The world’s urban population is growing rapidly and Libya is no exception. Urbanization rates in Libya have risen steadily, from 49 percent in 1970 to 79 percent in 2016. Today about 85% of the total population live in urban areas in major cities including Tripoli the capital of Libya, Benghazi, Misrata and Bayda.

The country extends over 1,759,540 km2 where more than 90% of the total land area is desert or semi-desert. Combined with the projected increase in population, this will result in a number of major challenges in the country including the provision of adequate housing, food, clean drinking water, job opportunities, health care, education, and transportation.

Urban management and legislation is one of the key pillars of sustainable urban development. Over the past four decades, the issue of housing represented one of the most complex problems facing the Libyan state. Libya could not succeed in the formulation of a clear and specific housing policy that takes into consideration the social, economic and environmental dimensions to meet the requirements of citizens of different living conditions.

Although the Government has tried to address the problem of the adequate and affordable housing to the nations over the past 25 years, the progress is slow, and the problem of "informal settlements" is still growing.

There are more than 50 pieces of legislations, guidelines, rules, and regulations on land, building, environment and workers' safety. All these laws, policies and regulations are different from state to state, local councils, and governmental agencies.

For this, appropriate policies and strategies should be put in place to manage the accelerated pace of urban growth.

In this context, UN Habitat Libya Programme will support the Urban Planning Agency in launching the National Housing Policy, establishment of the Housing Observatory, and implementing a capacity building Programme.

 

Key Partners

 

Government       Ministry of Planning Urban Planning Agency Bureau of Statistic and Census

Local authorities Municipality of Sirte Municipality of Benghazi Municipality of Janzour Municipality of Ubari Municipality of Al Kufra

UN Agencies      UNFPA UNHCR UNDP

 

Overview

Since 1979, UN-Habitat has been supporting the Urban Planning Agency Planning in Libya, on the issues of spatial planning. This included providing institutional support and capacity development since 2002 for the development of a national policy for spatial planning (2006 to 2030) and a large number of regional and sub-regional plans, as well as the basic designs of cities, towns and villages. UN Habitats capacity building support included strengthening the capacity of staff in areas of urban planning and geographic information systems as needed for urban recovery planning.

Overview
Population (2018)
6.471 billion
Total value of projects
US$ 23,049,434
No. of projects (2014 - 2019)
Total: 8

Urbanization rates in Libya have risen steadily, from 49% in 1970 to 79% in 2016. Today about 85% of the total population live in urban areas in major cities including Tripoli the capital of Libya, Benghazi, Misrata and Bayda.

The projected increase in urban population, combined with the damage that has resulted from the conflict, have resulted in a number of major challenges in the country including the provision of adequate housing, food, clean drinking water, job opportunities, health care, education, and transportation. After 2011, the growth of informal settlements caused additional pressure on public utility networks and services

Urban management and legislation is one of the key pillars of sustainable urban development. Over the past four decades, the issue of housing represented one of the most complex problems facing the Libyan state aggravated by conflict and political instability. Libya could not succeed in the formulation of a clear and specific housing policy that takes into consideration the social, economic and environmental dimensions to meet the requirements of citizens of different living conditions.

Impact
6 City Profiles have been developed for the cities of Benghazi, Ubari, al-Kufra, Sabha, Sirte and Janzour and identified neighborhoods in critical need, and key priorities for action in each sector.
18 urban specialists from different branches of Libya’s Urban Planning Agency (UPA) and six municipalities benefited from a training in Geoinformation System (GIS) mapping on urban planning.
Libya Data portal includes for the time being geodatabases and Interactive maps for six Libyan cities. It aims to create a UNCT-wide tool, co-conceived and co-managed with the Libyan Government.
Urban numbers
Out of the 823,000 people in need in Libya, 292,000 people are in need of shelter of which 57 per cent are Libyans and 43 per cent are refugees and migrants. 72,400 people are in need of basic shelter
The fighting has caused extensive damage to critical infrastructure and basic social services. 1/3 of Sirte’s buildings and public facilities destroyed or severely damaged.
The crisis in Libya has negatively impacted access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities and practices. 58 per cent of municipalities depend on water trucking.
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Essam Garbaa (right) and Ambassador of the European Union (left) closing the event Rapid City Profiling and Monitoring System

“The Rapid City Profiling and Monitoring System is a milestone to promote the evidence-based planning at the central and local levels in Libya. It is of high interest to all stakeholders to expand the geographical coverage of such a tool to reach all Libya in the future. In the meanwhile, to sustain the reconstruction and development efforts, capacity building of the concerned parties on the management of the city and population profiles in strategic planning is a priority.”

Essam Garbaa (right), Head of the international Cooperation Office at the Ministry of Planning

Leaving no one and no place behind

Hover over or click the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

The Rapid city profiling conducted by UN-Habitat in 2017-2018 for six Libyan municipalities including the most affected ones by the conflict provide an instrument for monitoring the realization of the full range of human rights within the urban context of the targeted areas.

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Gender disaggregated data were collected and analyzed in the framework of the Rapid City Profiling-Libya to ensure that the needs of women and men are captured.

Besides, capacity building actions organized by UN-Habitat and targeted to Libyan Urban Specialist involve both women and men.

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Capacity building actions organized by UN-Habitat and targeted to Libyan Urban Specialist involve youth from the Urban Planning Agency and the targeted Municipalities’ staff.

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Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

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Donors and partners

UN-Habitat established a strong and strategic partnership in Libya with the Urban Planning Agency since 1979 that aims to strengthen the national and local technical capacities in urban planning and development.

The success of UN Habitat’s work in Libya is also dependent on successful partnerships established in the framework of the Rapid City Profiling initiative, particularly with the Municipalities, the Ministry of Local Government, the Ministry of planning as well as the Bureau of Statistics and census.

Donors

UNFPA
UNDP (incl. one UN fund)
Switzerland
Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
European Commission

Contact

Nada Al Hassan
Chief Technical Advisor-Head of the Office for he Maghreb (Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco)
UN ROAS
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