Sustainable Urbanization


By 2020, the urban population of the Asia-Pacific region is expected to surpass 50 percent, and in 2050 it is estimated that over 3 billion people will live in the region’s urban areas. For much of the Asia-Pacific region urbanization has been associated with higher levels of development but there remain challenges in terms of realizing sustainable and inclusive urban development, meeting needs with respect to shelter, adequate livelihoods, healthy and safe environments, and in ensuring good governance.In recognizing the importance of sustainable, inclusive and livable cities to the region’s future development, ESCAP works to support member States by facilitating regional dialogue and promoting sustainable and inclusive urban development through a program of work which enhances awareness for informed decision-making; provides technical assistance and supports capacity development; strengthens intergovernmental processes and mandates; and fosters networks and develops partnerships. This includes through regional fora, such as the Asia-Pacific Urban Forum; implementation of the outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), and regional preparations for global agenda-setting, including the Habitat III conference to be held in 2016.

Shifting Towards Water-Resilient Infrastructure and Sustainable Cities

Sustainable, livable cities are the way forward for the future of Asia-Pacific. The 2030 Agenda implementation urges to advance urban SDG with other SDGs, related to resilience of water infrastructure to climate change.

Cities and Marine Plastic Pollution: Building a Circular Economy

This eLearning course was developed to support city-level capacity building on the topic of plastic waste management. The purpose of this course is to share the latest knowledge and approaches to measuring and managing plastic pollution from land-based sources, in particular cities, for the achievement of local, national and regional goals related to sustainable development.

Localizing SDGs through Sustainable Urban Resource Management

This self-paced eLearning course was developed for those who want to learn more about how to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to sustainably manage natural resources in cities.
The course purpose is to support cities in their actions to localize the SDGs through Sustainable Urban Resource Management (SURM) and the objectives are to:

  • Strengthen capacities by supporting understanding of the processes and benefits of collaborative governance, integrated analysis and planning, and evidence-based decision-making;
  • Make guidelines and tools available to mainstream and accelerate adoption of the SDGs into local action in the area of urban resource management; and
  • Provide support for implementing urban resource management projects through step-by-step building blocks on how to co-plan sustainable urban resource management.