Implementing the New Urban Agenda Through Urban Thinkers Campuses

Implementing the New Urban Agenda Through Urban Thinkers Campuses

Nairobi, 8 May 2017
The urban community has gathered today in Nairobi for the 26th Session of the UN-Habitat Governing Council (GC26). While the morning saw the opening of the event by Kenyan President H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of the General Assembly H.E. Peter Thomson and the respective counterparts from the UN-Habitat and UNEP Headquaters, the World Urban Campaign - together with its long standing partner Arcadis - organized a strategic side event. Titled "Implementing the New Urban Agenda Through Urban Thinkers Campuses", the event brought together key urban stakeholders to exchange views and ideas on the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

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. 

After Habitat III in Quito and the successful UTC Phase 1 (engaging more than 7,800 people from 2,100 organizations in 124 different countries and 25 cities around the world), the WUC Steering Committee, of which Arcadis is a member, decided to continue engaging stakeholders in the post-Habitat III era by launching the Urban Thinkers Campus Phase 2 (UTC 2.0). The UTC 2.0 is envisaged to be action- oriented which will focus on developing actual action plans and implementable road maps in order to implement the New Urban Agenda. On 15 November 2016, the WUC Secretariat opened an online call for proposals to host an Urban Thinkers Campus in 2017. Up to 10 February, the WUC Secretariat received 74 UTC applications, of which 16 came from the Africa region, 4 from Arab States, 20 from Latin America Countries, 15 from the Asia Pacific region, 13 from Europe and 5 from North America. All these applications were approved by the WUC Standing Committee in 3 steps, with a final approval of all UTCs on 21 February 2017.

The event speakers were:

  • Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira (UN-Habitat Deputy Executive Director)
  • Christine Auclair (World Urban Campaign Project Leader)
  • Bert Smolders (Arcadis Shelter Programme Manager)
  • Rose Molokoane (SDI & Chair WUC Steering Committee)
  • Sandeep Chachra (ActionAid India & Co-Chair WUC Steering Committee)
  • Laura Tarbuch (CNJUR)
  • Didier Vancutsem (Habitat Professionals Forum)
  • Christian Huebel (Office of the Mayor of Mannheim)
  • Sri Sofjan (Huairou Commission)  
  • Jane Katz (Habitat for Humanity)
  • Juma Assiago (UN-Habitat/Safer Cities Network)
  • Gregor Mews (Urban Synergies Group)
  • Naomi Hoogervorst (The International New Town Institute)

Numerous participants filled the room, with many left standing as seats were full, and even representatives from member states such as Malaysia and Zambia listening eagerly to the presentations. 

For more information on the Urban Thinkers Campuses, please visit:

To contact the World Urban Campaign, please email Christine Auclair (Project Leader):
To contact Arcadis, please email Bert Smolders (Shelter Programme Manager):