Urban Thinkers Campus - THE CITY WE NEED

Urban Thinkers Campus - THE CITY WE NEED

The Urban Thinkers Campus is an initiative of UN-Habitat conceived as an open space for critical exchange between urban actors  who believe that urbanization is an opportunity and can lead to positive urban transformations. It is also intended as a platform to build consensus between partners engaged in addressing urbanization challenges and proposing solutions to urban futures.

The first Urban Thinkers in Campus was organized on the theme ‘The City We Need’, and brought together urban thinkers and established UN-Habitat partner organizations and constituencies to reflect on current urban challenges and trends and to propose a new paradigm. The new paradigm will be a contribution to the New Urban Agenda, which will be delivered at the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in 2016.

Building on the previous deliberations of the World Urban Campaign, this Campus was meant to gather new thinking and strengthen the first campaign position entitled The Future We Want - The City We Need that was prepared from September to December 2013 and launched in March 2014 in New York prior to the Seventh Session of the World Urban Forum (April 2014, Medellin). Through an inclusive debate and review process driven by partners sessions focused on The City We Need, the Campus has allowed all participants to express their views. It has opened space for debate, learning, consensus building, and drafting between a large number of participants. The meeting outcomes were a second version of key principles of The City We Need, agreed upon in the drafting session of all constituent groups, as well as distinct The City We Need positions from each partner constituent group.

The First Urban Thinkers Campus was acknowledged by participants as a model to pursue for further debates in order to bring partners around the table to negotiate principles, policies, and action planning on key issues that need to be addressed at the Habitat III Conference and built up in the New Urban Agenda. The World Urban Campaign Steering Committee recommended that other Urban Thinkers Campuses be solicited by the WUC Secretariat in order to amplify the urban thinkers’ movement towards Habitat III. Those new campuses would allow strengthening The City We Need position of partners further. By holding future Urban Thinkers Campuses, this space can be opened to new regions, partners, and themes in order to facilitate comprehensive and diverse feedback from as many groups and perspectives as possible before Habitat III. These guidelines are intended to provide a framework for future Urban Thinkers Campuses.

They are meant to guide organizations which have an interest in being part the urban thinkers’ movement in the context of Habitat III, contribute to The City We Need process and the New Urban Agenda.


 Documents : 

  • UTC: Report of the first Urban Thinkers Campus (Download)
  • UTC: A Guide to Urban Thinker Campus (Download)
  • UTC: 2nd Call for Proposals (Download)