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Housing and Land Management

Only together with cities can we reach climate goals, stress John Kerry, Norman Foster and Mayors at COP26 alongside UNECE and partners

The world’s urban areas are responsible for the vast majority of CO2 emissions. But cities, led by Mayors, are pushing forward the climate action that will be vital to keep the 1.5°C target alive, adapting to climate change impacts, and making their voices heard alongside national governments at COP26.

Countries in South-Eastern Europe commit to strengthen “joined-up”  land-use planning and industrial safety policies, harnessing UNECE instruments 

Increasingly frequent and intense extreme weather events due to climate change that can lead to industrial accidents and unchecked urban and regional development could together be a recipe for disaster, warn the UN and the governments of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia. 

UNECE endorses Guidelines for the Development of Voluntary Local Reviews 

Cities’ growing role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda has led to increased global attention on localizing SDGs. The preparation of Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) enables the review of SDG implementation at a local level. VLRs complement Voluntary National Reviews developed at the country level, ensuring a more detailed and nuanced assessment of progress toward implementing the 2030 Agenda at a country level.  

UNECE and UN Geneva present exhibition of urban sketches by Architect Norman Foster

An exhibition of urban sketches by Architect Norman Foster is opening today at the Palais des Nations on the occasion of the UNECE Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management (6-8 October).  The sketches present visions of city planning that incorporate concepts of sustainable urban development and innovation such as energy efficient housing, sensitivity to local culture and values, the upgrading of informal settlements and access to green spaces.  

UNECE, UN-Habitat and Housing Europe launch the report “#Housing2030: Effective policies for affordable housing in the UNECE region” 

Approximately 50 million people in the UNECE region live in inadequate housing conditions. In the 21st century, the governance, land and finance systems that influence the delivery and consumption of housing have been beset by numerous crises.

From food deserts to food forests: how cities can shape more sustainable food systems

Globally, 690 million people suffer from hunger and three billion cannot afford healthy, nutritious food. Despite this, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that one-third of all food fit for consumption is either lost during the production or shipping process or wasted. Access to healthy food is another issue altogether, with, particularly, many cities facing an increase in the number of urban areas known as “food deserts”, areas with limited access to affordable, nutritious food.

UNECE helps Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and the Republic of Moldova scale up cost-effective climate action by improving buildings’ energy efficiency  

Improving energy efficiency is a cost-effective means to support economic development while contributing to climate action. On a national scale, energy efficiency helps strengthen energy security, reduce energy expenditure, slow down energy demand growth, reduce investment needs for new generation capacities, and creates green jobs. Out of all sectors of economic activity, in many countries, the buildings sector has the largest potential for cost-effective improvement in energy efficiency and emissions reductions. 

UNECE establishes Toronto Centre of Excellence on Youth Homelessness Prevention at York University

Approximately 150 million people are homeless and  more than 1.8 billion people worldwide lack adequate and  affordable housing. While levels of homelessness vary considerably across UNECE countries, finding sustainable solutions to ensure access to housing for all members of society remains a significant challenge.