SHELTER PROGRAM COVID-19 SUPPORT TO UN-HABITAT

SHELTER PROGRAM COVID-19 SUPPORT TO UN-HABITAT

The Shelter Program, the partnership between UN-Habitat and Arcadis consultants and engineers, has over the past 10 years provided pro bono technical support for over 120 UN-Habitat missions all over the world, organized 9 Shelter Academies for knowledge transfer and nearly 100 workshops in Arcadis offices, and supported the UN-Habitat World Urban Campaign.

In response to the worldwide Covid19 crisis, the Shelter program discussed with UN-Habitat how best to support in several initiatives. .

  1. Rapid Response Help Desk, and recommendations for slums and informal settlements: UN-Habitat staff and UN-Habitat partners will be able to get instant, rapid technical advice on Covid-19 related issues in the areas of water, buildings and mobility. In relation to this rapid response helpdesk Recommendations and Guidelines for slums and information settlements will be developed, using the questions, answers and resources to help communities organize their response to Covid19.
  2. Conversion of hotels and other buildings to medical facilities: A team with a variety of expertise helps to decide how buildings, especially in the hospitality industry, can be converted to medical facilities. A checklist is available and remote support can be provided to guide the process.
  3. Pandemic resilient cities: The Covid19 proves that cities should be planned and managed taken health resiliency and pandemics into account. The lessons learned from this crisis are valuable to be better prepared in future, beyond the crisis. A diverse team of experts is collecting information drafting a first set of recommendations and guidelines for health resilient cities, with special emphasis on pandemics.
  4. Shelter Academy alumni network: In the past 9 Shelter Academies over 80 directors of municipal planning offices and mayors of cities in relation with UN-Habitat participated in a knowledge transfer program on resilient cities. We reached out to the alumni, and activated the network to share experience and help with urban questions related to Covid19. Intention is also to organize a webinar with the alumni.
Bert Smolders,
6 April 2020

Photo Credits: Pexels.com (CC)