UN-Habitat & NUA

UN-Habitat & New Urban Agenda

Scene Setter


UN-Habitat, in preparation of the Action Framework for the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda (AFINUA) is doing a revision of the content of the New Urban Agenda (NUA), in order to facilitate the conversion of the NUA into a pragmatic and efficient framework of implementation. For this purpose, the contents of the NUA have been analyzed in eleven categories plus the four cross cutting principles of the strategic plan of UN-Habitat.

Read more

  • 1. Principles and values
    (PV)

    The NUA refers in many occasions to the principles and values of the United Nations seen not only on the general framework of the human rights, as one of the three pillars of the UN, altogether with peace and security and development, but also in the agreed language within the UN family, including the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the World Humanitarian Summit, the Migration Conference and of course, the Habitat I, II and III conferences.

    Read more

  • 2. Urbanization and Sustainable Development (USD)

    The NUA consolidates the linkages between urbanization and sustainable development. This concept was strongly framed in the Rio + 20 outcome document, and has been further developed in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, where urbanization has been recognized in goal 11 as a definitive contributor and a driver for development and prosperity. Although urbanization has been in the past linked to development in a generic and unspecific manner, we are currently going through a renewed theoretical recognition of urbanization as a much more powerful tool for development.

    Read more

  • 3. National Urban Policies
    (NUP)

    The NUA underlines a new approach to the role of National Governments as determinants of the final quality of urbanization. This role has been forgotten in many aspects from the theory of urbanization and is currently accepted from a new point of view, underlining the hugely important role of the National Government in the outcomes of urbanization. The National Government is the level that holds the sovereignty of the nation, and it establishes the rules and functions of the subnational and local governments.

    Read more

  • 4. Rules and Regulations
    (RR)

    The NUA highlights urban legislation as a priority area for sustainable urban development. Good urbanization cannot be conceived without a good regulatory framework. Urbanization should be based in the rule of law. Urbanization without rules and regulations tends to be spontaneous and ad-hoc. As world population grows more and more urban, we have no choice but to become more efficient in our urbanization, by establishing rules and regulations and implementing them.

    Read more

  • 5. Urban Planning and Design
    (UPD)

    Urban planning and design is an essential technical part of the urbanization process and it refers to the physical layout of buildable plots, public space, and their relationship to one another. In line with the NUA, UN-Habitat believes that urban planning of design is a fundamental priority to achieving sustainable urban development.

    Read more

  • 6. Financing Urbanization
    (FI)

    One of the novelties of the urban paradigm shift of the NUA is the contribution of urbanization to the national economy. Urbanization should be approached not as a cost, but as an investment, because the cost of urbanization is minimal compared to the value that it can generate. The key issue is to guarantee that the urban value generated is properly shared among the various actors, and not just kept by a few.

    Read more

  • 7. Urban Basic Services
    (UBS)

    The access to urban basic services is an integral part of the NUA. Millions of people around the world still lack access to clean drinking water, basic sanitation, modern forms of energy, sustainable mobility and proper waste management.

    Read more

  • 8. Housing and Slum upgrading
    (HSU)

    The NUA refers on many occasions to Housing and Slum Upgrading. UN-Habitat works at improving access to housing in general and the living conditions of slum dwellers in particular. We assist member States in working towards the realization of the right to adequate housing.

    Read more

  • 9. Risk Reduction
    (RiR)

    In recent years, the world has witnessed an increasing series of disasters which have resulted in the dramatic loss of human life, the destruction of homes, property, infrastructure, services and indeed the displacement of entire communities.

    Read more

  • 10. Research and Capacity Development (RCD)

    Good urban policy and planning requires accurate information. The NUA refers to the relevance of research and capacity development.

    Read more

  • 11. Local Implementation
    (LI)

    The General Assembly requested an action oriented New Urban Agenda in order to provide a tool to guide the necessary change for the substantive improvement of urbanization for the next twenty years. The NUA insists in the local implementation of the general theories of development and urbanization.

    Read more