October 31: World Cities Day

The World Cities Day (WCD) is being celebrated by the United Nations to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization. It also intends to address the challenges of urbanization and to contribute to sustainable urban development around the world. It was established in 2013.

The general theme of WCD is Better City, Better Life. However, every year a different sub-theme is selected. The sub theme is in such a way to either promote the success of urbanization or address specific challenges from urbanization.

Theme: changing the world: Innovations and better life for future generations

Significance

The theme is selected to discuss how urbanization can be used to achieve sustainable development. It aims at implementing the New Urban Agenda.

New Urban Agenda

The New Urban Agenda was adopted in Quito, Ecuador at the UN Conference on Housing and sustainable Urban Development in 2016. The conference is also known as Habitat Conference. The Agenda set global standards for the way the cities are to be built, managed and inhabited. Also, it aims at implementing SDG 11 which deals with making human cities and towns inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

The Habitat conferences happen once in every 20 years. The habitat I was organized in Vancouver in 1976, Habitat II in Istanbul in 1996 and Habitat III in Quito in 2016.

Need

Over half of the world population now live in cities. The number is to double by 2050. It possesses great challenges related to environment, housing, infrastructure, climate change, basic services, infrastructure, food security, jobs, education, safety and natural resources.

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