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 the regional hubs and thematic 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 City and Regional Hubs (Africa, Latin America, Asia) for policy dialogue, city exchange, knowledge and skills distribution, testing of low-carbon urban solutions, and project implementation:

City and Regional hubs will be developed for Asia, Africa and Latin America and they will be one of the two main pillars (next to the thematic hubs) to engage in policy, planning, capacity building and innovation support at the local level. These hubs shall be hosted at partner universities or other non-profit knowledge and network institutions in living lab cities, which are involved in low carbon urban development. The following hubs shall be created:

  • Africa Regional Hub with a focus on Kenya
  • Asia Regional Hub with a focus on India and Vietnam
  • Latin America Regional Hub with a focus on Brazil and Ecuador


The proposed collaboration will entail:

  • Engage in Policy Dialogue with the National and Local Governments, formulating recommendations on how to support the uptake of low-carbon urban solutions (National low-carbon urban action plans).
  • 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 each region.
  • Collaborate with the Thematic Hubs and contribute to the development of research and case studies.
  • Explore opportunities for students from collaborating universities of other Hubs to be included in living lab project activities through internships, class assignments, and research projects.
  • Explore opportunities for student and visiting scholar exchanges from collaborating universities.
  • Exchange published scholarly materials and scientific publications related to the subject matter of the cooperation.
  • Support, monitor and/or document the implementation of the living labs being implemented in the city. 
  • Assess the scale-up possibilities of the pilots being implemented. 
  • 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:

  1. A concept note including background information and approach that will be applied to develop and implement the Regional Hub.
  2. The number and details of researchers/ students that the universities / institutions can dedicate for this collaboration.
  3. 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)
  4. Detailed breakdown of cost by component; (items of the collaboration outlined above)
  5. Governance and organizational structure; experience and qualifications of key professional staff and infrastructure facilities of the organizations;
  6. Certified true copy of original Audited Account Statement for the last two years (of the lead submitter).; and
  7. Annual report (of the lead submitter).


  1. UN-Habitat Contribution

Upon selection UN-Habitat will enter into up to 4 Agreements of Cooperation with selected entities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. For each, UN-Habitat will contribute financial resources to the tune of a maximum of US$60,000 towards this Agreement of Cooperation.


  1. Overall Timeframe

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


  1. Submission Requirements and Guidelines

Expression of Interest must be delivered in electronic format no later than 04 April 2022 to  copying


  1. Contact Information

Kennedy Kamau

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

P.O. Box 30030, Nairobi, Kenya

Tel: 254-20-7625064


  1. 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.