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The UN-Habitat’s vision of “a better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world” is bold and ambitious. UN-Habitat works with partners to build inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities. UN-Habitat promotes urbanization as a positive transformative force for people and communities, reducing inequality, discrimination and poverty.

UN-Habitat works in over 90 countries to promote transformative change in cities and human settlements through knowledge, policy advice, technical assistance and collaborative action.

UN-Habitat’s new strategic plan 2020-2023 adopts a more strategic and integrated approach to solving the challenges and opportunities of twenty-first century cities and other human settlements.

Their mission embodies the four main roles of the organization, which can be summarized as: Think, Do, Share and Partner.

Click here for more.

Partnership Highlights
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Law and the New Urban Agenda

Given COVID-19’s impact on cities globally, it is more important than ever to highlight the significance of urban law and policy for students. Law and the New Urban Agenda examines the legal dimensions of the United Nations' New Urban Agenda (NUA), a globally shared understanding of the vital link between urbanization and a sustainable future.


"Law and the New Urban Agenda underscores the value of urban law as a discipline in supporting the healthy development of inclusive cities for all. This timely volume sheds light on the many complex challenges that urban growth poses for legal systems around the globe, and I commend this eclectic group of scholars for their engagement with the New Urban Agenda."

– Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, UN-Habitat

The book is available from Routledge here.

Effectiveness of Planning Law UN Habitat

Effectiveness of Planning Law in Land-Rich Developed Countries

UN-Habitat has conducted an objective, evidence-based assessment on the application of physical planning laws in 18 cities of the Land-Rich Developed Countries Region. The selection of cities is based on the UN Global Sample of 200 cities as a statistically and regionally representative dataset. The study considers whether the law is being applied as written and informs the discussion on the effectiveness of legislative design.

This publication portrays the findings from the study with empirical data on growth boundaries, population density, compliance with spatial planning and zoning, land management and staffing capacity.  City managers in Land-Rich Developed Countries can use this information to rethink the sustainability of their urbanization model and to help them create systems that can result in equity, shared prosperity and environmental sustainability. These are key principles embodied under the New Urban Agenda and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – particularly Goal 11.

A free copy of the e-book is available here

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Urban Law Roundtable on Cities and Climate Adaptation: October 31, 2018

As part of UN World Cities Day 2018, this roundtable will bring UN-Habitat officials, city leaders, and legal scholars together in a discussion about the legal dimensions of the effects of climate change on cities and the role of law in facilitating solutions cities are pursuing to prepare for disaster risks and climate change adaptation. The Roundtable will highlight the NUA’s commitments to environmental sustainability and touch on the environment and climate change related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN as part of the 2030 Agenda. Finally, we will address the legal dimensions of specific advancements and challenges related to the NUA and SDGs that our speakers have studied or experienced in their work.

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Urban Law Day: April 21, 2017

The Urban Law Center and U.N. Habitat will co-host this year's event at U.N. headquarters in New York City. This year’s theme is Governance, Data, and the New Urban Agenda; we will explore themes related to legislation and urbanization, as well as implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Join legal experts from the U.N, representatives from U.N. Habitat, as well as legal scholars and professionals for this half day event.

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Urban Law Day: April 29, 2016

Urban Law Day 2016 will bring into focus the often overlooked role of law in shaping the world’s rapidly transforming urban centers. This year’s program will include a series of dynamic, interactive sessions designed to bring the Fordham Law School community, U.N. legal experts, and leadership from Permanent Missions and local government representing several countries into dialogue around key themes found in the U.N.’s forthcoming urban agenda, Habitat III.  Habitat III will be released in Quito in October 2016. This event is co-sponsored by the Urban Law Center, the Center’s research partner UN-HABITAT, and the Fordham Urban Law Journal.

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