Background: The Global Urban Observatory (GUO) addresses the urgent need to improve the world-wide base of urban knowledge by helping Governments, local authorities and organizations of the civil society develop and apply policy-oriented urban indicators, statistics and other urban information. The GUO was established by UN-HABITAT in response to a decision of the United Nations Commission on Human Settlements, which called for a mechanism to monitor global progress in implementing the Habitat Agenda and to monitor and evaluate global urban conditions and trends. The GUO works closely with Best Practices and Local Leadership programme (BLP) which was established to make use of information and networking in support of the Habitat Agenda Implementation. Both programmes operate under the Monitoring Systems Branch, which has the overall mandate to monitor progress on the Habitat Agenda and the Millenium Development Goals.
Urban indicators are regularly collected in a sample of cities worldwide in order to report on progress in the twenty key areas of the Habitat Agenda at the city level. Data collection is conducted through local and national urban observatories as well as through selected regional institutions. The global urban indicators database 2 contains policy-oriented indicators for more than 200 cities worldwide. Its results have been analyzed and incorporated in the State of the World’s Cities Report 2001.
Global Urban Observatory databases (urban indicators, statistics and city profiles)