The Arcadis Shelter program active in Urban Thinkers Campuses all over the World

The Arcadis Shelter program active in Urban Thinkers Campuses all over the World

The Shelter program, the partnership of Arcadis with UN-Habitat has several components. Well-known are the missions, where Arcadis experts provide technical support on request of UN-Habitat. To extend support to UN-Habitat and to involve more Arcadis colleagues in the program the Shelter program is active in several other activities, such as in urban workshops and in Urban Thinkers Campuses all over the world.

The Urban Thinkers Campuses have proven to be a very successful initiative of the World Urban Campaign, the advocacy and partnership platform which is organized by UN-Habitat. Arcadis is sponsor of the World Urban Campaign as part of the Shelter program since 2010. On the road towards Habitat III the Urban Thinkers Campuses were important to support the development of the New Urban Agenda. With the adoption of the New Urban Agenda in Quito the role has changed. Presently the Urban Thinkers Campuses focus on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and with 77 Urban Thinkers Campuses in 2017 only it is clear that a very large number of stakeholders can be reached.

Urban Thinkers Campuses are very interesting for Arcadis staff. It is a place to engage with other urban stakeholders to discuss the implementation of the New Urban Agenda, to present Arcadis’ experience and involvement in urban issues, and to learn. By participating, Arcadis supports UN-Habitat by providing expertise in addition to their work in the mission. Since the start of the Campuses, Arcadis colleagues already participated in many, such in Caserta Italy, in Hong Kong, New Delhi and Manila. In 2017 they are engaging in even more Campuses. Already there was input in Urban Thinkers Campuses for instance in Palermo Italy, Nairobi Kenya, Hong Kong, Rome Italy and in Delft Netherlands. Later this year they are planning to be active in many more. The initial contact is facilitated through the WUC Secretariat and the organizers are then asked what kind of expertise is needed. Often the Campuses are organized in cooperation with Universities. As Arcadis has offices all around the world they try to find staff of local offices to participate by contacting their office in that country or Arcadis colleagues from that country in their Shelter database. Sometimes other expertise is required which is provided by colleagues from other countries.

The big question after the Habitat III conference was and is how to make sure that the New Urban Agenda principles are not just policy on paper, but that they are turned into reality. As main stakeholders the private sector and especially consultants and engineers working on the urban future have to take responsibility. For Arcadis it is clear that The Urban Thinkers Campuses are an excellent platform to engage through the Shelter program with all stakeholders for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. 

More information
Information on the Shelter program can be found on our Facebook page, or through

Bert Smolders Shelter program manager 

Photo Credits: Photo: Iris Bijlsma of Arcadis presenting in the UTC Palermo Italy