Towards a New Urban Paradigm

Cities are either helpful or unhelpful in achieving sustainable development. As the World Urban Campaign (WUC) partners declared in the 2012 Manifesto for Cities and further reiterate here: “the battle for a more sustainable future will be won or lost in cities.” How we plan, build, and manage our cities now will determine the outcome of our efforts to achieve a sustainable and harmonious development tomorrow.

Well-planned cities afford all residents the opportunity to lead safe, healthy, and productive lives. Well-designed cities present nations with major opportunities to promote social inclusion, resilience, and prosperity. The WUC provides the framework for a movement with a collective contribution of committed partners united by shared goals and a common vision for the cities of the future of the city for the 21st century.

What is The City We Need?

In March 2014, The City We Need (TCWN) 1.0 was launched in New York City/USA, prior to the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF7). TCWN 1.0 was a manifesto of nine principles suggesting concrete ways on how to achieve sustainable urban development. It was conceived, designed and written by the partners of the World Urban Campaign.

In October 2014, at the first Urban Thinkers Campus was held in Caserta/Italy, where partners reiterated the importance of TCWN 1.0 in the engagement process towards Habitat III. Following the success of the first Urban Thinkers Campus, the WUC Steering Committee at its 11th Meeting in Caserta in October 2014 requested the WUC Secretariat to open a call for proposals for partners to host further Urban Thinkers Campuses (UTCs).  The main aim of the selected UTCs was to solicit input to The City We Need 2.0, through the unique and participatory UTC model, involving 14 partner constituent groups.

As decided during the 13th WUC Steering Committee Meeting held on 3 October 2015 in New York City/USA, the outcomes of these 26 Urban Thinkers Campuses are the basis for The City We Need 2.0, as the main contribution of the World Urban Campaign to the Habitat III process.

In October 2015, the WUC partners also decided upon new working groups at the 13th WUC Steering Committee Meeting. Amongst others, the working group 1 “The City We Need (TCWN) 2.0 Drafting Committee” was formed (see more information HERE). This Drafting Committee, consisting of WUC partner representatives, was tasked with the compilation of the 26 Urban Thinkers Campus reports, as well as the actual drafting of TCWN 2.0.

After a series of telephone conferences, the Drafting Committee held its final meeting from 29 February to 2 March 2016 in Nairobi/Kenya and virtually via Webex, involving 25 members of the group, to finalize the final draft of The City We Need 2.0, based on the UTC reports submitted to the WUC Secretariat.

The final draft was adopted unanimously by the World Urban Campaign Steering Committee on 16 March 2016 in Prague/Czech Republic (DOWNLOAD ADOPTED VERSION HERE)

The City We Need 2.0 will now be translated into all 6 United Nations languages, to be disseminated widely and to be used as a reference document for all stakeholders and governments dealing with housing and sustainable urban development.

The recently launched WUC TV and its “The City We Need Series” (Read: WUC goes TV! Launching the World Urban Campaign TV and The City We Need Series) will be the vehicle to illustrate the 10 principles of The City We Need 2.0, and to disseminate the ideas and urban solutions for the practical implementation of this common vision. 

On 19 March 2016, the WUC Secretariat formally submited The City We Need 2.0 to the General Assembly of Partners (GAP), as the main contribution of the World Urban Campaign to the Habitat III process. For more information on the City We Need, please visit: