United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development.

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It was established in 1978 as an outcome of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat I) held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976.


UN-Habitat maintains its headquarters at the United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya.


It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.

Focus areas

UN-Habitat works in more than 70 countries in five continents focusing on seven areas:

1.Urban legislation, land and governance;
2.Urban planning and design;
3.Urban economy;
4.Urban basic services;
5.Housing and slum upgrading;
6.Risk reduction and rehabilitation;
7.Urban research and capacity development.

Habitat Agenda

The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The twin goals of the Habitat Agenda are adequate shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world.

World Urban Forum (WUF)

The World Urban Forum is an international conference dedicated to urban issues, organized by UN-Habitat.

World Urban Campaign (WUC)

The World Urban Campaign is the world living platform on cities for sharing and learning on initiatives, actions and policies driving positive change towards sustainable urbanization. Coordinated by UN-Habitat, it is a global coalition of public, private and civil society partners seeking to raise the urban agenda.

World Habitat Day

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day.