UK Government & UN-Habitat partner to promote impact-oriented urban projects

Investing in sustainable urbanization across the world: UK Government and UN-Habitat reaffirm their partnership to promote impact-oriented urban projects for shared prosperity and global learning.

Nairobi, 6 November 2019 - During the recent seventh Asia-Pacific Urban Forum in Penang, Malaysia, UN-Habitat and the Government of the United Kingdom (UK) reaffirmed their strategic partnership to promote inclusive and sustainable urbanization. The UK Prosperity Fund Global Future Cities Programme, over 80 million British pounds in investment across two phases, is both exciting and necessary. The Programme will develop transformative urban projects across 19 cities around the world in Brazil, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. It will provide further evidence and insights into how emerging economy cities can leverage inclusive urban planning, mobility and resilience approaches to generate better impacts that truly leave no-one behind. Additionally, through training provided, key city leaders, managers and other stakeholders will be better prepared and skilled to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. Lessons learnt will be gathered and shared on the New Urban Agenda (NUA) knowledge management platform to be launched during the World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi in February 2020.

During Phase 1 (May 2018 - September 2019), led by UN-Habitat, 30 urban projects addressing key challenges in each city, were identified and endorsed through a participatory process involving city authorities, private sector, NGO’s, academia and citizen groups. Now in Phase 2 (September 2019 - March 2022), the key projects identified under the banner of the Global Future Cities Programme will be further developed into plans and strategies by selected partners from the private sector. UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab will be the strategic urban adviser to the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office of this Implementation Phase and will be supported by the UK Built Environment Advisory Group.

Crossing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Crossing in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

The seventh Asia-Pacific Forum was a great opportunity to kick-off the Programme in the 9 cities in the Asia region. The British High Commissioner to Malaysia (H.E. Charles Hay), the Executive Director of UN-Habitat (Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif), and the Director for UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Mr. Atsushi Koresawa) announced the partnership and opened the UK FCO’s Urban Innovation Session. The session presented cases from Yangon, Bandung, Ho Chi Minh City and Iskandar addressing inclusive use of data and frontier technologies in urban planning, mobility and resilience; innovation through processes and partnerships. Synergies with other programmes and initiatives in the region were explored with over 70 attendees to build a wider network to support the implementation, replication and scalability of the urban projects. 

UN-Habitat welcomes the support and vision of the UK Government on this global inclusive and sustainable urban development programme and looks forward to the impacts and lessons that emerge from each of the projects.

For more information about UN-Habitat’s inclusive urban planning approaches and tools:

For further information on the UK Prosperity Fund Global Future Cities Programme: