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Esri Enters into Memorandum of Understanding with UN-Habitat

Agreement Empowers United Nations Organization to Use Location Intelligence to Build Sustainable Communities Globally

Esri, the global leader in location intelligence, announced it entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with UN-Habitat. Under the agreement, UN-Habitat will use Esri software to develop a cloud-based geospatial technology foundation to help build inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and communities worldwide in areas where resources are scarce.

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UN-Habitat, with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya, works for a better urban future across the world. “As a center of knowledge and innovation for a better future, UN-Habitat is committed to supporting and spreading the use of technology for development,” said Marco Kamiya, senior economist, Knowledge and Innovation Branch, UN-Habitat. “Digital technologies have the potential to serve people, as well as improve living and working conditions. Through this partnership with Esri, we take another step forward toward supporting sustainable development with the use of frontline technology that can serve cities and communities.”

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UN-Habitat will now be able to leverage specific geospatial tools and open data capabilities from the Esri platform to improve the efficiency and sustainability of urban infrastructure and service delivery in regions where development is needed. These technological resources will include the ArcGIS Hub, which was implemented to build the Global Urban Observatory’s Urban Indicators Database site, launched earlier this year at the Tenth World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi.

“We are honored to provide tools that can empower neighborhoods, villages, and cities around the world to solve complex economic and environmental challenges,” said Dr. Carmelle Terborgh, Esri’s lead account manager for global organizations. “We are pleased to enhance our collaboration with UN-Habitat by formalizing our joint commitment to using data-driven methods to achieve one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals—making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.”

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As part of this agreement, Esri will provide free licenses for its ArcGIS software to 50 local governments in resource-constrained countries. Esri has already supported six municipalities in Fiji and the Solomon Islands in collaboration with the UN-Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific to start acting on this commitment. The partnership also involves the creation and delivery of joint capacity-building resources, such as free online learning modules on urban planning, to train and help build each local community’s technology capacity with a focus on ensuring long-term sustainability.

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