UPDBMany cities are currently facing serious challenges of ineffective development control systems, informal and often chaotic peri-urban expansion, a proliferation of informal housing and livelihood activities, poor connectivity, traffic congestion and energy inefficiency, among others. Cities are increasingly facing environmental challenges, including how to curb rising greenhouse gas emissions and the increasing impacts of anthropogenic climate change.

To address these challenges, UN-Habitat will provide city and national Governments with a set of tested approaches, guidelines, and tools to support the management of growth and improved sustainability, efficiency and equity of cities through planning and design at different scales — the slum and neighbourhood, city, regional, national and supra-national scales.

This will be achieved through:

(a) improved policies and legislation regarding urban planning and sustainability, based on the principle of subsidiarity

(b) increased capacities of institutions and stakeholders to undertake and effectively implement, in participatory and inclusive ways, urban planning processes at the most appropriate and adequate scale

(c) new urban planning and design initiatives in selected cities