Nairobi and Amsterdam, 22 October – As Arcadis NV and UN-Habitat celebrate the ten-year anniversary of their partnership, the leadership of both organizations has made a firm commitment to continue their successful alliance.

The UN-Habitat Executive Director Maimunah Mohd Sharif and Peter Oosterveer, Chief Executive Officer of Arcadis NV made the commitment during a virtual ‘Urban Thinkers Campus’ held on 21 October. The event featured the launch of a new publication by Arcadis on ‘Healthy Pandemic Resilient Cities,’ as well as a discussion with a panel of experts from both organizations.

The Urban Thinkers Campus, which was held during Urban October, was an opportunity for Arcadis and UN-Habitat to sign the renewal of their partnership for another two years. The partnership is aimed at supporting UN-Habitat through pro bono technical expertise on urban infrastructure related projects. The two organizations committed to continue to jointly organize the Shelter Academy. Arcadis also announced its financial support to the World Urban Campaign, an advocacy platform run by UN-Habitat to raise awareness on urban challenges and talk about solutions.

Maimunah Mohd Sharif and Peter Oosterveer explained the importance of pursuing the journey given the urgency of delivering the SDGs, particularly SDG11 to address the challenges of cities and communities. Both agreed that taking action to improve people’s lives through resilient urban infrastructure is critical to address the increasing challenges faced by cities around the world.

Through the Shelter Program, Arcadis has deployed more than 120 missions providing  technical assistance to UN-Habitat projects, especially in post disaster recovery situations. Together, the two organizations have organized and implemented the annual Shelter Academy to train over 80 mayors and other key local officials from more than 60 cities on climate change mitigation and adaptation measures. This has enhanced the capacity and knowledge of local government officials and assisted them to design and implement resilient urban infrastructure through innovative engineering solutions in many countries in Asia-Pacific, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Notable missions include the post-disaster recovery support to Beira, Mozambique; Leogane, Haiti; Tacloban, the Philippines and Nepal.

“We regard these ten years as a model of successful public-private partnerships. Through our combined experience and knowledge, we have been able to significantly impact people’s lives,” said Ms Sharif at the opening of the event.

Arcadis CEO Peter Oosterveer acknowledged the positive impact of the Shelter Program and Shelter Academy on their experts who have seen UN-Habitat projects improving lives for  communities on the ground through housing and critical urban infrastructures projects.

“Our 10-year partnership with UN-Habitat has truly impacted the lives of many. It creates room for our people to apply their skills and expertise to improve the quality of life in urban settings around the world,” said Oosterveer.