limited to the following:

  • A concept note including background information and approach that will be applied to develop and implement the Regional Hub.
  • The number and details of researchers/ students that the universities / institutions can dedicate for this collaboration.
  • The support/ contribution the organizations are willing to make including, cash and in kind; (contribution in terms of scholarships for student researchers staff time, office space and equipment and other support in cash and in-kind should be expressed in monetary terms)
  • Detailed breakdown of cost by component; (items of the collaboration outlined above)
  • Governance and organizational structure; experience and qualifications of key professional staff and infrastructure facilities of the organizations;
  • Certified true copy of original Audited Account Statement for the last two years (of the lead submitter).; and
  • Annual report (of the lead submitter).
  • UN-Habitat Contribution

Upon selection UN-Habitat will enter into an Agreements of Cooperation with up to two selected entities in Asia. UN-Habitat will contribute financial resources to the tune of a maximum of US$40,000 towards the Agreements of Cooperation.

  • Overall Timeframe

The work outlined in this EOI is scheduled to commence in May 2022 and be completed by 30 September 2022.

  • Submission Requirements and Guidelines

Expression of Interest must be delivered by email no later than 20 May 2022 to with the reference “EOI-20-05-2022” in the subject of your email. Failure to indicate the reference may result in your proposal not being considered.

  • Contact Information

Kennedy Kamau
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya
Tel: 254-20-7625064

  • Other

Please note that this EOI notice does not constitute a solicitation. UN-Habitat reserves the right to change or cancel this requirement at any time in the Expressions of Interest/or solicitation process.

Submitting a reply to an EOI does not guarantee that a Cooperation Partner will be considered for receipt of the solicitation when issued and only Cooperation Partners who are deemed qualified by UN-Habitat upon completion of evaluation of submission, will receive the final solicitation document.