The World Urban Forum (WUF) was established in 2001 by the United Nations to address one of the most pressing issues facing the world today: rapid urbanization and its impact on communities, cities, economies, climate change and policies. Convened by UN-Habitat, the Forum is a high level, open and inclusive platform for addressing the challenges of sustainable urbanization.

The World Urban Forum has the following objectives:

  • Raising awareness of sustainable urbanization among stakeholders and constituencies, including the general public;
  • Improving collective knowledge on sustainable urban development through open and inclusive debate, exchange of best practices and policies, and sharing of lessons learnt.
  • Promote collaboration and cooperation between different stakeholders and constituencies engaged in the advancement and implementation of sustainable urbanization.



  • To take stock of emerging innovative approaches and practices in harnessing culture and innovation as a driver for sustainable urbanization;
  • To provide greater insights into the linkages between urbanization, culture and innovation as a basis for achieving inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements;
  • To promote synergies between tradition and modernity, creating spaces for convergence in multicultural and multigenerational communities;
  • To promote innovative solutions and approaches to urban development, building on the value of cultural diversity to improve quality of life for all in cities and human settlements;
  • To explore the role of culture and the creative industry in driving prosperity and socioeconomic opportunities for all in cities and human settlements;
  • To explore the role of culture and innovation in implementing the New Urban Agenda and achieving urban dimensions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • To build on the lessons learned of previous WUFs, especially with respect to bottom-up approaches to sustainable urbanization.



The theme of the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum, Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation, will focus on harnessing culture and innovation as drivers of sustainable urban development.

There are six thematic dialogues exploring how culture and innovation can contribute to sustainable urbanization in different contexts while be at the heart of WUF10.

These are:

  • Urbanization, Culture & Innovation
  • Frontier Technologies and Sustainable Cities
  • Driving Sustainable Urbanization through Innovation & Culture
  • Tradition and Modernity: A Creative Convergence for Better Cities
  • Urban Planning & Heritage Preservation/Regeneration
  • Partnerships & Initiatives Supporting Culture & Innovation in Cities

More information on the theme is available in the WUF10 Concept Paper and Background Paper


WUF10 Concept Paper

WUF10 Background Paper