1. The World Urban Forum

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is the world’s premier conference on urban issues. It is a non-legislative technical forum convened by UN-Habitat since 2002.

The WUF has become one of the most open international gatherings for exchanging views and experiences on urban challenges. The inclusive nature of the WUF, combined with high-level participation, makes it a unique United Nations conference and the foremost global arena for interaction among policymakers, local government leaders, non-government organizations and expert practitioners in the field of sustainable urban development and human settlements.   

The WUF has been held in a different host city and country biennially. The participation in the WUF has significantly increased in the last years with attendees from all over the world.   






Nairobi, Kenya

29 April-3 May 2002



Barcelona, Spain

13-17 September 2004



Vancouver, Canada

19-23 June 2006



Nanjing, China

3-6 November 2008



Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

22-26 March 2010



Naples, Italy

1-7 September 2012



Medellín, Colombia

5-11 April 2014



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

7-13 February 2018



Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

8-13 February 2020



Katowice, Poland

26-20 June 2022



Cairo, Egypt




  1. Participation

Participants at the Forum include, but are not limited to, national, regional and local governments, non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, professionals, research institutions and academies, professionals, private sector, development finance institutions, foundations, media, United Nations organizations and other international agencies.


  1. The Thirteenth Session of The World Urban Forum (WUF13) in 2026

By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to nearly double, making urbanization one of the twenty-first century’s most transformative trends. The WUF aims to gather participants to discuss and readdress the way cities and human settlements are planned, designed, financed, developed, governed and managed in a city that is globally recognized for its innovation and urban solutions in sustainable development. The WUF also explores ways and provides insights and lessons that will promote and contribute to inclusive development in all parts of the world through effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda.


  1. Objective of the Forum

The World Urban Forum has the following objectives:

  • raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders and constituencies, including the general public;
  • improve the collective knowledge of sustainable urban development through inclusive open debates, sharing of lessons learned and the exchange of best practices and good policies;
  • increase coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders and constituencies for the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization; and
  • platform to incorporate the inputs of multilateral organizations and stakeholders into the reporting of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

In addition to the above objectives, the Thirteenth Session of the World Urban Forum will also contribute to the global mobilization advocating for a common vision on sustainable urban development and accelerate implementation of SDGs in the decade of action for achievement of Agenda 2030. 


  1. Bid process and time frame

The closing date for receiving of the Expression of Interest for WUF13 is 1 December 2022. The table below outlines the time frame of important dates for the complete bidding process.




Opening of the Call for Expression of Interest

01 July 2022

Deadline to receive Expression of Interest

1 December 2022 

Provide potential hosts with bidding package and guidelines

30 December 2022

Deadline to receive Bidding Proposals

1 June 2023

Bid evaluation

1 August 2023

Candidates informed of selection results

15 August 2023



Signing of Host Country Agreement and Conference Agreement

December 2023

Announcement of selected WUF13 host/city country at WUF12 with start of preparations



  1. Financial contribution

To host the World Urban Forum a financial contribution is required. The host country for WUF13 is expected to make a minimal contribution of thirteen million US dollars (USD 13,000,000) total cash contribution to UN-Habitat in the period 2024 - 2026. Information on the purpose of the cash contribution to UN-Habitat will be provided as part of the bidding proposal.

Additionally, the host country is required to provide an in-kind contribution of: the venue with its conference facilities; services and requirements for registration and accreditation; security services and equipment according to United Nations security regulations within the city, around and within the venue; interpretation services for the main sessions; operational and logistical needs with respective human resources in the country, city and at the venue.


  1. Expression of interest

A city wishing to express its interest to host the Thirteenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF13) is required to send an official communication (on letterhead and with signature) to the UN-Habitat WUF Unit, addressed to the UN-Habitat Executive Director, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, within the above mentioned deadline to the following e-mail address:

Please note: Any submission which does not meet the criteria, is incomplete, or received after the deadline will not be considered.


**WUF8 in 2016 was not called for by UN-Habitat, as it would have coincided with the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development - Habitat III in October 2016. A stakeholders Forum was organized in the margins of the Conference in Quito with similar structure to the World Urban Forum.