Rebuilding for a better urban future

The official blog of UN-Habitat's response to Typhoon Haiyan

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UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab project begins in Tacloban City

Tacloban City, 25 January 2016 – International experts from UN-Habitat’s Urban Lab team will conduct their first technical mission to Tacloban City from 26-29 January 2016, as part of the global project to support the growth of equitable, sustainable and resilient cities.

The overall objective of the one-year Urban Lab project in Tacloban City is to provide high level technical expertise in the design phase of a planned city extension (PCE). The activities will support the local government in creating inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable new neighbourhoods for Tacloban residents, and provide technical assistance in the development of the city’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP).

“In the spirit of our continuing partnership, we are delighted that Tacloban City will benefit from the expertise and capacity building activities made available through this project,” said Christopher Rollo, Country Programme Manager for the United Nations Human Settlement Programme in the Philippines (UN-Habitat Philippines).

“A city-wide spatial framework to emerge out of the CLUP will enable the city to transition from recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities to long-term, sustainable urban development projects,” added Rollo.

The Urban Lab team from UN-Habitat headquarters in Nairobi, along with local urban planners from UN-Habitat Philippines, will conduct the initial scoping mission. The mission focuses on determining the thematic issues that the team will address over the year and the kind of value-adding technical support required.

The team will meet with the Mayor, government officials and key stakeholders; conduct a site visit of Tacloban North; and hold a design charette with the city’s Technical Working Group.

Urban Lab is directly related to the Achieving Sustainable Urban Development project currently being implemented by UN-Habitat Philippines in four cities (i.e., Iloilo, Silay, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga).

At the same time, UN-Habitat Philippines is providing technical support to Tacloban City in the preparation of its Local Climate Change Action Plan (LCCAP). This support is part of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative – a global programme being implemented in the Asia Pacific region. The LCCAP will build upon vulnerability assessments that the city has previously completed with the assistance of UN-Habitat following Typhoon Yolanda.

The Urban Lab project in Tacloban City will run until December 2016. Tacloban City is the only city in the Philippines included in this global project.

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To strengthen the planning process, the larger ecological and developmental context (such as landscape and seascape shown above) will be analyzed to ensure the functioning of the city extension, downtown and other districts with the rest of the region.


Tacloban City is the regional center of its administrative region (Region VIII) and the fifth fastest growing city in the country. Among those cities and municipalities affected by Typhoon Yolanda, Tacloban City suffered the greatest damage to housing and settlements.

The total damages for Tacloban was estimated at about PHP7 billion, of which  PHP2.5 billion was in infrastructure, PHP726 million in the productive sectors, PHP3.4 billion in the social sector, and PHP361 million in other cross cutting sectors (data provided by the Office of Civil Defence).

Following the typhoon, the city developed the Tacloban Recovery and Rehabilitation Plan (TRRP) with the assistance of UN-Habitat and other partners. In the TRRP, the city government identified the northern part of the city as a major site for resettlement and city extension. The selection of the north district was based on considerations on risks, vulnerabilities, zoning and settlement patterns, as well as regional growth directions.

UN-Habitat Philippines implemented other initiatives based on the TRRP, including a climate change vulnerability assessment, socioeconomic profiling at the household-level for select vulnerable barangays, production of geospatial data, demonstration projects on community livelihood, youth awareness activities and others.

Other projects of UN-Habitat Philippines include post-disaster community-driven housing in the city. All activities have proved timely, as they converge to support the review and preparations of the updated CLUP.

The Urban Lab team will provide technical advice, planning methodologies and creative urban designs through field missions and office work to inform both the proposed planned city extension and the ongoing review and formulation of the CLUP. A participatory and people-centered approach in the planning process will be promoted.


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Vacancy Announcement: Knowledge Management & Communications Specialist (Application Deadline: 10 November 2015)

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN–Habitat, is the United Nations agency for human settlements development. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable communities, towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.  Its activities contribute to the overall objective of the United Nations to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development within the context and the challenges of a rapidly urbanising world.

By working at all levels and with all relevant stakeholders and partners, UN–Habitat contributes to linking policy development and capacity–building activities with a view to promoting cohesive and mutually reinforcing social, economic and environmental policies in national policies and programmes in urban development and human settlements which conform with international practices and covenants.

UN-Habitat established its country office in the Philippines in 2004, and runs multiple projects and programmes.

Guided by UN-Habitat’s knowledge management framework, and communications guidelines, the Knowledge Management and Communications Specialist shall be responsible for implementing a knowledge management system, and work on outreach and communications for the agency under the guidance of the Habitat Programme Manager. S/he will take the lead role in the documentation of the expert group meetings for all the projects and programmes, forums, consultations and other activities related to the planning, development and implementation of the Achieving Sustainable Urban Development (ASUD) program, and other projects and programmes such as the Cities and Climate Change Initiative, and all projects related to post-Haiyan work of UN-Habitat. Consultant will also work on the development of training materials and approaches in support of the program, projects and initiatives, and in the coordination of learning and knowledge sharing events. S/he shall maintain the UN-Habitat Philippines, also write text, and post suitable photos and other illustrations. In addition, consultant will manage official blog of the UN-Habitat Philippines:, also acts as administrator of social media platforms which UN-Habitat Philippines and partners populate. Also, ensures that publication of the monthly UN-Habitat Philippines e-bulletin is prepared and disseminated to relevant partners. Consultant shall also provide knowledge management services to other UN-Habitat programmes and projects, and contribute to the advocacy and initiatives of the UN system in the Philippines as a member of the UN Country Communications Group (UNCCG).

Click here for the full Terms of Reference.

Kindly fill out the P11 form and send with your application to on or before 5:00 p.m. Manila time on
10 November 2015.

Resilient houses for 660 families and over 4,500 households made more ready for disasters as post-Haiyan shelter project wraps

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Rising from the wreckage of Super Typhoon Haiyan, 660 families finally completed the building of their houses and 54 community infrastructure projects in 28 communities in Capiz and Iloilo as the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project implemented by UN-Habitat came to a close last 26 June 2015 in a turnover ceremony at Barangay Pawa, Municipality of Panay, Province of Capiz, Philippines.

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Empowered Communities Show Others How People’s Process Works For Them in Shelter Recovery

Officers of Pawa homeowners association discuss their experiences with the People's Process in detail during the delegation's visit to their community.  Photo: UN-Habitat

Officers of Pawa homeowners association discuss their experiences with the People’s Process in detail during the delegation’s visit to their community.
Photo: UN-Habitat

Roxas City – On February 5 and 6, UN-Habitat and the Social Housing and Finance Corporation (SHFC) held a learning exchange event at the San Antonio Resort in Roxas City. The two-day event aimed to familiarize the participants on how the People’s Process works through exposure trips to communities in Capiz that are partners in UN-Habitat’s Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project.
Participants were comprised of community leaders from SHFC’s Community Mortgage Program (CMP) communities in Quezon City and Coron, Palawan, and local government representatives from Coron and the province of Palawan.

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French President Joins Local Leaders, Fisherfolk, and Youth in Guiuan for Upcoming UN Climate Summit

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French President Francois Hollande’s two-day trip to the Philippines to push for a global call to action against climate change, in support of the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) taking place in Paris this December, was punctuated with a short but poignant visit to the municipality of Guiuan. Continue reading

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UN-Habitat Core Houses Served as Emergency Shelter During Typhoon Hagupit

Children already “playing house” in their future homes.

Children already “playing house” in their future homes.

They all slept well. That was the first thing heard from many in the community when UN-Habitat Roxas field team visited their project sites one day after Typhoon Hagupit (known locally as Ruby) passed north of the island of Panay on Sunday, 7 December, barely over a year since Haiyan devastated the region.

Nearly 90 houses built under the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements, a project by UN-Habitat and the Japanese and Philippine governments,served as emergency shelters, housing two to three families at times, protecting Continue reading