One of our most critical development challenges is making effective decisions around urban planning, in order to build sustainable towns and cities that work for everyone. More than half of the global population—nearly 4 billion people—live in urban areas. Two decades from now, that number is expected to grow to 5.5 billion.
Policy makers, practitioners, civil society, academia, and others need to harmonize our understanding of the problems and opportunities posed by urbanization, such as poverty, climate change, and social status. Habitat III, formally known as the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development, was a major global summit on this topic, which was held in Quito, Ecuador, on October 17-20, 2016.
The New Urban Agenda is the outcome document agreed upon at the summit. The agenda sets global strategy around urbanization for the next two decades for a wide range of actors—nation states, city and regional leaders, international development funders, United Nations programs, and civil society.
The Open Learning Campus provides many offerings on urban development and inclusive cities, to deliver dynamic educational opportunities in these areas for more effective development. Examples include: “Safe and Resilient Cities,” “Sustainable Urban Land Use Planning,” “Upgrading Informal Urban Settlements,” “Cities as Engines for Economic Growth,” and “Clean Water—Not Just a Pipe Dream.”