News from UN-Habitat – Issue 5 – February 2015
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Together towards Habitat III – this will be our motto during the coming months. For the success of this milestone conference, Habitat III, that will shape urban development for the next 20 years to come, we need the input of all.

Governments, authorities, experts, businesses, civil society groups, city dwellers and all urban stakeholders, we all need to share our views. We all need to work towards a new urban paradigm that will contribute to sustainable development for all.

Read on and find out more about how you can get involved.

In this issue:

Together towards Habitat III

Regional and thematic meetings for the preparatory process of Habitat III

As part of the preparatory process for Habitat III, Member States, local organizations and other institutions are encouraged to organize regional or thematic meetings to ensure an inclusive and focused discussion on sustainable urban development towards the final outcome.

Why regional and thematic meetings?

Since 2009, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities. Today, urban areas are a living combination of history, civilization, diversity and culture. Urbanization has been a force that has changed almost everything: ways of thinking and acting, ways of using space, lifestyles, social and economic relations, and consumption and production patterns. Cities, as economic and productive innovation spaces, provide opportunities for improving access to resources and services, as well as options in the social, legal, economic, cultural and environmental fields. Urbanization has ushered in economic growth, development and prosperity for many.

However, cities are also spaces where multidimensional poverty, environmental degradation, and vulnerability to disasters and the impact of climate change are present. Today, more than two thirds of the global population lives in cities with greater levels of inequality than 20 years ago.

In this context, the preparatory process should encourage inputs from a variety of perspectives and different regions to ensure an inclusive and focused discussion on sustainable urban development.

Expression of interest

Member States, local organizations and other institutions wishing to express their interest in officially hosting a regional or thematic meeting for the preparatory process towards Habitat III are required to send an official communication to the Habitat III Secretariat, at, before 15 February 2015. For details please refer to this document.

Read more about the regional and thematic meetings...

PrepCom2: call for side events

The second session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom2) of the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) will be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from Tuesday, 14 April to Thursday, 16 April 2015.

Side events are an important element of the PrepCom2 and will be held on 14, 15 and 16 April 2015. Given the high demand for hosting side events and the limited time slots available there will be a selection process guided by:
  • Thematic links to Habitat III.
  • Relevance to the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Habitat III.
  • Number of partners involved in organizing and hosting the side event.
  • Quality of the proposal.
Organizations wishing to hold a side event during PrepCom2 are required to submit their proposal no later than 1 March 2015 via email to:

Habitat III Secretariat will select a maximum of one proposal per organization to ensure a balanced and equal chance for all applicants. All proposals will be reviewed against the above mentioned criteria and all applicants will be informed on the outcome of the selection process by 15 March 2015.

Read more about PrepCom2 and PrepCom2 side events

Urban quote
"We understand the power of well-planned urbanization for development. But, that is the key: planning — good, strong planning."

– UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom1) for Habitat III.
Urban round-up

(1) UN report calls for wastewater focus in Post-2015 Agenda:
Only 20 per cent of global wastewater is currently being treated, leaving low-income countries hardest hit by contaminated water supplies and disease. More...

(2) Families from Sinjar, Iraq move into new UN-Habitat camp:
Days before snow was expected to fall in the foothills of Dohuk, Iraq, 900 families are moving into the new camp for internally-displaced persons (IDPs) built through the collaboration of eight UN agencies planned and led by UN-Habitat. More...

(3) UN-Habitat Executive Director concludes official mission to Sudan:
UN-Habitat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Sudan which outlines their commitment to work together on sustainable urban development. More...

(4) Vietnam rolls out City Development Strategies:
Tam Ky and Quy Nhon will be the first cities included in the Viet Nam City Development Strategies Project (CDS) More...

(5) Slum upgrading moves to next stage in Ivory Coast:
UN-Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme (PSUP) has moved into its second phase in the Ivory Coast. The programme will help improve the living conditions of slum dwellers. More...

(6) UN-Habitat and ILO hold green youth entrepreneurship training in Tanzania:
UN-Habitat and the International labour Organization (ILO) organized a hands-on training on energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and green entrepreneurship in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. More...

(7) UN-Habitat and city of Lima in Peru build urban development toolbox:
Together with the city of Lima in Peru, UN-Habitat has developed a toolbox aimed at enhancing budget planning, project structuring, legal instruments and urban management. More...
Did you know?

Diffused city...

... and compact city...

... compact cities allow for more people to live closer to public spaces, places of work and amenities such as schools, hospitals, shops and community facilities. A dense layout increases the efficiency of public transport, saves commuting time and promotes healthy and green non-motorized mobility such as walking and cycling.

Compact cities also preserve land resources and are easier to manage, with reduced costs of basic infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water and sewage systems. What's more, these cities foster social integration through increased interconnection, interaction and diversified uses of the urban space.

Learn more about UN-Habitat and planned city extensions...


Publication: The Evolution of National Urban Policies

A National Urban Policy is a coherent set of decisions derived through a deliberate government-led process of coordinating and rallying various actors for a common vision and goal that will promote more transformative, productive, inclusive and resilient urban development for the long term. As such a national urban policy is often an interactive process.

The purpose of this publication is to review the experience of national urban policies (NUPs) in selected countries around the world in order to draw broad lessons that would inform other countries interested in formulating or implementing their own policies.

Download the publication...

Up next
  • 23-24 February 2015: Dubai International Award for Best Practices, Dubai
  • 14-19 March 2015: World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), Sendai, Japan
  • 26-28 March 2015: 9th International Public Markets Conference, Barcelona, Spain
  • 14-16 April 2015: Habitat III Prepcom II, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 17-23 April 2015: UN-Habitat Governing Council, Nairobi, Kenya
  • 10-12 June 2015: 5th Annual Caribbean Urban Forum (CUF5), Castries, St. Lucia
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© United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) 2015

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any county, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries regarding its economic system or degree of development. Excerpts may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the United Nations and its member states.
Photo credits: UN-Habitat, IISD, LAC, UN Photo/Debebe, Eduardo Feuerhake, Justin Jensen (CC), Tim Nutt (CC), Ms643 (CC)
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