United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) | IAS Target IAS Target

United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations programme for human settlements and sustainable urban development. It was established in 1978 as a result of the First UN Conference on Human Settlements and Sustainable Urban Development held in Vancouver, Canada, in 1976. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group.

Headquarter Nairobi, Kenya
Parent organization United Nations General Assembly
World Habitat Day first Monday of October every year
Report World cities report


It is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all. The mandate of UN-Habitat derives from the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1996. The twin goals of the Habitat Agenda are enough shelter for all and the development of sustainable human settlements in an urbanizing world.

UN-Habitat's Work and projects

UN-Habitat works in more than 70 countries in five continents focusing on seven areas:
  • Urban research and capacity development
  • Urban basic services;
  • Risk reduction and rehabilitation;
  • Housing and slum upgrading;
  • Urban legislation, land and governance;
  • Urban planning and design;


Governing Council
The Governing Council of UN-Habitat is the intergovernmental decision-making body for the Programme. Every two years Governing Council analysis the UN-Habitat's work and relationships with its partners, and it is a high-level forum of governments at the ministerial level during which policy guidelines and the organization's budget are established for the next two-year period. The Governing Council meets in Nairobi. The Governing Council of UN-Habitat seeks to promote an integral and comprehensive approach to human settlements, assist the countries and regions in addressing human settlement problems and strengthen cooperation among all countries on the human settlement issue.