- 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:
- 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
- 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.
News and Stories
“I have often seen appeals by many agencies to address the problems of arid and semi-arid areas. Spatial planning modalities and development of adequate infrastructure is our way of contributing to mitigating such problems and I am sure it will help the people of Kalobeyei, Kenya to move to a better future. The Government of Japan is happy to be part of this noble project. We are also happy and wish to congratulate all those who collaborated to deliver this and we will continue to support you in your endeavours. I am happy to see that UN-Habitat and partners are working hard to see that refugees and the local people work hand in hand.”
Yo Ito, First Secretary of Japan to the Republic of Kenya, Government of Japan at the certification Ceremony for Japanese Innovation Technologies in Kalobeyei New Settlement in Kenya, a settlement for refugees and host communities
Donors and partners
Successful urban planning and design builds on partnerships with and between complex sets of stakeholders. UN-Habitat nurtures ad hoc as well as long-term partnerships with other UN agencies, local and national governments, the private sector, civil society, and funding partners to facilitate collaborative action for urban transformation. Through expert consultation, co-production and participatory processes, we develop global norms and guidelines and trigger innovation. Together with our partners, we build capacity on the job as well as in the form of carefully designed training events and materials and thereby reach both global and local experts and decision-makers.