Because we believe that visibility leads to accountability, we want to hold governments accountable to the commitments they made with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban Agenda – two global frameworks that form a collective blueprint for sustainable development for decades to come. We want to inform Europeans about these commitments, engage them to support global housing and land issues and show how our social, economic and environmental well-being depends on prosperity in the rest of the world.

By 2050, the world’s urban population is expected to double, making urbanization one of the most transformative trends of the 21st century. If managed well, it can be a powerful tool for economic development.

The Solid Ground campaign aims to improve access to land for shelter for people around the world through secure tenure, gender equality, disaster resilience and slum upgrading.

Now, just as the Solid Ground campaign passed its second anniversary, the EU has funded a project that is a part of the campaign called, Build Solid Ground, to build critical understanding and active engagement of European citizens on land rights, gender equality, slum upgrading, migration and climate change.

For the next three years, 14 partners in seven EU countries will implement Build Solid Ground, the Development Education and Awareness Raising project, building on their combined strengths and wider partnerships, led by Habitat for Humanity Europe, Middle East and Africa. Increasing understanding of and support for global housing, land rights and resilient and sustainable cities, the project will raise awareness and embolden European citizens to engage with the global need for land access for shelter. Representatives from non-EU countries will participate and educate EU citizens about interconnections that exist between developed and developing countries. When the campaign ends, Build Solid Ground hopes to have increased the understanding of and exposure to global sustainable development of one million Europeans. Additionally, with a goal of engaging 65,000 Europeans to take steps to support global sustainable development in housing, land, the urban issues and commitments of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 and the “New Urban Agenda” (Habitat III) with enhanced understanding and capacity.

The main activities the project will oversee include:

  • Awareness raising campaign, through online and traditional media, and by building partnerships with journalists and celebrities for multiplication of messages.
  • Public creative events, including participation or organization of exhibitions, fairs, street/park events, art installations, and thematic film screenings. 
  • Learning events and trainings of trainers in schools, universities, and youth associations.
  • Building partnerships with development stakeholders, including civil society organizations, academics, corporations, professional associations, and building their critical understanding on project themes.
  • Collaborating with local authorities and associations of local authorities, for the organization of international and national conferences and debates to enable mutual exchange and enhance capacity.
  • Carrying out advocacy targeting stakeholders at EU, national and local levels, through a series of advocacy events, dissemination of policy papers, and petitioning.
  • Volunteering, by enabling EU citizens’ engagement in volunteering trips for housing projects.

We are excited for the impact the project will have both in the EU and beyond. Habitat for Humanity officially launched Build Solid Ground on May 23, 2018.   

This project is a part of Habitat for Humanity’s Solid Ground global advocacy campaign to improve access to land for shelter. We will be sharing ongoing activities and updates for Build Solid Ground through this blog or you can visit https://www.habitat.org/emea/impact/our-campaigns/build-solid-ground.