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Digitization Update – Human Settlements

UN Conference on Human Settlements
UN Photo
Wednesday 22 April 2020

Topics: Digital Collections

The global discussion on human settlements began as early as 1965 when the General Assembly identified inadequate housing as one of the most urgent problems necessitating immediate solutions and called upon all nations to mobilize resources and make strong efforts to improve the housing conditions for millions of people.

Further deliberations led to the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements in Vancouver, Canada, held from 31 May to 11 June 1976.  The Conference served as a global forum for the exchange of experiences, ensured the widest possible dissemination of new ideas and technologies in the field of human settlements, and formulated recommendations for an international programme in this field to assist governments.

The Conference advocated for improving the quality of life in human settlements through more equitable distribution of development benefits, planning and regulating land use, protecting the environment, integrating women and youth, reducing disparities between rural and urban areas, and rehabilitating people displaced by natural and man-made disasters.

The substantive outcomes of the Conference consist of a series of 64 recommendations, organized in six sections: Section A - Settlements policies and strategies, Section B – Settlement planning, Section C – Shelter, infrastructure and services, Section D – Land, Section E – Public participation, and Section F – Institutions and management. The recommendations were supplemented by an Action Plan to be implemented by Member States.

As a further outcome of the Conference, the General Assembly established the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) in 1977 (resolution 32/162), now known as the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

Researchers can now delve into the Conference documentation which was recently digitized by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library and can be accessed in the UN Digital Library

More information:

Ask DAG: FAQ on UN-Habitat

Website: UN-Habitat

Knowledge Repository: UN-Habitat

Website: SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities