United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme is an agency mandated by the General Assembly to assist the advancement of sustainable towns and cities and provide adequate shelter for all. To achieve these goals, the UN-Habitat provides technical assistance, aids capacity-building efforts and promotes collaboration at local, national and international levels.

Topic 1:  The Question of Sustainable Energy in Cities

Globally, cities use about eighty percent of all produced energy, and emit between fifty to seventy percent of all global emissions. The global energy demand is expected to further increase twofold or threefold by 2050, and urbanisation contributes significantly to this demand. Without a sustainable supply of energy, key infrastructure in cities will be unable to operate, and there will be severe difficulties in accommodating the needs of rapidly urbanising populations. Therefore, delegates will need to explore how cities allocate, store and utilise energy, and how systems can be further improved to meet a country’s urban planning needs.

Topic 2:  The Question of Strengthening Urban Governance

Rapid urbanization means that an estimated seventy percent of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050, a drastic increase from the fifty-five percent today. As urban areas expand, opportunities for business increase, and populations migrate to and from cities, thus changing their socio-economic landscapes. Poor urban governance would lead to disputes revolving around administrative matters including housing and access to public utilities, and generate further inequality between metropolitan areas and the outskirts. Hence, there must be a continuous process of improving urban governance, so as to encompass social, economic and geographical developments in cities.