Published on Sustainable Cities

Toward a “New Urban Agenda”: Join the World Bank at Habitat III in Quito

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Cities are home to more than half of the world’s population,  consume two-thirds of the world’s energy, and produce 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. And this trend will only continue: by 2050, 66% of the 10 billion people living on earth will be urban dwellers.

As we mark World Habitat Day, these numbers remind us of a serious fact: while rapid urbanization brings tremendous opportunities for growth and prosperity, it has also posed unprecedented challenges to our cities—and the people who live in them.

Chief among these challenges is meeting fast-growing demand for infrastructure and basic services such as affordable housing and well-connected transport systems, as well as jobs—especially for the nearly one billion urban poor who are disproportionately affected by climate change and adverse socioeconomic conditions.

So, what will it take to build inclusive, resilient, productive, and livable cities?  

That is the question we will bring to “Habitat III,” the once-in-20-year UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development taking place from October 17-20 in Quito, Ecuador. It is also the first UN global summit after the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

At Habitat III, the World Bank will share its knowledge and experience in finding local solutions to the global urban challenge in three key ways:

  • Planning for inclusive, green, and competitive cities
  • Connecting firms to markets and people to jobs
  • Financing to meet cities’ growing needs

In Quito and on social media, the Bank will also lead and participate in four full days of discussions with a wide range of stakeholders from national and local governments, civil society, the private sector, and other international organizations. Together we will explore how cities, towns, and villages can be more sustainably planned and managed under a “New Urban Agenda” in the next two decades.

Watch our video to learn more about the Bank’s participation in Habitat III, as well as its renewed commitment to help countries and cities worldwide boost sustainable development, advance climate action, and improve livelihoods.

Join us in Quito.



Ede Ijjasz-Vasquez

Former Regional Director, Africa, Sustainable Development Practice Group

Sameh Wahba

Regional Director, Sustainable Development, Europe and Central Asia, The World Bank

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