Habitat III Citizens Campaign

The “Habitat III Citizens” was the advocacy campaign seeking the broadest participation in the Habitat III Conference through spreading and explaining the main concepts of the New Urban Agenda. In the Habitat III communications strategy, the campaign was initially named ‘Sharing – the soul of the city,’ however in May 2016, it was rebranded as the “Habitat III Citizens Campaign.”

The Campaign was mainly local, based in Ecuador, but with a global impact: while most of the advocacy initiatives were implemented in the host city, Quito, they also involved international stakeholders and participants.


Campaign visual identity

Originally conceived as a campaign with an independent logo and website, the strategy was then revised to make it more consistent with the Habitat III official visual identity to avoid duplicating communication tools, keeping a strong visual and narrative impact and focus on the New Urban Agenda contents.

The visual identity of the campaign was based on an illustration that was key to identifying and connecting the different Habitat III elements and communications tools. The illustration used was conceptualized based on the evolution of the official Habitat III visual asset: city patterns. Quito’s city pattern was enriched with illustration of urban life based on the New Urban Agenda principles. The pattern merged meanings from Andean symbols and current aesthetics of the city. This illustration was at the base of most designs and as single elements extracted from the pattern.

Colours were selected from the main Habitat III colour range, lowering the tone and choosing colours considered sacred in pre-Columbian times:

The celestial world, political and cultural organization Energy, strength, brotherhood, and solidarity Earth, intellectual development colors

The fonts were the same as that of the Habitat III institutional visual identity (Quicksand, Helvetica Neue Ltd).

See the publication on the Habitat III Visual Identity here .

The main goals of the campaign were:

To mobilize participants to Quito in October 2016. The target was 30,000 participants; 15,000 of whom were international participants.

To advocate for the New Urban Agenda.

To engage, contribute, and gather commitment to the Habitat III process.

Campaign key messages

In order to meet the campaign goals, its content was made up of six concepts considered strategic to communicate the spirit of the New Urban Agenda and its narrative. Those concepts were communicated as slogans, dedicated visual tools, linked to three sub-concepts each, and to extended explanations. The six concepts were communicated in press advertisements, social media materials, and different city branding tools, generating buzz over certain key words and concepts.

Inclusive A city in which all citizens of present and future generations can freely enjoy all the physical, political, and social spaces without discrimination of any kind, and have access to adequate housing and public goods and services. In Habitat III, we decide the future of cities together.

A city able to resist and recover quickly from human, social, and environmental risks, minimizing the impact and the vulnerability of the citizens to disasters. In Habitat III, we decide the future of cities together.

A city that promotes free participation of all its citizens, generating inclusivity and a sense of belonging and enhancing social cohesion and cultural interactions fundamental of plural and multicultural societies. In Habitat III, we decide the future of cities together.

A city without borders for its citizens, where the public spaces are the key elements of plural and peaceful communities, avoiding stigmatizing social groups. In Habitat III, we decide the future of cities together.

A city planned to promote the mixed and public use of the land, using the spaces inside the urban limits and fostering collective mobility. Urban density prevents the creation of suburbs improving the quality of life of citizens. In Habitat III, we decide the future of cities together.

A city that plans its environmental, social, and economic future through innovative solutions that generates both prosperity and respect for natural resources. In Habitat III, we decide the future of cities together.

The campaign in numbers

  • The campaign kicked off in the third session of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom3) in July 2016 in Surabaya, Indonesia, where the Habitat III booth in the exhibition was marked by the campaign design and messages.
  • A national advertisement campaign in the Ecuadorian press was held from the 20 September 2016 until the 15 October 2016, two days before the official opening of the Conference kick-off. Twenty-four advertisements were published in five daily broadsheets and three specialized reviews with the campaign concepts and design, including a general call to visit the Habitat III Exhibition and Habitat III Village.
  • Seven newsletters directly related to the Habitat III Citizens campaign were sent to more than 60,000 recipients. A general newsletter announcing the campaign, and its slogan and info materials, was sent to all Habitat III contacts. Newsletters with more targeted messaging were sent to specific databases like the United Nations System, the General Assembly of Partners and other stakeholders, as well as the media databases.
  • A Social Media Kit for a general audience and one specific to the United Nations System were spread through newsletter campaigns and social media to assist partners and participants in communicating messages about the New Urban Agenda as Habitat III Citizens in a visually engaging way, using key messages extrapolated from the Agenda.
  • From the 14 September 2016, branding of the campaign displayed on taxis, buses, streets signage, and other public places throughout Quito. A total of 564 different branding tools with New Urban Agenda concepts, key words, and designs were used in the city.
  • A wide array of the Habitat III merchandise also carried the campaign’s branding and slogans.

During the Habitat III Conference

During the Conference, within the Conference venue as well as in different places throughout Quito, branding strongly focused on the Habitat III Citizens campaign, but two key projects gave life to the campaign inside and outside the venue:

  • The Habitat III volunteers: the Conference volunteers were considered the first Habitat III citizens; as such, all info-communications materials regarding the volunteers (the open call announcement, training kits, etc.) bore the the design and messages of the campaign.
  • The Habitat III Village: the Village projects were the most visible part of the campaign, both online and in the field. The Habitat III Village had its own logo but the visual identity and messages integrated those of the campaign. Learn more
  • A video about the Habitat III Citizens in Quito was produced and projected at the beginning of the Closing Ceremony. watch video