Last chance to include your city in our Urban Governance Survey!

Local governments around the world are invited to participate in the Urban Governance Survey, an initiative to build a global database on current models of urban governance for public dissemination, comparative policy and research analysis lead by LSE Cities, UN-Habitat and the UCLG Committee on Decentralization and self-government. You can check the survey’s online platform that presents data from 104 cities spanning five continents and in-depth analysis of existing institutional arrangements and governance challenges faced by cities around the world.

The final results will be presented during the UCLG World Congress in Bogota, in an interactive session called “The Urban Governance Puzzle: a Trivial Pursuit Game” on October 12th, as in the exhibition area throughout the Summit. More information on how to participate in the survey here.


Localizing the SDGs at the High level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

New York, July 15th, 2016 – UN-Habitat participated in the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, the United Nations central platform for the follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Ms. Yamina Djacta, Director of UN-Habitat NY Office presented UN-Habitat’s contribution to the process during the side event “Localizing the SDGs: transforming global goals into local realities”. Along with representatives from Italy, Belgium and Canada, she presented practical tools and approach currently developed by UN-Habitat.The feedback from local and national representatives showed that localizing the SDGs is crucial. The joint initiative between UN-Habitat, UNDP and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional governments regarding the Toollbox for the Localization of the SDGs was presented and shared among partners. In particular, UN-Habitat introduced to participants the Roadmap for Localizing the SDGs.[More info]

LGDU @ Habitat III, Prep Com 3: Localizing the 2030 Agendas in Cities

Surabaya, 27th July 2016 – The Unit co-organized a side event during the 3d Preparatory Committee for Habitat III. As stressed by the UN Secretary General, “many of the investments to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs) will take place at the territorial level and be led by local authorities”. It was the opportunity to show that localization is of particular importance to meet the principle of “leaving no one behind” that both the New Urban Agenda and the Agenda 2030 are built on.

UN-Habitat’s DED, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira reaffirmed the importance of the partnership between UNDP, the Global Task Force and UN-Habitat on this thematic. Ms. Sally Lee, Mayor of Sorsogon, Philippines explained how her city piloted the localizing MDGs experience and what it meant for them. Then, Mr. John Taylor (Kota Kita/UNDP) provided examples of how indicators can be a useful tool for communities. On the need to localize finance for effective development, Mr. Martin Hiebsch (GIZ) quoted paragraph 34 of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda and how it could be linked to the NUA-to-be. Finally, Ms. Fabienne Perucca promoted the recently released Roadmap for Localizing the SDGs and introduced the toolbox for localizing the SDGs (under development). The questions from the floor revealed the need to do more awareness-raising on what the SDGs are and what people and local governments need to know about them.

Launch of Urban GLASS (Global-Local Accountability Support System)

August, 2016 – UN-Habitat, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) under the framework of the Uraía Platform are launching an initiative to supports local government in preventing corruption in urban management by promoting transparent, accountable and participatory cities.

The initiative aims to strengthen the capacities of local governments to develop and implement mechanisms for transparency and anticorruption in urban settings, fostering the necessary conditions for the fulfillment of Sustainable Development Goals 16 and 11. The scope of work will include capacity building, development of tools, advocacy and the promotion of partnerships and networking. The project will take specific consideration to the enormous potential of technology and will foster the development and use of SMART technologies as a tool to include citizens in the cities’ affairs. Click here, for more information on how to participate in the initiative.


We are happily busy organizing our next activities. More information will be posted soon about our engagement in this year LOCAL calendar!

“Action for Localizing SDGs”, Networking event at UCLG-Aspac 6th Congress

Gunsan, September 6th , 2016 – Taking the opportunity of the 6th UCLG ASPAC Congress “Region, Life, Culture in the New Urban Agenda”, LGDU will participate and co-organize a session on Localizing the SDGs.

Cities in Asia Pacific are fighting to solve the challenges they are facing to fulfil the citizens’ demand and are looking for practical and efficient solution. UCLG ASPAC in collaboration with partners is organizing a session of localizing SDGs to showcase some innovative local initiatives, policies and visions in relation with specific goals of SDGs. It aims to raising awareness as well as to connect cities/local governments for peers learning. Goal # 8 on Local Economic Development and Goal # 11 on urban mobility have been chosen as the specific issues to be discussed concerning their connectivity with the current on-going program in UCLG-ASPAC.

Presentation of the Uraía Nicosia Guidelines: “The impact of SMART technologies in the municipal budget – increase revenue and reduce expenses for better urban services”

Bogotá, October 13th, 2016 – The Nicosia Guidelines identify the trending topics and challenges regarding the current use of SMART technologies and its impacts on the municipal budget, exploring how technological innovation can help cities to increase municipal revenue and generate savings and decrease expenses.

The document results from the exchange amongst participants during the Uraía’s annual workshop held in Nicosia (Cyprus), on April 19th and 20th 2016. The report displays a series of concrete case studies, experiences, and point of views of cities and their partners; it also stresses challenges, opportunities and lessons learned shared by local governments around the world. It establishes concrete recommendations to decision makers who face similar situations and wish to find innovative ways to address citizen’s demands for better services.

The presentation of the Report in Bogota will offer a space for other cities to discover available SMART solutions to improve municipal finances and to be inspired by their peers’ experiences.

Workshop – Governing with the citizen: transparent and accountable local governments in an increasingly urbanized world

Bogotá, October 14th, 2016 – UN–Habitat, the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (FEMP) and the Middle East and West Asia Section of UCLG are jointly organizing a workshop during the 5th UCLG World Congress. The aim of this session is to discuss a holistic approach to strengthening local government integrity by highlighting innovative measures that cities are experimenting to improve transparency and accountability in urban planning and service’s provision.

There is a pressing need to ensure access, quality affordability and safety in the provision of services, while managing the physical development of the city. The workshop will be an opportunity to present and identify partners interested in participating in the project “Urban-GLASS: Governing with the Citizen” jointly designed by UN-Habitat and FEMP to support local governments and their associations to increase transparency and accountability in urban development. [More info]

Special session on Urban Governance @ Habitat III Conference 

Quito, October 17th, 2016 –  The Unit will co-organize with UNDP the special session on Urban Governance during Habitat III,  the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development Conference. The special session constitutes the opportunity to reaffirm the main points of the issue paper on urban governance.

The session will aim at: (i) identifying the key aspects of urban governance needed to ensure sustainable urban development, (ii) exploring urban governance in innovative ways to make the concepts understandable for all stakeholders involved in the NUA implementation and (iii) identifying the links between urban governance in the NUA and the SDGs implementation.

Save the date for Uraía 2017 workshop! 

Madrid, February 15-17th, 2017 – The 2017 edition of Uraía – Citizenship Series will be entitled “Transparent and accountable cities: innovative solutions for municipal management and finances”. The objective of the workshop is to present and to exchange experiences on how local governments and their partners are implementing mechanisms for transparency, accountability and open government in cities. It will also look at how to take advantage of innovation and technology to prevent corruption and mismanagement in urban management. The workshop will offer an opportunity for cities to discover available SMART solutions that can have a significant impact on transparency and better communication with the citizen.

The workshop will result in the “Madrid Guidelines”, a document systematizing the exchanges, case studies, challenges, opportunities and views shared by decision makers who face similar situations regarding the pressing need to address the citizen’s demand for transparency in more innovative ways. The event is co-organized with the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces. [More info]

Know More About Our Work
Our brochure available here
2015 Report of results and activities available here

Local Government and Decentralization Unit
Urban Land, Legislation and Governance Branch



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