The Urban LAB is an initiative from UN-Habitat to respond to the growing demand from cities to find transformative solutions to complex urban challenges. It drives innovative ideas, processes and partnerships to steer tangible and transformative urban solutions that contribute to sustainable urbanization, the achievement of the SDGs and the implementation of the NUA.
Established as an integrative facility, the LAB facilitates collaboration between a multidisciplinary set of partners, stakeholders and experts. It thereby integrates the necessary expertise to develop tangible, catalytic and transformative solutions to complex urban challenges in developed, developing and emerging countries. As an innovation LAB grounded in UN values, it supports cities and Member States to find new pathways for sustainable urbanization.
Taking a holistic and integrative approach, the LAB focuses on a diverse range of topics and themes including the identification of responses to rapid urbanization, urban renewal, urban extension; supporting cities to effectively integrate new technologies and innovation; developing guidelines for strategic planning; addressing the spatial dimension of climate change and resilience; and contributing to embedding the urban and development perspective within the humanitarian and urban crises field.
"Many times we in Mexico are very focused on our local problems, in the historical moment that we are living in. The Urban Planning LAB provides new approaches to our challenges. What we try to do in the Urban Planning LAB is to think, to conceptualize and make plans, but most important to bring the plans on the ground, to make them happen in order to create a better quality of life and to have less differences between social classes for example"
Ernesto Betancourt, Director General for Projects, Construction and Infrastructure of the Public Space Authority of Mexico City
Related Sustainable Development Goals
Donors and partners
The LAB develops tailored partnerships for the definition and implementation of multi-scalar projects and programmes. Through participatory approaches, the LAB facilitates integration across institutional departments, different levels of government and civil society. The LAB connects governments with a diverse range of partners relevant to the different phases of the project cycle to develop tangible, realistic and impactful projects and programmes. By linking multilateral banks and financiers to transformative and feasible projects, financing mechanisms are identified that support implementation. The active building of partnerships between different experts, professionals, knowledge and academic partners, allows the LAB to provide suitable, evidence-based technical assistance and support to governments.