The World Urban Campaign (WUC) is an advocacy and partnership platform to raise awareness about positive urban change in order to achieve green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, and well planned cities. Its goal is to place the Urban Agenda at the highest level in development policies. It is coordinated by UN-Habitat and driven by a large number of committed partners - currently 136 partners and networks - from around the world. 

How It Began

The World Urban Campaign builds on the main legacy of the Habitat II Conference (Istanbul, 1996). In particular, the campaign comes as a direct response to the need for partnerships between governments and civil society organizations, local authorities, the private sector, the research community, trade unions, parliamentarians, professional organizations, youth and women groups, in order to achieve sustainable urban development.

This spirit of partnership was first concretized after the Conference by two global campaigns (1999) on the themes of Secure Tenure and Good Urban Governance. Those two campaigns were merged in 2009 to form the World Urban Campaign, a single forward looking strategic campaign to mobilize networks of Habitat Agenda partners to implement a shared vision of sustainable urbanization. The WUC is part of UN-Habitat's work programme. It is governed by a steering committee, composed of UN-Habitat partner organizations, and acts as an advisory body to UN-Habitat's Executive Director. Its Secretariat is coordinated by UN-Habitat. 

The World Urban Campaign Partners agreed on seven principles which have been driving the WUC and its partners since 2010:

Paris Principles:

  1. Accessible and pro-poor land, infrastructure, services, mobility and housing;
  2. Socially inclusive, gender sensitive, healthy and safe development;
  3. Environmentally sound and carbon-efficient built environment;
  4. Participatory planning and decision making;
  5. Vibrant and competitive local economies promoting decent work and livelihoods;
  6. Assurance of non-discrimination and equal rights to the city; and
  7. Empowering cities and communities to plan for and effectively manage adversity and change.

Key Milestones and beyond WUC

How It Works

Composed of member and partner organizations, the World Urban Campaign works under the leadership of UN-Habitat Executive Director through: 

The Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is the World Urban Campaign’s governing body, and is comprised of UN-Habitat’s partner organizations. The Steering Committee is an advisory body to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat and is responsible for establishing the campaign’s goals and objectives, defining the activity strategies and annual work plan and setting the Campaign’s governing procedures. The Steering Committee elects its Chair and Co-Chair every two years. The Steering Committee meets approximately every 6 months in different places of the world. The Steering Committee Meeting Reports can be found under RESOURCES. 

The Standing Committee

The Standing Committee is the Steering Committee’s executive organ, and is comprised of up to 11 elected partners. The Standing Committee sets and approves the Steering Committee’s agenda, reviews progress reports, lead partner applications, and approves expenditures. 

The Secretariat

The World Urban Campaign Secretariat is a team within UN-Habitat responsible for coordinating and monitoring all activities of the WUC. The Secretariat’s primary roles are to monitor, guide, and liaise with partners and committees in order to carry out agreed activities, to coordinate the Campaign’s work plan and events, and to develop protocols and processes to match the Campaign’s goals with partners’ interests. 


Sub-committees serve as working groups for World Urban Campaign activities, and are comprised of Steering Committee members. Sub-committees help plan and bolster a variety of campaign activities.