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Research Impact

Across the world, rapid urbanisation is resulting in more slum dwellers; inadequate and overburdened infrastructure and services; worsening air pollution; and unplanned urban sprawl.

And growing cities now have to react to the urban humanitarian crisis caused by the global pandemic. How they respond is critical in protecting their population, halting the pandemic and setting the scene for resilience and recovery.

Professor Brian M Evans is Professor of Urbanism and Landscape at The Glasgow School of Art. He was commissioned by the Committee Bureau on Urban Development, Housing & Land Management – a part of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) – to coordinate and author its Regional Action Plan 2030. The Plan was presented to the COP26 conference as a cornerstone of UNECE’s climate action.

The Plan is intended to be a manifesto for action across UNECE’s 56 member states to address the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. It also seeks to tackle the climate and housing emergencies, and to provide the basis for plans and activities around the contribution of affordable housing to sustainable urban development. RAP 2030 develops a series of principles, objectives, policies, goals, targets and actions to underpin delivery across the region and will be implemented, on a voluntary basis, by international organisations, the governments of member States and cities, the private sector, civil society and other stakeholders.

The Action Plan is also intended as a tool for communication with other sectors and for awareness raising. The Committee will monitor progress in sustainable urban development and affordable housing as a part of its continuing work programme.