UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development

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Habitat III is the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.

The UN Conferences on Housing (Habitat) are occurring in the bi-decennial cycle (1976, 1996 and 2016).

The United Nations General Assembly decided to convene The Habitat III Conference in its resolution 66/207.

The Habitat III Conference reinvigorates the global commitment to sustainable urbanization, to focus on the implementation of a “New Urban Agenda”.

Habitat III will be one of the first United Nations global summits after the adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

This is considered to be an opportunity to open discussions on important urban challenges and questions, such as how to plan and manage cities, towns and villages for sustainable development.

The discussion of these questions will shape the implementation of new global development and climate change goals.


Habitat II, the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, was held in Istanbul, Turkey from June 3–14, 1996. The conference outcomes were integrated in the Istanbul Declaration.

World leaders also adopted the Habitat Agenda as a global plan of action for adequate shelter for all, with the notion of sustainable human settlements driving development in an urbanizing world.

Habitat I was the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, held in Vancouver, Canada, May 31 – June 11, 1976, governments began to recognize the need for sustainable human settlements and the consequences of rapid urbanization, especially in the developing world. The conference outcomes were integrated the Vancouver Declaration on Human Settlements, which carried an action plan with 64 recommendations for National Action.

The Conference also established the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements – UNCHS (Habitat).


The objectives of the Conference are to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable urban development, assess accomplishments to date, address poverty and identify and address new and emerging challenges.

The conference will result in a concise, focused, forward-looking and action-oriented outcome document.

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