Global challenges


a city view in Palestine


The world is becoming more and more urban. By 2050, 70% of the world population will live in cities. This global trend concerns both the rise of megacities and the spread of small and medium-sized cities. 75% of the world population is living in urban settlements of fewer than 500.000 people. Cities are also growing younger, with an estimated 60% of urban populations under the age of 18 by 2030.

Our approach

Access to quality services for all

Enabel supports cities to upgrade and maintain urban infrastructure for quality services (access to water and sanitation, roads, energy), including in informal settlements. In fragile settings, Enabel focuses on secondary cities, in consolidating their capacity building to plan for and respond to shocks and, to deliver scalable and dynamic basic services and opportunities.

Encouraging Integrated and participatory urban and territorial governance

Enabel supports cities in co-creating policies ,tools and projects for appropriate city planning and management and fostering open and transparent authorities. Urban authorities and civil organisations are encouraged to collaborate closely and to promote women’s leadership and participation in joint efforts to improve city life adopting a gender transformative approach to city planning.

Cities and territories as positive actors of climate change

Cities are main producers of GreenHouse Gases yet also main driver in the fight against climate change. Enabel supports access to clean technology and infrastructure and fosters supportive business and policy environment to advance the green and circular economy. By rethinking the ways we use energy, materials, products, and assets in cities, Enabel responds to urban resource challenges faced by climate change and high rate of urbanisation.

Socio economic integration for women and men, and in particular youth

Enabling young people and women to develop their talents and skills and promoting entrepreneurship will boost the urban economy. High-quality training accessible to all, and support systems are needed for getting people into jobs that are adapted to the needs of various categories of people and to the needs of the local market and urban issues. Taking into account ever-changing market needs, harnessing the potential of the urban economy and tapping into the opportunities offered by the digital and circular economy are key to foster innovative urban eco-systems.

Safe and cohesive cities

Enabel contributes in shaping cities’ ability to offer inclusive and safe environments to their citizens. Specific attention is devoted to young people, women and vulnerable groups. Urban violence and gender-based violence in particular is addressed in a comprehensive manner through enhancing access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, to gender-responsive infrastructure, and working closely with schools, the police and the judicial authorities.

More on urbanisation

The world is facing huge challenges in realising the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. Enabel wants to contribute with its experience and expertise in five specific domains: Peace and Security, Climate Change and the Environment, Social and Economic Inequality, Urbanisation, and Human Mobility. In our search for adapted solutions we take into account the inevitable ongoing population explosion and we strongly believe in empowering women and youths.

This brochure describes how we address urbanisation in our projects.

Download the brochure
Surveyor's apprentice in Burundi looks into a surveying machine

News & Events

Busy street in Mali. Cars, motor-taxis, a person on a horse and pedestrians are going about their day.

Stay informed

Keep up-to-date with our latest activities and international development trends from a Belgian perspective.


"*" indicates required fields