The challenge


  • By 2050 approximately two thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, bringing a distinct set of challenges and opportunities to the area of urban development.
  • The challenges of rapid urbanization include growing vulnerability to climate change, spatial inequalities, pressures of migration and conflict, and difficulties to promote inclusive prosperity and economic development.


To address the multifaceted challenges of urbanization and make the most of the ‘urban advantage’, UN-Habitat’s urban planning and design work creates spatial strategies and plans, alongside inclusive processes that consider human rights, gender, age and other identity categories, that enable urban managers and other stakeholders set a proactive framework for sustainable urbanization in both developed and developing country contexts. This is achieved by adopting:

  1. an integrative approach to urban planning and employing a variety of people-centered tools and methodologies - such as participatory planning, frontier technology implementation, international collaboration and cross-sectoral partnerships and
  2.  focusing urban planning efforts on key elements that can leverage the urban advantage for many - such as prioritizing public space within a framework of urban density, mixed land use and social mix, equitable access to land and tenure security and the integration of the formal and informal spaces and systems.

Through these approaches, UN-Habitat supports stakeholders to create safe, inclusive, and resilient cities.


urban plans and strategies developed
professionals, decision-makers and other stakeholders engaged
We worked with
cities across 24 countries

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