The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established in 2001 by the United Nations to examine one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. Today, it is the world’s premier conference on managing growing towns and cities.

Organized and convened by UN-Habitat, the Forum is one of the most inclusive international gatherings on urban challenges. This, combined with high-level participation, makes it unique. The World Urban Forum aims to raise awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders and constituencies, including the general public, improve collective knowledge of sustainable urban development through inclusive open debates, sharing lessons learned and the exchange of best practices and good policies; and increase coordination and cooperation to advance sustainable urbanization.


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Since its inception at the first The World Urban Forum - The Premier Conference on Cities meeting in Nairobi, Kenya in 2002, the Forum has grown in size and stature as it traveled to stunning new destinations every two years – Barcelona, Spain 2004, Vancouver, Canada 2006, Nanjing, China 2008, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 2010, Naples, Italy 2012, Medellin, Colombia 2014. In 2018 WUF took place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and was attended by more than 24,000 people – the theme was Cities 2030 – Cities for All: Implementing the New Urban Agenda. The Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) will take place in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).