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UN Habitat

Farmer hut in Great Rift Valley. (10 January 2015)
MONUSCO/Abel Kavanagh

From violence to dialogue: as land conflicts intensify, UN boosts efforts to resolve disputes through mediation

The town of Kitchanga, in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), hosts the highest concentration of internally displaced people in the country, and has been one of the regions most affected by clashes between local communities, made up of Tutsis and Hutus, especially in terms of accessing land. Today, however, thanks to a UN initiative, many disputes over land in Kitchanga are resolved through dialogue instead of violence, and families can cultivate, rent and make a profit from their land.

UN News/Mustafa Al-Gamal

Women leaders explore how they can bring about sustainable cities

Ensuring that the poor, excluded and marginalized are included in climate talks is one way women leaders can guarantee these discussions are inclusive.

That’s the opinion of the deputy director of UN-Habitat, the UN agency that’s leading the push for adequate housing for all.

Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira is in Bonn this week for the latest global conference on climate change, known as COP23.

UN Photo

Building cities of the future a “collaborative effort”: former Kigali mayor

Building the cities of the future is going to involve “collaborative effort,” requiring good leadership and realistic expectations.

That’s the view of Deputy Executive Director of the UN urban agency UN-Habitat, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, who was the mayor of Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, for five years, up to 2011.

She is a senior member of the team charged with helping cities, countries and regions around the world, realize the ambitious New Urban Agenda, which was agreed at the Habitat III Conference last year.

Kim Haughton

“Bold new course” needed on urbanization: UN deputy chief

A “bold new course” is needed across the UN system to address the challenges of urbanization in the 21st Century, the UN deputy chief said on Tuesday.

Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed was speaking on the opening day of a High Level Meeting looking at the New Urban Agenda and the working of the UN urban agency, UN Habitat.

More details from Matt Wells.

Duration: 2'56"


Iraq: Western Mosul suffered extensive damage, UN study finds

Extensive damage has occurred in the western part of the Iraqi city of Mosul, where a military operation is underway to free neighbourhoods from the terrorist group, ISIL.

That’s according to the most recent assessment by the UN agency working on urban development issues, UN-Habitat.

The study finds that more than 1,140 housing sites have been destroyed and damage to houses is two-and-a-half times greater than in eastern districts of the city, which were liberated earlier this year.

UN Photo/Matt Wells

“Pop-up public space” provides 3D lab for urban design

“Pop-up public spaces” combined with what have been described as “democratic three-dimensional tools” are proving an effective way to engage poor communities in urban design.

That’s the view of Pontus Westerberg, of UN-Habitat, the UN programme for sustainable cities.

He is the manager of the Block by Block initiative, a collaboration between UN- Habitat and the makers of the videogame Minecraft.

UN Photo/Kim Haughto

Urbanization has “huge potential also huge risks”: UN-Habitat chief

The process of urbanization has “huge potential and also huge risks” according to the senior UN official leading the biggest conference on world cities in 20 years.

Habitat III”, as it’s known, begins this weekend in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, and thousands will be attending from around the globe, to adopt The New Urban Agenda.

It sets new global standards for the sustainable growth of cities and towns.