Overview

The UN-Habitat office in Spain operates as a country office under the Office for Europe and European Institutions. Since 2012, it has focused on the following topics: Representation and Liaison with Spanish key stakeholders for developing strong support from member states and strengthening UN-Habitat´s mandate; Effective Advocacy, Communication and Digital Engagement to inform, influence and mobilize all relevant stakeholders; Innovative and Strategic Partnerships and Resource Mobilization to encourage regional and local bodies and stakeholders to engage in global processes within the framework of the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the urban dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as other global frameworks; and Knowledge Fostering, Programme Support, and Advisory Services for enhancing UN-Habitat´s impact and expertise as a renowned and valued centre of excellence.  

Overview
Population (2018)
46.4 million
Total value of projects
US$ 690,416
No. of projects (2014 - 2019)
Total: 3

Adequate, accessible and affordable housing is one of the great challenges in Spain. The most serious problems are the following, A) the gradual and constant rise in rental prices, which make it difficult to access housing in the sub-national governments where the highest percentages of rental homes are located (Canary Islands 32.8%, the Balearic Islands 31.8%, Catalonia 28.1% and Madrid 27.0%). In the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and Madrid, rental prices have already exceeded historical highs and in Catalonia, they are very close to doing so (data obtained from the Special Housing Bulletin 2018 of the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Transport). B) the loss of houses in some public parks of the Administrations (they are counted by thousands) and their transfer to investment funds whose only purpose is lucrative. C) the existence of many homeless people who depend entirely on social services (some 23,000 people are counted, although Caritas estimates that they total close to 40,000) and D) the high number of people and families who face real difficulties in accessing affordable housing and who are at obvious risk of social exclusion. (Data from the Spanish Urban Agenda)

Spain is a country very vulnerable to climate change. The alert about the elevation of the average temperature between 5º and 7ºC in summer and between 3 and 4ºC in winter, for the last third of the 21st century, is already an evidence and the effects of climate change are felt in the form of periods of drought ; global values ​​of precipitation below the historical average (this has been the case in the last 4 hydrological years, except for the year 2018); insufficient water storage in the reservoirs (at the end of the hydrological year 2016/17 it reached 33.9% of the total capacity, below the average values ​​of the last 10 years, which was 50.1%); flood damage that exceeds 800 million euros per year and increase in forest area affected by fires.

Impact
UN-Habitat Office in Spain has supported the process of defining the National Urban Policy and the Spanish Urban Agenda.
UN-Habitat Office in Spain has gathered 408 international experts, 173 national experts and 880 partners in 22 Expert Group Meetings (EGM) and Workshops since 2013.
UN-Habitat Office in Spain has established 43 Collaboration Agreements and 15 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) since 2012, based on trust relations aiming at mobilizing for action on sustainable ur
Urban numbers
Due to gentrification and turistification, the Canary Islands ( 32.8%), the Balearic Islands (31.8%), Catalonia (28.1%) and Madrid (27.0%) have experienced a gradual and constant rise in rental prices
The demographic gap between rural and urban areas concentrated the loss of population in the smaller municipalities, unlike what has happened with the most populated cities, which have endured the dem
Half of the Spanish municipalities are at risk of extinction. Of the 8,125 municipalities, 4,955 have less than 1,000 inhabitants.

Leaving no one and no place behind

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

The prioritisation of human rights addresses the structural causes of inequalities and discrimination in an integrated manner. Urbanisation can only be sustainable if it is human rights based, and living conditions can only be improved for all if everyone’s human rights are comprehensively promoted and protected. UN-Habitat applies the Human-Rights Based Approach to address inequalities and discrimination, reaching the furthest behind first by placing power relationships in human settlements at the heart of its analysis and action.

UN-Habitat in Spain carries out knowledge fostering (f.e. Global Experts Group Meeting on “Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development:  Gender-Sensitive Engagement in Post-Conflict Contexts¨,  “Engendering Urban October: integrating gender in large urban regeneration operations”or “Engendering Seminar: From the Law of Equality to the New Urban Agenda: The Gender Impact in the Urban Planning” both organized by UNESCO Chair of Gender in Science, Technology and Innovation of the Polytechnic University of Madrid with collaboration of UN-Habitat Office in Spain), effective advocacy, communication and digital engagement activities to inform, influence and mobilize all relevant stakeholders for enhancing gender-sensitive urban policies. 

UN-Habitat in Spain promotes Sustainable urban development for social integration, developing knowledge fostering, effective advocacy, communication, and digital engagement activities to enhance inclusive communities and cities (f.e. participation at “Child-friendly Cities” (Ciudades Amigas de la Infancia) of UNICEF).

Sustainable urban development can only be achieved if persons with disabilities are included meaningfully in decision-making and are able to access their rights. UN-Habitat partners with representative groups and individual rights holders, as well as national and local governments, relevant UN bodies and civil society to maximize impact and to meaningfully ensure that the rights including accessibility and universal design of persons with disabilities are promoted, respected and protected. 

Donors and partners

UN-Habitat in Spain facilitates collaboration and fosters stakeholder engagement at various levels of government for the implementation, follow up and review of the New Urban Agenda and the urban dimension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

UN-Habitat has supported National Government in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the development of Spanish Urban Policies; Regional Governments in the localization of the 2030 Agenda and development of Regional Urban Policies; and Local Governments in the localization of the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.

The UN-Habitat office in Spain works both through International Cooperation and the departments of Sustainable Urban Development at all levels.

The office of UN-Habitat in Spain promotes strategic and multi-stakeholder partnerships, platforms and networks to facilitate up-scaling of good practices and influencing policies and actions at national, regional and local levels. It also provides support through effective communication, awareness, and networking with stakeholders, such as other UN agencies, Academy, Professionals, Non-Governmental Organizations and the Private Sector, to promote the Sustainable Urban Development and the New Urban Agenda.

Contact

Carmen Sánchez-Miranda Gallego
Head
UN-Habitat Office in Spain
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