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General Assembly

Distr: General
15 December 1970
Original: English

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Twenty-fifth session
Agenda item 48

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly

2718 (XXV). Housing, building and planning

The General Assembly,

Recalling its resolutions 2036 (XX) of 7 December 1965 and 2598 (XXIV) of 16 December 1969,

Mindful of the dedication of the Governments, on the threshold of the 1970s, to create conditions of social justice, stability and well-being for all and to ensure a minimum standard of living consistent with human dignity through economic and social progress and development,

Further recalling paragraph 71 of the International Development Strategy for the Second United Nations Development Decade /47 relating to the policy measures in the housing sector,

Considering that a greater effort needs to be made to provide effective international assistance for the improvement of the situation with regard to housing and human settlements in most developing countries,

Bearing in mind that the interregional seminar on the improvement of slums and uncontrolled settlements, held at Medellin, Colombia, from 15 February to 1 March 1970, identified the problem of human settlements as one which requires national and international solutions through the adoption of a global strategy,

Taking note of the report of the Secretary-General on the problems and priorities in human settlements,/48

1.Recommends that Member States, with the assistance, upon request, of the United Nations bodies concerned and in the context of their over-all economic and social development planning, should formulate definite and long-term housing, building and planning policies and progranunes for the improvement of human settlements, devoting particular attention to:

  1. Comprehensive measures to solve the problems of rapid urbanization, housing and uncontrolled human settlements, thereby achieving more rational urban growth patterns;

  2. Steps for a rapid and significant improvement of housing, community facilities and environmental sanitation in rural areas;

  3. The application of comprehensive planning approaches to mtegrate the physical, economic, social and administrative aspects for improvement of human settlements in both rural and urban areas;

  4. The evolution and application of regional planning for balanced rural and urban development, especially in developing countries;

  5. The development of the building industry and building technology, including research and training;

  6. The review, if necessary, of the legislative framework governing land tenure, the transfer of land and buildings in urban and rural areas, and the planning of over-all patterns of land use and appropriate infrastructural facilities;

2.Further recommends that Member States and the United Nations organizations concerned should undertake the following measures for the amelioration of conditions in the field of housing and human settlements:

  1. The elaboration by each country of its national policies and programmes for the development of housing and of a network of human settlements during the 1970s, fully integrated into national development plans, including, if necessary, the elaboration of legal, institutional and physical arrangements relating to urban and rural land use;

  2. The establishment of national and regional centres for studies in planning, designing, social and administrative aspects and experiments in low-cost housing techniques and activities, including increasing use and application of indigenous and, as appropriate, new building materials and local skills;

  3. The development of national institutions for training in regional and physical planning, housing and building;

  4. The acceleration of domestic savings through the establishment of appropriate financial practices and specialized institutions, including co-operatives, for financing the housing and construction sector;

  5. Measures for environmental improvement, particularly those that shape the future structure of human settlements ;

  6. The expansion of low-cost housing, through both public and private programmes and on a self-help basis, including co-operatives, and the advancement of pilot and demonstration projects on such housing;

3.Invites developed countries and the international organizations concerned, especiaIly the financial institutions, to provide during the 1970s increased assistance - technical as well as financial - to the developing countries for the purposes enumerated in paragraph 2 above, in accordance with the priorities they have determined for their development;

4.Further invites the Economic and Social Council and the Committee on Housing, Building and Planning to consider additional innovative approaches for the improvement of housing and human settlements;

5.Recommends that, in the elaboration of the work programmes in the field of housing, building and planning within the United Nations and its specialized agencies, particular attention should be paid to programmes and projects of interest to the developing countries;

6.Requests the Secretary-General also to make available to the Preparatory Committee for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment his report on the problems and priorities in human settlements;

7.Considers that the Centre for Housing, Building and Planning should play a major role in the formulation and co-ordination of the United Nations programmes and projects relating to the problems of housing and human settlements as well as a catalytic role in their implementation and that, as such, it should be strengthened as a matter of high priority both by a greater allocation of resources and by additional personnel;

8.Further considers that it is desirable to strengthen regional co-operation in the field of housing, building and planning;

9.Requests the Secretary-General to submit as soon as possible to the General Assembly, through the Economic and Social Council, an analytical review and progress report on the implementation of the present resolution, taking full advantage of the preparatory work for the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

1930th plenary meeting
15 December 1970


47/ Resolution 2626 (XXV).

48/ A/5037.