Nairobi, 7 Sep 2015 – UN-Habitat and the Korea Land & Housing Corporation (LH) have agreed on working together for promoting sustainable urban development in developing countries, with a focus on sharing expertise and developing an international policy guide on New Town and affordable housing development.

The Memorandum of Understanding between UN-Habitat and LH was signed when the Korea delegation recently met with Dr. Aisa Kacyira, UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director in Nairobi. The two sides also discussed ways to enhance cooperation on various common working areas.

Korea Land & Housing Corporation is a state-owned enterprise in Korea. It was established to spearhead the improvement of the quality of life and development of the national economy through the realization of stable housing and the efficient utilization of the national land. Its expertise lies in supplying decent and affordable housing units to the vulnerable to improve their residential environment as well as developing housing land, new towns, and innovative cities.

As a first step, UN-Habitat and LH will cooperate in developing a policy guide on sustainable New Town. Korea will also strengthen urban policy and advocacy through events such as first International Conference on National Urban Policy organized by UN-Habitat and Korean partners. The Conference will take place in Song-do in Korea from 14-16 December 2015.

Additionally, a two days joint capacity development program is scheduled to share experience with many participants, including from developing countries. Speaking about the partnership, the Deputy Executive Director said: “UN-Habitat expects synergies in expertise and implementation of sustainable urban development through close partnership with LH, and other rapidly urbanizing and developing countries can share Korea’s rapid urbanization and economic development experience”.

Mr. Jang-hoon Koo, representing LH, said: “This MOU is an important starting point in our common efforts for sustainable urban and housing development and provide a framework of cooperation within which both agencies effectively respond to the urbanization and housing problems in developing countries.

The newly signed MOU lays out plans for knowledge sharing and joint capacity development programs as well as collaborative research regarding on sustainable new towns, affordable housing, and smart cities.  In addition, both agencies will actively seek to find joint pilot projects in the area of sustainable urban development in developing countries.

UN-Habitat and Korea to Partner on Sustainable New Town and Affordable Housing_1