The World Urban Forum (WUF)

This week we discussed the World Urban Forum (WUF). In this post, I will explain what the WUF is and what its goals and objectives are. I will also explain the relevance WUF has to my capstone research project.

The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a global conference on urban issues. It was established in 2001 by the United Nations to examine one of our world’s most pressing issues – rapid urbanization. It is organized and convened by UN Habitat. The most recent session (9) of the World Urban Forum took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2018. More than 23,000 participants attended. The Tenth Session will take place in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in 2020.

WUF remains relevant because it has the highest participation rate of UN non-legislative forums, it is a key platform to advance Habitat III and the Sustainable Development Goals, and it has a unique role for global sustainable urban development. It focuses on frameworks for implementation, governance and partnerships, and innovative solutions.

WUF’s main objectives are to raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders, improve collective knowledge and action on sustainable urban development through debates and the exchange of lessons and best practices, and to increase coordination and cooperation between different stakeholders (both state actors and non state-actors, among others) for the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization. Countries and other stakeholders come together to assess how urbanization is impacting cities, communities, economies, the natural environment, and governments.

Some of the topics that were discussed in Kuala Lumpur were housing, climate change, governance, inclusive cities, urbanization and development, and peace and security. Furthermore, my project on inclusive recreation relates to the topics addressed and goals set out by WUF9 because inclusive recreation reinforces inclusive cities, access to basic services for all, shared public and people spaces, and urban mobility.

Roundtables are also held at the World Urban Forum to provide an opportunity for discussed discussions and reviews. These roundtables allow stakeholders’ groups to address their concerns, such as older persons, women, and persons with disabilities. This is a great opportunity for these groups to discuss their own agendas and objectives on the international stage.


The United Nations. “World Urban Forum.” 2018. Retrieved at