The UNECE region is among the most highly urbanized in the world – with the rising share of the population living in cities already at over 75% in Europe and 80% in North America, and close to 50% in Central Asia.
Cities have a key role to play in addressing complex sustainable development challenges – for housing, energy, transport, environmental management, disaster risk reduction, climate change, population ageing and many other areas.
Sustainable development requires concerted actions at the city level. Fostering cooperation across sectors, at regional, national and local levels, UNECE catalyzes the transition to smart and sustainable cities, facilitates knowledge exchange and helps scale-up successful approaches to improve the quality of life for residents of all ages.
UNECE’s conventions and instruments including standards, guidelines and recommendations, together with its intergovernmental and technical expert networks, and its analytical research and assistance projects constitute an integrated approach to address sustainable urban development challenges:
- Ensuring decent and affordable housing for all
- Tackling urban air quality
- Promoting equitable access to safe water and sanitation
- Making urban transport sustainable
- Enhancing buildings’ energy performance
- Reducing cities’ environmental footprint
- Strengthening urban climate action and disaster resilience
- Adapting to the needs of ageing populations
- Harnessing smart technologies and innovation
- Promoting transparency in decision-making.