The human settlements group works to reduce poverty and improve health and housing conditions in the urban centres of Latin America, Asia and Africa. It seeks to combine this with promoting good governance and more ecologically sustainable patterns of urban development and of rural-urban linkages. This is achieved by engaging in policy research, most of which is undertaken in partnership with NGOs and academic institutions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The work also includes evaluation, technical and policy assistance, seminars, publications and training.
The Group publishes the international journal Environment and Urbanization , many books with Earthscan Publications and dozens of Working Papers. Its staff have also advised many United Nations agencies, international NGOs and bilateral aid programmes on urban policy.