A better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world

OUR VISION

The UN-Habitat’s vision of “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” is bold and ambitious. UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty.

OUR MISSION

UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries to promote transformative change in cities and human settlements through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and collaborative action.

UN-Habitat’s new strategic plan 2020-2023 adopts a more strategic and integrated approach to solving the challenges and opportunities of twenty-first century cities and other human settlements.

Our mission embodies the four main roles of the organization, which can be summarized as: think, do, share and partner.

THINK: UN-Habitat’s normative work, including groundbreaking research and capacity-building, sets standards, proposes norms and principles, shares good practice, monitors global progress and supports formulation of policies related to sustainable cities and human settlements.

DO: UN-Habitat’s operational work takes various forms of technical assistance, drawing on its unique expertise in sustainable urbanization and crisis response. UN-Habitat implements projects to provide value-added and tailored support to countries.

SHARE: Through advocacy, communication and outreach, UN-Habitat mobilizes public, political and financial support and collaborative action to inspire qualitative change in national development plans, policy frameworks, development practice and investment choices for sustainable urban development at the local, national and global level.

PARTNER: UN-Habitat collaborates with governments, intergovernmental, UN agencies, civil society organizations, foundations, academic institutions and the private sector to achieve enduring results in addressing the challenges of urbanization.

A new focus for UN-Habitat

UN-Habitat promotes transformative change in cities and human settlements through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and collaborative action to leave no one and no place behind.
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Reduced spatial inequality and poverty in communities across the urban-rural continuum
Reduced spatial inequality and poverty in communities across the urban-rural continuum
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Enhanced shared prosperity for cities and regions
Enhanced shared prosperity for cities and regions
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Strengthened climate action and improved urban environment
Strengthened climate action and improved urban environment
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Effective urban crises prevention and response
Effective urban crises prevention and response

Sustainable Development Goals

 
 

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With humanity becoming increasingly urban, trends indicate poverty is also becoming increasingly urban. Sustainable urbanization improves the lives of people in human settlements around the world and increases prosperity.

Sustainable urbanization increases food security. The presence of cultivatable land for farming provides food for urban areas and supports agricultural productivity whilst improving the livelihoods of rural populations.

Through integrated urban planning, access to basic services, and access to decent and affordable housing, sustainable cities contribute to better health.

Inclusive and sustainable cities provide better access to education by the urban poor, women and girls. Inclusive and equitable education provides adequate skills for decent jobs and improved living conditions.

Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes nurtures sustainable economies, and helps develop inclusive and sustainable cities.

Effective urban planning and urban waste management systems ensure access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, and improve the quality and sustainability of water resources worldwide.

Access to clean and efficient energy systems is crucial for the development of safe, resilient and sustainable cities, allowing them to grow and perform efficiently while reducing pollution and mitigating climate change.

Inclusive and sustainable cities are a positive and potent force for addressing sustainable economic growth and prosperity, as they drive innovation, consumption and investment.

Investment in infrastructure, industrialization and innovation are key to making cities safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable.

Sustainable cities address prevailing inequalities through better urban planning, design and governance, providing better opportunities for employment, affordable housing and accessible transport.

Half the world's population now live in cities, and this is projected to increase to two-thirds by 2050. Cities can solve many of the challenges our world faces. Urban areas drive innovation, consumption and investment worldwide, making them a positive and potent force for addressing sustainable economic growth, urban development and prosperity.

Sustainable urbanization uses natural resources innovatively and efficiently. These sustainable patterns of production and consumption increase cities productivity and reduce negative environmental impacts.

Sustainable cities provide real opportunities to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change, through environmentally sustainable and resilient urban design, development and governance.

Sustainable urban planning and proper management of resources can reduce the pressure coastal cities put on the environment. Proper management of waste generated by cities prevents ocean pollution and protects biodiversity.

Sustainable urbanization and better urban planning, including the development of green infrastructures and the safe management and treatment of waste, can conserve and restore terrestrial ecosystems.

Peaceful, inclusive and sustainable cities rely on the kind of institutions we build in cities. This impacts how we govern our cities as well as how we implement the process of urbanization itself.

Increasing international cooperation is seen as vital to achieving each of the 16 previous goals. Achieving the SDGs, including Goal 11, will only be possible if there are strong partnerships within and across with all the goals.

Sustainable Development Goals

The New Urban Agenda

The New Urban Agenda represents a shared vision for a better and more sustainable future
- one in which all people have equal rights and access to the benefits and opportunities that cities can offer, and in which the international community reconsiders the urban systems and physical form of our urban spaces to achieve this. UN-Habitat is the focal point on sustainable urbanization and human settlements in the United Nations system and plays an important role in implementing the New Urban Agenda.
Governance Structure
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Governance Structure Graphic
UN-Habitat Secretariat
The UN-Habitat Secretariat designs, implements, manages and monitors initiatives for sustainable urbanisation. It is also mandated to carry out research activities and to facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and best practices on global trends, effective approaches and new technologies regarding urbanisation.
Governing Bodies
UN-Habitat’s governance structure is a three-tier structure made up of the UN-Habitat Assembly, the Executive Board and the Committee of Permanent Representatives. The three governing bodies together strengthen the accountability and transparency of UN-Habitat, and provide an effective oversight mechanism for UN-Habitat to enhance its normative and operational activities.