Job Opening

Posting Title: Global Future Cities Programme Urban Planning Expert
Department/Office: United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Duty Station: NAIROBI
Posting Period: 23 May 2023 - 01 June 2023
Job Opening Number: 22-United Nations Human Settlements Programme-194732-Consultant
Staffing Exercise N/A
United Nations Core Values: Integrity, Professionalism, Respect for Diversity
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Result of Service

The ultimate result of this assignment is to provide technical support to sustainable urbanization and localization of the SDGs and New Urban agenda, and to specific projects within the Urban Lab.

Work Location


Expected duration

6 months

Duties and Responsibilities

About UN-Habitat
UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable and resilient towns and cities. It is the focal point agency for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system. UN-Habitat envisions well-planned, well-governed and efficient cities and towns, with adequate housing, infrastructure and universal access to employment and basic services such as water, energy, and sanitation.
UN-Habitat Urban Planning Lab
The Urban Planning and Design Lab (Urban Lab) is an initiative from UN-Habitat to promptly respond to the requests of national and local governments to support sustainable urban development. The Urban Lab is the integrative facility of the Agency where innovative processes and partnerships are translated into tangible and transformative solutions to complex urban challenges. Throughout, the Urban Lab acts as a neutral broker, managing knowledge in complex stakeholder settings to resolve multi-sectoral, multi-scalar and multi-stakeholder challenges.
The Lab brings together a multidisciplinary team of urban planners, environmental, data-science, mobility, legal and financial experts, providing a holistic and proactive approach to sustainable urbanization. Hence, the Lab captures the necessary thematic disciplines, experts, actors and stakeholders.
In this context, the Urban Lab applies an integrated approach to systemic and strategic planning to deliver transformative change for sustainable urbanization and to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.
The Urban Lab falls under the Planning, Finance and Economy Section, which is part of the Urban Practices Branch and Global Solutions Division.
Rationale and context to the consultancy
The Urban Lab is supporting with strategic and neighbourhood level urban planning and design to help inform urban development towards transformative change, both in the context of formulating UN-Habitat country programme documents, but also for projects and interventions for cities in a number of countries, for example in Turkey, South Africa, Indonesia and Azerbaijan. These initiatives now need to be further developed, including the identification and formulation of specific interventions for further collaboration with both national and local governmental entities in these countries. In addition, the Urban Lab is preparing an overall framework for it’s engagement in strategic and spatial planning initiatives with the objective to inform urban transformation, urban resilience and to link urban development interventions with financing opportunities. This framework is to be further developed and concretized and will in addition to specific urban development projects, also inform UN-Habitat’s overall approach on country level.

The Urban Lab is also developing the SDG Project Assessment Tool as a mechanism to help inform the alignment of projects and interventions to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda. The SDG Tool brings together various stakeholders and partners in a participatory process, to identify both drivers and barriers to sustainable urbanization. The SDG Tool is to be further developed to enhance it’s relevance and application in a variety of projects and contexts, from UN-Habitat’s overall mandate and Cities Investment Facility to specific projects and interventions. The further development of the SDG Tool will include the methodology and structure, it’s scope and thematic content, and finally, its accessibility and user-friendliness for both internal and external users.

Under the overall supervision of the Chief of the Planning, Finance and Economy Section, the Programme Management Officer of the Urban Lab in coordination with the UN-Habitat Regional Offices and in close collaboration with UN- Habitat thematic Sections, the incumbent of the post is expected to fulfill the following duties and responsibilities:

• Provide technical expertise in the implementation of urban planning and design initiatives;
• Technical development of country proposals and development frameworks;
• Provide technical backstopping to the Urban Lab team on urban development interventions
• Advise and work with the Urban Lab team to analyze, collect, compile and interpret data to guide the development of strategies, projects and interventions
• Extract lessons learnt from projects and initiatives to help inform the further development of the SDG Projects Assessment Tool
• Draft concept papers and progress reports on implementation of projects, for documentation, knowledge management, advocacy and outreach

Qualifications/special skills

• Advanced university degree (master’s degree or equivalent) in Architecture, Urban Development and Planning, or a related field is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.
• At least 5 years of relevant work experience in the field of urban development and planning and design (and/or related fields) with direct proven experience of programme/project management is required;
• Direct proven experience of urban planning projects/processes, in combination with e.g. urban resilience, mobility, project finance, and/or data systems is required;
• Proven experience in GIS software use, data analysis and maps production is required;
• Good hand drawing/sketching is required;
• Understanding of and experience from managing urban data is an asset;
• Experience working in the public sector, e.g. local governments is considered an asset;
• Experience in any of the countries of the projects is an asset;
• Experience working on social change projects is an asset;
• Leading, designing and managing capacity building processes is an asset;
• Working knowledge and understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (and their monitoring/evaluation) and of the New Urban Agenda is an asset;
• Working experience with international development agencies and in particular the United Nations is an asset.


• Fluency in English, written and verbal, is required.

No Fee


Sorry, this job opening is no longer available.
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