Purpose: The paper seeks to build a theoretical argument on social enterprise applications in an urban facilities management (urban FM) setting, by exploring the concepts of urban FM and its underlying philosophy. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is based on an extensive literature review within and around the concept of urban FM and its relationship with social enterprise principles, forming a basis for further research in this area. Findings: Urban FM could be used as a mechanism to develop the sustainable design and management of community facilities operations by taking social enterprise as an approach to seek a new service delivery model. Research limitations/implications: There is limited literature relating to urban FM, and it is one of the new critical alignments in FM that is waiting to be explored further. However, within this new exploration of urban FM knowledge, the paper considers a sustainable way of managing community facilities, raising important social implications for the FM industry, Originality/value: The paper argues that the concept of urban FM and social enterprise principles can be applied in their relationship towards managing community facilities in a sustainable way.