Rafael Tuts is the Coordinator of the Urban Planning and Design Branch of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-Habitat. He is based at its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. His work on sustainable urban development includes a focus on spatial planning, environmental planning and climate change action planning, within the perspective of local government capacity development. In his current capacity, he is coordinating UN-Habitat’s urban planning and design portfolio in more than 30 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This includes oversight of the Cities and Climate Change Initiative which is active in 20 countries. He is serving as UN-Habitat’s focal point for collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. He is also coordinating UN-Habitat’s follow up on the outcomes of the Rio+20 Conference, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mr. Tuts earlier served as Chief of the Urban Environment and Planning Branch (2008-2011) and Chief of the Training and Capacity Building Branch (2005-2008) of UN-Habitat. He also worked with the UN-Habitat’s Urban Governance Section (2000-2004) and the Global Campaign on Urban Governance, focusing on the Urban Governance Index as well as tools on participatory decision making and transparency in local governance. Prior to this, he was the first Coordinator of UN-Habitat’s Localising Agenda 21 Programme (1995-2000), focusing on urban sustainability planning in intermediate cities in Kenya, Morocco, Vietnam and Cuba. Prior to joining the United Nations, he worked as Research Fellow at the University of Nairobi and the University of Leuven (1987-1994). Mr. Tuts has a Masters degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Leuven, Belgium.

Mr. Tuts contributed articles to several journals. He co-edited Urban Trialogues (2004), a collection of essays reflecting on visioning, action planning and co-production of urban space as a resource for sustainable development. He coordinated the publication International Migrants and the City (2005). He also co-directed Guidelines for developing eco-efficient and socially inclusive infrastructure (2011) jointly published by UN-Habitat, ESCAP, ECLAC and Columbia University. He recently oversaw the development of guidebooks on Urban Patterns for a Green Economy (2012) and Urban Planning for City Leaders (2012). Together with colleagues from the World Bank, UNEP and Cities Alliance, Mr. Tuts developed and implemented a Joint Work Programme on Cities and Climate Change, which received the World Bank Vice-President Team Award in 2011 in recognition of its efforts as a unique showcase of the positive effects of successful consensus-building in a global partnership.