A global partnership platform to promote dialogue, sharing,
and learning about how to improve our urban future.

What is the World Urban Campaign?

The World Urban Campaign is the advocacy and partnership platform for cities in the twenty first century. 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 from around the world.

‘I’m a City Changer’ is the advocacy initiative of the World Urban Campaign. It is meant to raise awareness about positive urban change by engaging citizens in voicing issues and solutions to change their urban communities, and to achieve green, productive, safe, healthy, inclusive, and well-planned cities.

A football fan with an I'm a City Changer flag

The Campaign and Habitat III

The World Urban Campaign serves as the partners’ platform toward the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), to be held in 2016.

Habitat III will take place 40 years after the first conference on human settlements, Habitat I, was held in Vancouver, and the world’s urban and housing challenge was first internationally recognised. Twenty years later, in 1996 in Istanbul, Habitat II served as the place of negotiation on future policies for sustainable urban development.

The Habitat III conference will address sustainable urbanisation and the future of urban spaces. It will also serve as an opportunity to assess the state of our cities, to develop solutions, and to revisit our shared urban future.

While cities are at the heart of today’s global crisis, they are also the source of solutions for a sustainable future.

Visit UN-Habitat’s web page on the Habitat III conference. 

Structure

The Steering Committee of the World Urban Campaign is the governing body of the Campaign, with its permanent Secretariat based within UN-Habitat. It is the catalyzing, action-planning, and monitoring organ of the Campaign, offering guidance on substantive and operational matters, and to serve as an advisory body to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

The Steering Committee serves two purposes:

  • To decide on policies and strategic priorities for activities that partners have agreed to undertake together or with the support of one other. This requires that partners define their respective organizational priorities for the Campaign and identify those partners/networks with which they would like to work together as part of the World Urban Campaign to enhance mutual impact.
  • To advise UN-Habitat in carrying out its activities, especially through the World Urban Forum that is mandated to provide technical advice to the Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

At the 10th Steering Committee held in Medellin (6 April 2014), Professor Eugenie Birch was elected as the Chair of the Steering Committee, and Ms. Shipra Narang Suri was elected as the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee. To view Steering Committee Meeting reports and documents, please see the Resources page.

Members of the Steering Committee also form working groups around areas and ideas that the Campaign would like to advance. These working groups convene on an ad hoc basis, typically corresponding with other large events and conferences.

The Secretariat of the World Urban Campaign is based within UN-Habitat’s headquarters, in Nairobi, Kenya.

Key Principles

The World Urban Campaign is guided by seven key 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.