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Research from Cardiff University has steered the United Nations’ (UN) efforts to understand key urban trends and promote more sustainable urban development in ex-socialist nations.



Following the collapse of state socialism, countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union experienced unprecedented social, economic, and political restructuring.

Urban and housing challenges are often neglected in these countries in favour of policies focusing on economic reforms and other sectors.



Research at Cardiff University identified key challenges facing cities in ex-socialist nations.

Researchers worked in partnership with UN bodies to place these challenges more firmly in international policy debates and shape how UN policymakers and specific UN Member States understand urban and housing challenges.



This research addresses policy gaps in urban challenges within transition economies by providing valuable insights for the development and implementation of various initiatives, including the UN's New Urban Agenda, National Action Plans in countries such as Serbia, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Armenia, as well as the pioneering UN policy framework focused on 'people-smart sustainable cities.

This work contributed to the delivery of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG11, calling for cities to be inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.


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How to cite

Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) (2023) Accelerating sustainable urban development interventions by the UN in transition economies. Available at  Last accessed on: <date>