The Urban Guru Website

Cities are undoubtedly one of the most complex human creations. They are places where density meets diversity, order meets chaos, innovation meets tradition, communication meets anonymity, change meets inertia, fight for liberation meets economic oppression. They are places where women and men meet to try and realize their dreams. Cities are the cradle of urbankind, our eternal youth, ourselves.

Les villes sont incontestablement l'une des plus complexes créations humaines. Ce sont des lieux où  la densité rencontre la diversité, l’ordre fait face au chaos, l’innovation affronte la tradition, la communication se conjugue à l’anonymat, le changement se mêle à l’inertie, la lutte pour la liberté va de pair avec l’oppression. Ce sont les lieux où femmes et hommes se rencontrent pour tenter de réaliser leurs rêves. Les villes sont le creuset du genre urbain, notre éternelle jeunesse, nous-mêmes.

La ciudad es sin duda la más compleja creación humana. Es lugar de densidad y de diversidad, donde el orden y el caos pueden convivir. Es allí donde la innovación se mezcla con la tradición, la comunicación compite con el anonimato y el cambio enfrenta a la inercia. La ciudad acoge la lucha por la libertad cuando confronta la opresión. La ciudad es el lugar donde hombres y mujeres se encuentran cuando construyen sueños. Es la cuna de la urbanidad, nuestra fuente de eterna juventud. Las ciudades somos nosotros mismos.


Daniel Biau
Nairobi - Kenya

 +254 728 651005


Daniel Biau is a former Director at UN-Habitat, the United Nations City Agency, headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. 

He shares his time between his country of residence, his country of birth (France) and the rest of the world.

Cities of the World

01/12/2004 00:00

Making city planning affordable to all countries

Conventional urban planning or master planning almost passed away in the mid 1980s, particularly in developing countries. Many reasons explain this not so sudden “death”: • In terms of process, urban plans were designed by bureaucrats and experts, generally ignoring political and social dynamics...


01/12/2004 00:00

Planificacion urbana minimalista

Planificacion urbana asequible para todos los paises, Habitat Debate, 2004.   Spanish version of "Making City Planning Affordable".


01/09/2004 00:00

LDCs need sustainable urbanisation policies

Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are the Least Urbanized Countries (LUCs). UN-HABITAT’s State of the World’s Cities Report 2001 clearly established the strong and positive correlation between urbanisation and the level of economic and social development. The poorest countries are generally the...


01/03/2004 00:00

UN Cooperation with local authorities

Habitat Debate March 2004.pdf     This article was published on the occasion of the First Congress of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), Paris, May 2004.


01/04/2003 00:00

Challenge and Guarantee Funds for Slum-dwellers

Some simple ideas on how to finance slum upgrading and meet the MDG 7 target 11. Article in Habitat Debate, April 2003  pdf (479,2 kB)