Global Urban Observatory

Network of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (HABITAT)
Brief Overview
The Global Urban Observatory is an international capacity-building network, established by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), to assist in meeting the aims of the Habitat Agenda and Agenda 21, which call for the active participation of all major groups of society to improve our living environment. Its mission is to help build a global base of knowledge for sustainable urban development. The Urban Indicators Programme and the Best Practice and Local Leadership Programme (BLP), together, make up the Global Urban Observatory, a UNCHS (Habitat)’s facility for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the Habitat Agenda and Agenda 21.

Purpose of the GUO
The purpose of the GUO is to help governments, local authorities, the private and professional sectors and civil society:

  • To improve urban policies, based on increased capacity to collect, interpret and apply information on urban trends and conditions
  • To formulate and implement national and local plans of action, based on a better understanding of how cities work
  • To foster civic engagement and participatory decision-making
  • To improve urban management and development

How does the GUO work ?

  • Capacity building for Participation, Enablement, Partnership, Networking, Transfer of expertise and experience.
  • Providing tools for
    -Urban data collection and management,
    -Data analysis and presentation,
    -Application of data in decision making,
    -Learning from best practices
  • Assisting partners through the Urban Indicators Programme, the Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme, The Learning Works Net.
  • Building networks of Regional and national urban observatories, Local urban observatories, Regional/national capacity-building institutions, National and local policy makers, professional associations.
Contact Information

Stated Goals
Regions of Work
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