Nairobi, December 2020 - UN-Habitat’s Urban Planning and Design Lab has brought together years of experience of working on urban planning in areas affected by crises in a new publication aimed at providing specific strategies that can be employed by a variety of practitioners. The publication includes detailed case studies on how UN-Habitat approached urban planning and design support in Haiti, Somalia, Kenya and Bangladesh.
The publication, Urban Planning Responses in Post-Crisis Contexts, takes stock of the lessons and experiences from the Lab’s innovative approaches to post-crisis support during the 2014-2019 period. The Lab provided tailored solutions by working closely within the UN coordinating system and with UN-Habitat regional and country offices to meet the needs of particular contexts.
The publication also bridges the language and concepts of both the urban planning and the humanitarian response communities. It includes information on the increasingly urban nature of crises and the protracted nature of displacement as well as on integrating urban planning as a part of emergency responses.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating existing challenges in post-crisis settings and highlighting many of the vulnerabilities that UN-Habitat’s urban planning work addresses in these contexts – making the approaches discussed in this publication especially timely,” said Shipra Narang Suri, Chief of UN-Habitat’s Urban Practices Branch. “The same is true of the effects of climate change, which continue to compound existing crises. These have raised awareness of the crucial role of urban planning in responding to and mitigating crises.”
The publication outlines strategies for effective planning support and tools namely: putting special emphasis on the planning process; using urban planning as a coordinating tool; quickly structuring an orderly settlement of land for effective service delivery and management; setting the area on a trajectory of long-term sustainability; using a principles-based approach; including and consulting to foster social cohesion and ownership; planning within the larger geography; connecting and aligning with the local government perspective and role; identifying and guiding investments strategically and creating the plan as a management tool for actors and local governments.
It further explores how the Lab supports settlement profiling, participatory decision making and institutional capacity building, which the Lab has found to be the most useful typologies of support in post-crisis contexts.