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Urban Planning and Design Lab
Launched in 2014, UN-HABITAT’s Urban Planning and Design LAB proposes and implements urban planning projects from neighborhood to city-wide scale worldwide. The LAB supports local, regional and national authorities to implement policies, plans and designs through participatory planning processes for more compact, better integrated and connected cities that foster equitable sustainable urban development and are resilient to climate change. Many cities in the developing world struggle with managing the explosive growth of their populations and built-up areas. The LAB was created as a response to the growing demand from local, regional and national governments for assistance in sustainable urban planning.
It translates UN-HABITAT’s sustainable urban planning principles into practice by developing plans and designs that can be implemented locally. It also enhances the implementation of these plans and designs by linking the legal, financial and planning instruments Furthermore the LAB engages in the process design that helps to leverage political commitment. The LAB is an integrative facility that, with a clear project oriented approach, integrates a variety of knowledge such as legal, economic urban planning and design expertise and also brings together governments, specialists and UN agencies around urban interventions.
The LAB has a network of highly skilled planners that work locally and also collaborates with global planning institutes and private partners. Its planning philosophy is that good planning should always include a design, legal, and economic component, in a so-called ‘Three-Pronged Approach’. The integrated approach of the LAB is aimed at implementation. By developing plans, the LAB explores applicable financing models that can tap into international, national and private sector resources. The Lab has created an international portfolio and practical experience that allows for comparison and normative assessment of applied planning tools, methodologies and processes in different local conditions. It is also involved in reviewing documents at the request of local, regional and national governments, resulting in quick, high-impact responses to legal planning documents that are under development.