Urban Planner – National Urban Development Consultant – United Nations – القاهرة

Result of Service

The main goal of the project is to support the general guidelines of sustainable and healthy cities in Egypt through the analysis and upgrading of a replicable pilot study area. Moreover, it aims at improving the resilience of the community and city to correspond to Urban plans, regional plan, and national priorities.

Work Location

Cairo, Egypt

Expected duration

9 months

  • The first phase will include Task 1, 2 for a duration of 3 months
  • The second phase will include Tasks 3 and 4 for a duration of 3 moths
  • The third phase will include tasks 5,6 and 7 for a duration of 3 months

Duties and Responsibilities

Organizational Setting

UN-Habitat, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities. It is the focal point for all urbanization and human settlement matters within the UN system.


Urbanization is a key driver of development and cities are seen to be on the frontline of many of the global challenges the world is currently facing. In Egypt, 75% of the GDP is generated in urban areas and 80% of the jobs are in existing cities. However, unplanned, and imbalanced urbanization contributes strongly to inequalities and inefficient use of resources. 68 percent of the total population are living in three regions, Greater Cairo Region, Alexandria and Delta; representing 1.8 percent of Egypt’s total area, while 77 cities comprise 4 percent of the urban population.

In this context, the Greater Cairo Region (GCR) – being one of the world’s largest and important metropolitan areas- play a vital role as Egypt’s political and economic capital, apart from being one of the largest urban agglomerations in the Arab world, Africa and the world. Its population of 20 million people is distributed over five governorates, i.e. Cairo, Giza, al-Qalubiyya.

In light of the State policy of achieving sustainable development and in recognition of the urban, political, social and economic role GCR plays, the General Organization of Physical Planning (GOPP), as the technical arm for the Ministry of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities (MoHUUC) prepared a long-term Strategic Development Vision for GCR. Under a technical cooperation agreement between UN-Habitat and the General Organization for Physical Planning (GOPP), the vision aimed to achieve sustainable development through improving the quality of life for residents and increasing the competitiveness of the region. Following the created vision, the cooperation project ‘Strengthening Development Planning and Management in Greater Cairo’ was initiated in June 2016 in cooperation with the GOPP, and New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) as a representative of the MoHUUC and Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Egypt with UNDP and UN-Habitat; to ensure continued effective implementation of outcomes & results of the vision and to contribute effectively to the realization of priority projects.

The UN Policy brief “COVID-19 in an Urban World” emphasized that urban areas have become the epicenter of the pandemic with an estimated 90 percent of all reported COVID-19 cases . Simultaneously, the policy brief shows the opportunities that cities have that enable them to manage this crisis and emerge as hubs of energy and innovation leading sustainable response and recovery. Moreover, existing research shows that the COVID-19 crisis entails a great opportunity for planners and policy makers to take transformative actions towards creating cities that are more just and resilient and that supports healthy living and wellbeing. There is therefore a growing priority to supporting human settlements’ recovery to their added COVID related threats with their existing socio-economic and environmental vulnerabilities. Even though there has always been a focus on health in cities yet, due to the pandemic a need to focus on planning for healthy cities has increased significantly.

In 2021, UN-Habitat published the report “Cities and Pandemics: Towards a More Just, Green and Healthy Future” to promote rethinking the urban space from both health and ecology perspectives.

In this context, this task builds on the identified vision for GCR to ensure post COVID recommendations and tools for healthy cities are developed, piloted and showcased as a part of the GOPP mandate to promote healthy cities in Egypt. It aims to adopt the planning guidelines and criteria in a pilot Study area in Greater Cairo region. The Study area will be selected based on its potential to become a Study for a healthy city based on the guideline developed, which can be scaled-up to the city level. As such the area that will be selected will ideally encompass diversity of land use, social composition and economic activities including green spaces, recreational areas, and public services.

Pilot Study Area Selection
The intervention area is approximately 4.2 km2 (1000 feddans) located in Greater Cairo governorate, comprising of an area of approximately 1.47 km2 (350 feddans) for Cairo University and a study area of 2.73 km2 (650 feddans). The study area was selected based on the existing activities, and services available that give it a high potential to become a Pilot Study area where the healthy city guidelines can be adopted. The area has a mixed land-use with diverse activities including commercial, educational, recreational and residential uses. The Study area is located around Cairo University bordered by El Shaheed Gamal El Deen Afifi Street to the South, El Tahrir Street to the North, Sudan Street to the West, and Nile Street to the East. Given Cairo University is found at the center of the Study Area, it dominated with a large youth population that visit the area on a daily basis as well as, reside within a close proximity.

Reporting Line

The Consultant will work under the supervision of the Urban Development Programme Officer UN Habitat – Egypt Office and in coordination with the Programme Manager at GOPP.

Duties and Responsibilities
The assignment will aim to identify needed interventions to promote healthy cities and well-being among the inclusive community. It will identify and prioritize actions to improve the functionality and resilience of its public spaces, basic services, economic and social activities, and infrastructure networks as needed. The task will additionally identify key indicators to monitor the multi-sectoral impact of the interventions to support policy advise and replication.

The expert is required to conduct the following detailed tasks:
Task 1: Project Inception and kick-off
This is a preparatory task to set the project workplan and deliverables with the project team from UN-Habitat, GOPP and Cairo Governorate including detailed tasks and kick-off meeting to kick-start the project.

Task 2: Situational Analysis

This task will depend on both primary and secondary sources of information as well as UN-Habitat tools in order to develop a situational analysis. The consultant will conduct the following

  • Extensive research on existing resources such as, reports, manuals, and guidelines developed locally and internationally to aid in adopting a comprehensive and inclusive urban development plan for the healthy cities’ Study area.
  • Conduct a situational analysis through a detailed urban study to analyze the existing urban context within the different sectors and conduct a situational analysis in terms of their availability, accessibility, quality, and functionality.

o Through direct observations and field surveys to fully understand the urban context, land-use, building conditions, building heights, transportation/mobility networks, infrastructure networks and public services;

o Through economic, social and environmental survey in the study area including social demographics, cultural norms, economic activities;
o Prepare a stakeholder analysis to complement the urban plan that is inclusive to all stakeholder integration during all project phases and taking into account vulnerable communities especially (women, children and persons);
o Update the GIS database for the study area.
The output of this task will consist of a report utilizing currently available resources and potentials and defining problems and challenges and its application in the development of cities in the Egyptian context. It will include a situational analysis report that details a comprehensive urban study, with an updated GIS database and stakeholder analysis.

Task 3: Participatory Needs Assessment (PNA)
This task will depend on both primary and secondary research to identify priority needs to create healthy cities in Egypt through the following:

  • Conducting meetings with project stakeholders and development partners as needed based on the project workplan;
  • Conduct 2-3 workshops/focus groups discussions with stakeholders including community members, NGOs and governmental entities as needed and as identified with project team based on participatory programme to identify needs, strategies and results in the study area, using tools such as;

o Incorporate all information and guiding framework through sources and Sitational Analysis;
o Develop participatory tools to develop a SWOT analysis,

o Develop participatory tools to analyze root causes through a problem tree.

  • Develop a proposed vision, objectives, and strategies for the urban development of the study area and propose ways to overcome threats and challenges and build on existing strengths and opportunities to create healthy cities.

The output of this task is a PNA report conducted at the local and national level with key stakeholder and community members as well as the development vision for the area within the main guidelines of healthy cities.

Task 4: Identification and Prioritization of Urban Development and Sectoral Interventions
This task will build-on and translate the action plan for the area into implementable projects listed by sector as follows:

  • Develop a quantitative and qualitative tool and criteria to prioritize proposed interventions based on Sustainable Development Goals and Healthy Cities tools and guidelines while stressing on the importance of climate mitigation and adaptation interventions;
  • Identify the development interventions to improve the existing urban, social, environmental, economic situation as well as, existing infrastructure to reach a Healthy City Pilot Study Area.
  • Identify non-physical interventions to complement and improve the results of urban interventions;
  • Conduct a preliminary feasibility study for proposed interventions from an inclusion and healthy cities’ view;
  • Conduct 1-2 workshops/focus group discussions to verify priorities of proposed interventions with stakeholders while ensuring the process is inclusive of vulnerable groups including women, children and persons with disabilities.
  • Produce an approved long-list and a short-list for proposed urban and complementing projects indicating priority projects for immediate implementation based on identified criteria for projects.

The output of this task will include a report with approved urban and complementing projects in both a long-list and a short-list of projects indicating priority projects for immediate implementation. This will feed into the next task to implement the Urban Development Plan for the Study Area.

Task 5: Study Area Urban Development Plan
This task will focus on developing a comprehensive and inclusive a Study Area Urban Development Plan that integrates vulnerable and marginalized groups at all stages of the project. The Urban Development Plan aims to fill the gap in the different sectors to enable the study area to become a pilot area for sustainable healthy cities that can be replicated at the city level. the task will include the following:

  • The conceptual design for the area and each approved proposed projects in each sector and the identification of hotspots based on priorities;
  • Identification of project bundles, dependencies, and their linkages to urban/non-physical interventions;
  • A comprehensive GIS database with project information including; project locations and brief with project name and description.

The output of this task is an Urban Development Plan for the study area, conceptual design for projects and an updated GIS database as well as, the final list of priority projects.

Task 6: Project Sheets and Priorities
This task will focus on the following

  • Developing Project Sheets for urban and non-physical interventions with project detailed information including timeline, budget, project scope, project information and components. It will be important to also include project dependencies and complementing projects in order to have a full overview of the project.

The output of this task will be a descriptive report with the different project identification sheets

Task 7: Healthy Cities Tools and Guidelines

The task aims to include lessons learnt from the study area to develop a general guideline for healthy cities in Egypt. To include the following:

  • Adopt and update the healthy cities tools and guidelines in the Egyptian context after analysing the lessons learnt;
  • Develop an action plan that aims to fill the existing gap within the urban context and focus on the main areas of intervention to upgrade cities into replicable healthy cities;
  • Develop guidelines for Greater Cairo region for healthy cities based on the results of the study including localized sectoral indicators at the area and city level.

The main output of this task will include a guideline to upgrade areas and cities in Egypt into healthy cities using the tools and healthy cities global guidelines.

Important Considerations

a) A participatory approach should be adopted throughout all the project phases and activities. Sustainability principles shall be reflected in all sectors; economic, environmental, social, cultural, institutional, physical, service, and infrastructure. This process should provide the opportunity to all stakeholders to participate in defining the (geographical, economic, health, environmental, social, educational, …. Etc.).

b) The consultant will ensure that the proposed upgrading interventions are inclusive to all members of the Study area including women, children, and persons with special needs.
c) The consultant will ensure incorporating inputs from international relevant guidelines and publications, in addition to ensuring inclusion of key cross cutting elements of social inclusion and environmental resilience.
d) The consultant will also use the Gender Strategy and guidelines as a reference in developing design interventions and ideas.
e) The consultant will be obligated to prepare and present all presentations for all stages of the project, as well as coordinate with all parties to obtain the approvals to move to the next stages of the project.
f) Produce all outputs and reports in both English and Arabic.

Qualifications/special skills

Academic Qualifications:

Advanced university degree (Master’s degree or equivalent) in urban planning, urban design or Architecture is required. A first-level university degree in combination with two (2) additional years of qualifying work experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.


5 years of relevant experience in the field of urban planning, urban design or Architecture with previous work experience in urban research is required. Previous experience in preparing detailed and executive plans and GIS databases for different cities and working with international organizations and government counterparts is desirable. Experience working in the field and the location of the project is preferred.


Fluency in both oral and written Arabic and English is required.

No Fee


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