News from UN-Habitat – Issue 6 – March 2015
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With Women’s Day on the 8th and the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59), this March is all about gender.

And so are we: UN-Habitat advocates that sound urban development can only happen when the gender issue is fully addressed. Cities need to overcome the inequalities women are currently facing all over the world.

Follow ‪#‎UrbanGender‬ and ‪#‎action2015‬ to keep up with our coverage of the issues facing women in cities this month.

In this issue:

Featured: CSW59

Harnessing the power of public space to empower women

As part of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) taking place in New York, UN-Habitat and partners will host a side event exploring the opportunities and challenges that public space offer to women’s empowerment and to advancing the gender equality goal.

With high level speakers, including Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, Deputy Executive Director, UN-Habitat, Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women and Gabriel Marioto, Vice-governor of the province of Buenos Aires, it will also aim to discuss how gender mainstreaming of urban planning and policy can help create public spaces for women that empower them to live fulfilling and wholesome lives.

Creating public spaces that cater to women's needs can give them an often missing space to set up a business, network and interact with other members of the community. It is important to include the voices of women and girls in all the processes of decision-making such as research, consultation, and policy-making.

For more information: CSW59

Urban round-up

(1) Seismic Hazard Assessment for Yangon City launched in Myanmar:
A seismic hazard assessment for Yangon City has been launched by the Yangon Regional Government, the Yangon City Development Committee (YCDC) and UN-Habitat. More...

(2) Asia and Pacific region mayors call for efforts towards resilient cities:
The first Resilient Cities Asia-Pacific 2015 was organized on 11-13 February 2015 in Bangkok, bringing together over 300 participants from the region, mainly mayors and local authorities to address urban resilience. More...

(3) Government of India supports housing efforts in Sri Lanka:
The Government of India is helping to build 50,000 houses as part of its post-conflict rehabilitation efforts in Sri Lanka. More...

(4) Planning matters for the future of Palestine, international experts declare:
An integrated approach to planning, across the whole of the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt), is urgently needed to support the sustainable development of Palestine. More...

(5) Second season of the free resource ‘Global Urban Lectures’ out now:
Following the success of the first season, the second season of the ‘Global Urban Lectures’ continues with 8 new top speakers working with UN-Habitat in the urban arena. More...

(6) Americas City Network RAMA meets in Brazil to strengthen land use and planning principles:
Members of the Red de Áreas Metropolitanas de las Américas (RAMA) met to strengthen land use and planning principles. More...

(7) Urban Prosperity Index will assess 130 cities in Mexico:
The Urban Prosperity Index initiative will assess 130 cities in Mexico. The work will help cities to achieve a thriving urban future in economic, social, political and environmental terms. More...
Urban quote

"Ensuring full and equitable access to public space – including street and transport systems – for women and girls will allow them to harness the transformative potential of our cities."

– Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director, on gender.
Focus on: Urban Gender

Gender and the City

Today, cities generate more opportunities than ever. Most notably, they provide more possibilities to redefine the traditional roles of men and women. Nevertheless, gender inequalities still persist. Women and girls benefit less from urbanization and the urban space than men and boys. In fact, women and girls in cities will face a range of specific barriers and vulnerabilities,especially in informal settlements where women account for over half the population.

Read more about UN-Habitat and gender

Video: gender & mobility

All over the world, women face difficulties when trying to move around the city. Using public transport is all too often an uncomfortable endeavour for many, associated with threats such as insecurity or harassment. UN-Habitat has produced a short video to highlight some of these issues.

Watch the video on YouTube

Urban Youth Fund: call for application

Urban Youth Fund: call for applications for grants

UN-Habitat is calling for applications for the Urban Youth Fund. In its seventh year, the Fund provides grants to projects led by young people aged 15-32 years who are piloting innovative approaches to employment, good urban governance, shelter, secure tenure and risk rehabilitation.

UN-Habitat invites young people based in cities or towns from the developing world to apply for grants from the fund. The application is open from February 15 to April 15 2015.

To apply:


Publication: Sustainable Building Design for Tropical Climates

Climate change and resource depletion are the main challenges of the 21st century. In 2010, the worldwide building sector was responsible for 24% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, second only to the industrial sector.

The building sector must therefore play its part. The long-term aim is to transform buildings from energy consumers into net energy producers. This report highlights possible strategies and solutions to achieve this goal.

Download the publication

Up next
  • 9-20 March 2015: Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59), New York, USA
  • 12 March 2015: "Habitat III, Beijing+20 and the City We Need", New York, USA
  • 13 March 2015: "Public Space: Opportunities and challenges for Empowering Women", New York, USA
  • 14-19 March 2015: World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (WCDRR), Sendai, Japan
  • 23-27 March 2015: Pacific Urban Forum 2015 “Towards a New Urban Agenda: Harnessing Opportunities in a Post-2015 environment”, Nadi, Fiji
  • 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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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.
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