Overview

UN-Habitat supports countries across Asia and the Pacific to address the complex challenges posed by rapid urbanization, disasters and conflict as a leading regional partner for policy advice, capacity development, technical assistance, crisis response and normative and advocacy engagements on sustainable urban development.

Overview

Urbanization continues to be a defining megatrend in the Asia-Pacific region. Fifty-four per cent of the global urban population, more than 2.2 billion people, live in Asia. By 2050, the urban population in Asia is expected to grow by 50% - an additional 1.2 billion people.

Cities in Asia and the Pacific are at the global forefront of economic opportunity and in efforts to secure a more sustainable future. They face challenges related to environmental degradation, increasing impacts of natural and man-made disasters, the persistence of slums and social exclusion, lack of affordable housing and unemployment.  Yet, they are also economic powerhouses, dynamic hubs of innovation and transformative urban solutions and awarded for their protection and use of cultural heritage.

Impact
Over one million homes built, and more than three million people provided with basic services, using the People’s Process approach for community-led settlements upgrading.
Supported 18 countries in developing urban related policies and more than 100 cities in implementing sustainable urbanization in the last five years.
More than 200 communities assisted in adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Urban numbers
1 billion urban residents may face multiple high or extreme hazards in the region by 2030.
While the proportion of those living in slum conditions has fallen, over half a billion slum dwellers live in the region.
Most cities in Asia-Pacific struggle to manage solid waste in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible way, mainly relying on open dumping and uncontrolled landfilling.
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Sui Ngun Pan, 12, Beneficiary, Thantlang Township, Hnaring (B) Village, Chin State, Myanmar

“Life without electricity is much more difficult than it seems. Me and my village have been surviving without any electricity and my parents cannot afford to buy candles. It is so amazing to see how our lives have transformed after having solar power beaming everyday in our house and throughout our village!”

Sui Ngun Pan, 12, Beneficiary, Thantlang Township, Hnaring (B) Village, Chin State, Myanmar

Leaving no one and no place behind

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Hover over or touch the icons to learn about UN-Habitat's work on social inclusion here.

UN-Habitat has spearheaded the People’s Process, a novel approach for community-led settlements upgrading, and mainstreams human rights considerations into all parts of its work across the region.  UN-Habitat has a long track record in engaging with national and local governments and other partners in the Asia-Pacific region to ensure full and progressive realization of human rights to adequate housing and basic services, particularly for the urban poor and the most vulnerable urban dwellers.

UN-Habitat mainstreams gender considerations into all its activities in the region. In several countries, UN-Habitat projects have led to transformative changes in the way women participate in decision making at community level, e.g. through the establishment of village development committees with balanced participation of men and women. The region is also spearheading comprehensive safeguarding systems for Environmental, Social, Gender and Youth aspects in field programmes.

All UN-Habitat programmes target the urban poor and the most vulnerable groups of the population, namely children and youth. At the regional level, UN-Habitat is a proactive partner in amplifying the voices of urban youth through its leading role in the Asia Pacific Urban Youth Forum and the UN Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development.

UN-Habitat is a leading partner in improving urban design and ensuring people-centered urban development that caters for all residents, including those with disabilities, in line with the principles of the New Urban Agenda for Universal Design.

Donors and partners

UN-Habitat has developed many significant partnerships in Asia and the Pacific on which our programmes and their impact are highly dependent. Some of them country- or project-based, others are in support of advocacy or normative initiatives for implementation of the New Urban Agenda at the regional level.

UN-Habitat works in close association with our institutional partners UN ESCAP with whom we have developed the follow-up to the New Urban Agenda and are co-creating the Future of Asia-Pacific Cities Report as well as we the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum held every 4-5 years. We also support the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD), ASEAN and other regional and sub-regional entities to promote sustainable urban development and strengthen technical cooperation.

Based in Fukuoka, Japan, the Regional Office works through key substantive and financial support from the Government of Japan and the consortium of Fukuoka-based partners.

Contact

Mr. Atsushi Koresawa
Director, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Urban October