What is the UTC


The Urban Thinkers Campus is an initiative of UN-Habitat’s World Urban Campaign, conceived as an open space for critical exchange between urban actors, who see urbanization as an opportunity that can lead to positive urban transformations. These events focus on current and future challenges of urban life and develop solutions that are globally adoptable for other cities.

The Urban Thinkers Campus, hosted by different cities around the world, is promoted by the United Nations, with the aim of sensitizing and creating awareness among the citizens on urban issues – and to contribute tofor the New Urban Agenda, the main outcome document of the Habitat III conference (Quito 2016).

The Urban Thinkers Campus aims to investigate different ideas and solutions, offering an integrated approach and giving voice to the various stakeholders. Civil society, public administrations, companies, experts and researchers will meet in order to identify and overcome obstacles towards smart development.

The main goal of each Urban Thinkers Campus is the development and enhancement of the thesis „The City We Need” with 9 principles of sustainable living in urban space.
These principles are:

„The City We Need“ …

is socially inclusive

is well planned, walkable, and transitfriendly

a regenerative city

economically vibrant and inclusive

has a singular identity and sense of place. It recognizes culture as key to human dignity and to sustainability

is a safe city

is a healthy city

is affordable and equitable

is managed at the metropolitan level


THE HABITAT III PROCESS & the Urban Thinkers Campuses

UN-Habitat is the United Nations Human Settlements Programme. Its mandate is to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. The United Nations General Assembly convened the Habitat I conference in Vancouver in 1976, as governments began to recognize the need for sustainable human settlements and the consequences of rapid urbanization. The Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, in Istanbul in 1996, focused on sustainable cities and adequate shelter for all and adopted the influential Habitat Agenda. In October, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) will take place in Quito/Ecuador, where the United Nations member states and stakeholders will meet again to review the new urban agenda for the 21st century.

Through discussions and suggestions on the general theme “The City We Need” all Urban Thinkers Campus participants are able to take part in the negotiations on the New Urban Agenda, the main outcome document of Habitat III. During the actual conference, the New Urban Agenda will be discussed, negotiated, and finally approved by all United Nations member states and accredited non-governmental partners. The New Urban Agenda describes the global circumstances of life in cities in the 21st centuryand will serves as a political guidance for the global urban development over the next 20 years.