About Us

“A better quality of life for all in an urbanizing world


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.

Our mission embodies the four main roles of the organization, which can be summarized as: think, do, share and partner.

THINK: UN-Habitat’s normative work, including groundbreaking research and capacity-building, sets standards, proposes norms and principles, shares good practice, monitors global progress and supports formulation of policies related to sustainable cities and human settlements.

DO: UN-Habitat’s operational work takes various forms of technical assistance, drawing on its unique expertise in sustainable urbanization and crisis response. UN-Habitat implements projects to provide value-added and tailored support to countries.

SHARE: Through advocacy, communication and outreach, UN-Habitat mobilizes public, political and financial support and collaborative action to inspire qualitative change in national development plans, policy frameworks, development practice and investment choices for sustainable urban development at the local, national and global level.

PARTNER: UN-Habitat collaborates with governments, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, civil society organizations, foundations, academic institutions and the private sector to achieve enduring results in addressing the challenges of urbanization.


SDG Cities

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership. They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

Cities accommodate more than half of the global population, and by 2050 more than 2.5 billion people will be added to the world’s urban population. Around two thirds of the SDG targets and indicators have an urban dimension. It is no surprise therefore that the “battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities.” The New Urban Agenda outlines how cities can drive the achievement of sustainable development and highlights the importance of urban policy, inclusive, accountable local governance, effective urban planning, efficient local revenue systems and effective, equitable service delivery.

SDG Cities facilitates global collaboration to enable cities to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs and improve quality of life. It offers a systematic way to support cities become sustainable and resilient by connecting a value chain of data, inclusive, evidence-based strategic planning, strengthened capacity of local institutions and the development and financing of high impact projects. It aims reach 1000 cities and 1 billion lives by 2030 by providing cities with: 1) an online bank of tools for data collection and analysis, institutional capacity development and project preparation and financial matchmaking; 2) support hubs that provide technical backstopping support backstopping to participating cities at each stage of the SDG City cycle; and 3) strategic partnerships with cities and investors.