Penn IUR is a partner with UN-HABITAT, the United Nations agency for human settlements. The goal of UN-HABITAT is to help the urban poor by bridging the urban divides and transforming cities to cleaner, greener, safer, smarter and more equitable places with better opportunities where everyone can live in dignity.

The World Urban Campaign (WUC) is a new tool in this quest and it seeks to ensure that the world stays alert to the problems of rapid urbanization and all its ramifications, especially in the developing countries. The WUC is a global coalition of public, private, and civil society partners acting to promote sustainable urbanization; it was launched in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 2010, at UN-HABITAT’s 5th World Urban Forum (WUF), the world’s premier conference on cities.

In 2014, Penn IUR Co-Director Eugenie Birch was elected chair of the UN-HABITAT’s World Urban Campaign (WUC). Previously, as co-chair of the WUC, Dr. Birch helped launch the Manifesto for Cities in preparation for World Habitat III, the UN’s much anticipated conference on housing and sustainable urban development scheduled for 2016. The manifesto emphasizes the prominence of cities in today’s world, and holds that “the battle for a sustainable future will be won or lost in cities.”


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