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Gender issue guide: gender-responsive urban basic services

This issue guide focuses attention on urban basic services in order to illuminate the effects of gender on equality of access and inclusion in the areas of urban energy, urban transport and water and sanitation. This issue guide further seeks to broadly outline the where and how of gender responsive interventions in order to strengthen planned and future actions that can go a long way to reduce poverty and overcome obstacles to gender equality and women’s empowerment.

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Planning sustainable cities: global report on human settlements 2009

This report reviews recent urban planning practices and approaches, discusses constraints and conflicts therein, and identifies innovative approaches that are more responsive to current challenges of urbanization. It notes that traditional approaches to urban planning (particularly in developing countries) have largely failed to promote equitable, efficient and sustainable human settlements and to address twenty-first century challenges, including rapid urbanization, shrinking cities and ageing, climate change and related disasters, urban sprawl and unplanned peri-urbanization, as well as urbanization of poverty and informality. It concludes that new approaches to planning can only be meaningful, and have a greater chance of succeeding, if they effectively address all of these challenges, are participatory and inclusive, as well as linked to contextual socio-political processes.

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Enhancing urban safety and security: global report on human settlements 2007

This report addresses three major threats to the safety and security of cities: crime and violence; insecurity of tenure and forced evictions; and natural and human-made disasters. It analyses worldwide trends with respect to each of these threats, paying particular attention to their underlying causes and impacts, as well as to the good policies and best practices that have been adopted at the city, national and international levels in order to address these threats. The report adopts a human security perspective, concerned with the safety and security of people rather than of states, and highlights issues that can be addressed through appropriate urban policy, planning, design and governance.

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Urban patterns for a green economy: leveraging density

Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide explores the compact city and its benefits within the developed and developing world’s contexts. The guide illustrates how the compact city concept and planned (versus unplanned) urban extension can support sustainable urban patterns that benefit the functioning of developed as well as developing world cities. Properly managed, compaction can positively enhance the life of the city dweller and support related strategies aimed at promoting a green economy and sustainable urban settlements.

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Urban patterns for a green economy: clustering for competitiveness

Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide argues that strategic investment in physical infrastructure with the diversification of economies allows cities to play a specialized role in polycentric urban development. Furthermore, it suggests that green economic development can be achieved through the development of green clusters and green jobs. Finally, this guide argues that a number of green economy outcomes may be reached through efficiencies and shared infrastructure, rather than duplication.

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Urban patterns for a green economy: optimizing infrastructure

Part of a series of four entitled Urban Patterns for a Green Economy, this guide proposes that cities can act as agents for change that allow their large populations to live less wastefully. It considers how infrastructure systems can be viewed as an opportunity to shift cities onto a more sustainable path by paying close attention to the resources that pass through them, and the manner in which they support the activities of the city. Each city context differs, based on stage of development, pace of growth and available resources.

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Planning urban settlements in South Sudan

The publication will provide text and images on the Urban Development process and serve as a guide for designing new layouts or updating existing ones. The book will provide a compilation of different and updated Urban Planning and Development concepts that are currently applied all over the world.

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The state of Arab cities 2012: challenges of urban transition

The Arab world has played a very important role in the history of urbanization. It is the region where urban civilization was born and where urban matters have been addressed for centuries. The Arab urban civilization, as it has evolved over the past millennium, has generated some of the most beautiful cities in the world. This publication is the first ever to comprehensively analyse urbanization processes in the Arab States through the review of its four sub-regions: the Maghreb, the Mashreq, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the least-developed Arab countries of the Southern Tier.

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The state of China's cities 2014/15

As a report with joint efforts by China Science Center of International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, China Association of Mayors, Urban Planning Society of China and UN-Habitat, this publication integrates both the guidelines of the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee and the Central Urbanization Work Conference and includes new concepts, ideas, measures and innovative cases gathered from various places in China.

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53 UN-Habitat model projects 2013/2014

The efforts of UN-Habitat have been focused on building a brighter future for developing cities, which are most in need of support in guiding the process of urbanization. This catalogue of projects centres on three fundamental generators of wealth and employment in cities: planning and urban design, urban law and urban economy. It includes experiences in applying UN-Habitat’s methodology of community participation in the provision of basic services, housing and urban reconstruction. It also highlights how legislation, governance and soil treatment plays a key role in achieving urban transformation.

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Prosperity of cities: state of the world’s cities 2012/2013

What this new edition of State of the World’s Cities shows is that prosperity for all has been compromised by a narrow focus on economic growth. UN-Habitat suggests a fresh approach to prosperity beyond the solely economic emphasis, including other vital dimensions such as quality of life, adequate infrastructures, equity and environmental sustainability. The Report proposes a new tool – the City Prosperity Index – together with a conceptual matrix, the Wheel of Prosperity, both of which are meant to assist decision makers to design clear policy interventions. The Report advocates for the need of cities to enhance the public realm, expand public goods and consolidate rights to the ‘commons’ for all as a way to expand prosperity. This comes in response to the observed trend of enclosing or restricting these goods and commons in enclaves of prosperity, or depleting them through unsustainable use.

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World Cities Report 2016: urbanization and development – emerging futures

The analysis of urban development of the past twenty years presented in this maiden edition of the World Cities Report shows, with compelling evidence, that there are new forms of collaboration and cooperation, planning, governance, finance and learning that can sustain positive change. The Report unequivocally demonstrates that the current urbanization model is unsustainable in many respects. It conveys a clear message that the pattern of urbanization needs to change in order to better respond to the challenges of our time, to address issues such as inequality, climate change, informality, insecurity, and the unsustainable forms of urban expansion.

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Planning and design for sustainable urban mobility: global report on human settlements 2013

Planning and Design for Sustainable Urban Mobility argues that the development of sustainable urban transport systems requires a conceptual leap. The purpose ‘transportation’ and ‘mobility’ is to gain access to destinations, activities, services and goods. Thus access is the ultimate objective of transportation. As a result, urban planning and design should focus on how to bring people and places together, by creating cities that focus on accessibility, rather than simply increasing the length of urban transport infrastructure or increasing the movement of people or gods. Urban form and the functionality of the city are therefore a major focus of this report, which highlights the importance of integrated land-use and transport planning.

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The state of European cities in transition 2013: taking stock after 20 years of reform

The transitional European countries are now in different stages of their transition to prosperous, just and democratic societies. As we look at the challenges of the future, This document offers insight and analysis to inform and enlighten.

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Global report on urban health; equitable, healthier cities for sustainable development

This timely report comes at a decisive moment in history where we can reshape urban environments and health systems for the majority of the world’s population that live in cities. Enabling this transformation are the SDGs, which have reconfigured how governments and the international community need to plan and implement actions to eradicate poverty and inequality, create inclusive economic growth, preserve the planet and improve population health. Central to this quest is to create equitable, healthier cities for sustainable development. A focus on urban health not only recognizes global demographic trends but the inextricable and inter-dependent links between health, economic productivity, social stability and inclusion, climate change and healthy environments, and an enabling built environment and governance. At the core of the dynamic and transformative nature of cities are people – healthy people. In order to pursue this goal and the SDGs, we must ensure that all citizens and communities, regardless of income, social status, or gender, have access to the quality health services they need with sufficient financial protection.

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21 projects compendium: implementing the new urban agenda

For the last 40 years, UN-Habitat has been working to improve the lives of people in human settlements around the world. As our population has grown, so has the number of people living in cities, towns and villages on all continents. With around 3 billion more people expected to live in urban areas by 2050, it is more critical than ever that we plan and manage the way our cities expand. This publication demonstrates just a snapshot of UN-Habitat's overall portfolio and represents the ways in which, along with their partners, their work positively impacts the quality of life for people around the world. Working together we can, and must, promote economically, socially and environmentally sustainable urbanization and a better urban future for all.

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The state of African cities 2014: re-imagining sustainable urban transitions

The African continent is currently in the midst of simultaneously unfolding and highly significant demographic, economic, technological, environmental, urban and socio-political transitions. Africa’s economic performance is promising, with booming cities supporting growing middle classes and creating sizeable consumer markets. But despite significant overall growth, not all of Africa performs well. The continent continues to suffer under very rapid urban growth accompanied by massive urban poverty and many other social problems. These seem to indicate that the development trajectories followed by African nations since post-independence may not be able to deliver on the aspirations of broad based human development and prosperity for all. This report, therefore, argues for a bold re-imagining of prevailing models in order to steer the ongoing transitions towards greater sustainability based on a thorough review of all available options. That is especially the case since the already daunting urban challenges in Africa are now being exacerbated by the new vulnerabilities and threats associated with climate and environmental change.

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State of Latin American and Caribbean cities 2012

With 80% of its population living in cities, Latin America and the Caribbean is the most urbanized region on the planet. Located here are some of the largest and best-known cities, like Mexico City, São Paulo, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Lima and Santiago. The region also boasts hundreds of smaller cities that stand out because of their dynamism and creativity. This edition of State of Latin American and Caribbean cities presents the current situation of the region’s urban world, including the demographic, economic, social, environmental, urban and institutional conditions in which cities are developing.

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Cities and climate change: global report on human settlements 2011

Cities and Climate Change reviews the linkages between urbanization and climate change, two of the greatest challenges currently facing humanity in the 21st Century, and whose effects are converging in dangerous ways. It illustrates the significant contribution of urban areas to climate change while at the same time highlighting the potentially devastating effects of climate change on urban populations. It reviews policy responses, strategies and practices that are emerging in urban areas to mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as their potential achievements and constraints. In conclusion, the report argues that urban areas have a pivotal role in both climate change mitigation and adaptation and identifies strategies and approaches for strengthening this role.

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Policy and operational messages to support UN Country Teams in integrating human rights into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda

The messages in this document are envisaged to provide a common understanding for the UN system on how human rights can be integrated and should inform the planning and programming process as well as policy guidance for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The messages focus on: a) how to align the SDGs with the country’s existing human rights commitments; b) how to fulfill the pledge to ‘leave no one behind’ and ‘reach the furthest behind first’; c) how to ensure active and meaningful participation in the preparation of the national SDG action plans; and, d) how to build robust accountability frameworks in the implementation of these national plans.

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Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: reference guide to UN country teams

This document is designed as a reference guide for UN Country Teams (UNCTs), under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinators, that wish to support Member States and national stakeholders in adapting the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to national contexts (“mainstreaming”) while protecting its integrity. The document covers eight implementation guidance areas that can serve as the basis for UNCT assistance at the national level, sub-national and local levels.

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Country-level needs for SDG implementation in Europe and Central Asia

In view of its interconnectedness, the new agenda of SDGs will require holistic approaches and coherent action by global, regional and country level actors. In order to ensure interlinkages between the regional and country levels, the ECA Regional UNDG Team undertook a consultation with ECA UN Resident Coordinators (RCs) and Country Teams (UNCT) through a survey to identify needs and requirements at country level with regard to SDG implementation. This document presents the finding of the survey as well as conclusions drawn.

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Delivering together facility for sustainable development

With the growing call for the UN development system to go beyond business-as-usual coordination and rise to the challenge to support implementation of the more ambitious and integrated 2030 Agenda, United Nations Development Operations and Coordination Office (UNDOCO) has reviewed the data and practice evidence, as well as the policy and resource mechanisms at its disposal, and established the Delivering Together Facility for Sustainable Development (DTF), to be operational in 2017. The DTF is set up as a flexible funding mechanism to provide seed funds to RCs and UNCTs, to help them leverage joined-up UN development system’s efforts in support of Member States implementing the 2030 Agenda. This document presents the design features, strategic framework, implementation arrangements and fund management of the DTF, which will become operational in 2017.

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Delivering development justice? financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The “supremely ambitious and transformative vision” embodied in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development includes a goal to achieve gender equality for all women and girls and a re-commitment to governments’ human rights obligations. At the same time, governments have agreed to a range of strategies for financing the Agenda that arguably undermine their ability to fulfil women’s human rights and advance a just and gender-equitable model of development. This paper critically evaluates this potential contradiction with a focus on the key financing strategies of trade and investment liberalization, sovereign debt resolution, international private finance, and public-private partnerships, as well as the role of the global partnership for development. Recommendations are made to better align financing targets with the objective of supporting the enjoyment of women’s human rights. Finally, the paper reflects on the inherent limitations in the 2030 Agenda and the need for an urgent shift to a model of development justice.

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Looking back, leaping forward: moving from MDGs to SDGs in Europe and Central Asia

This report takes stock of the progress achieved in Europe and Central Asia under the MDGs with the aim to chart the elements that are crucial for a successful transition to the SDGs. It draws on the experiences derived from the implementation of the MDGs, but also addresses the new challenges and opportunities for integrated interventions that come with the much more complex 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. The report is structured into three parts. First, it takes stock of the progress achieved in the implementation of the MDGs. It aims to identify the main challenges at the beginning of the MDG period, how these were addressed and what has been achieved. The second section places the MDGs in the context of the wider SDG framework by identifying the unfinished agenda under the MDGs and discussing how the areas covered by the MDGs are now reflected in the 2030 Agenda. The final section describes some of the initial steps that governments in the region are taking to implement the 2030 Agenda and the ways in which the regional UN system can support these efforts. It concludes by identifying and assessing a number of risks that may influence SDG achievement and stressing the importance of collaboration for successful implementation.

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