For more than forty years, UN-Habitat has been working in human settlements throughout the world. The efforts of UN-Habitat have been focused on building a brighter future for developing villages, towns and cities of all sizes, which are most in need of support in guiding the process of urbanization. Towards this end we have created a new vision which makes a shift in focus and incorporates three essential urban elements into a new, integrated working methodology: Urban Legislation, Urban Design and Urban Finance, as a three-legged strategy in advancing sustainable urbanization.
Cities experience large and small scale disasters that can pose great challenges to sustainable development, for natural and human-made disasters have enormous economic, social and political impacts on human lives. “Cities, where half of humanity currently resides and much of the world’s assets are concentrated, are fast becoming the locus for much of [the] destruction and loss from disasters.” These risks will increase as urban populations continue to grow.