The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our habitats, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. The Day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.
In 1985 the United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right”. Nairobi was the host city for the observance that year. Other previous themes have included:
|Shelter for the Homeless||1987, New York||Cities without Slums||2001, Fukuoka|
|Shelter and Urbanization||1990, London||Water and Sanitation for Cities||2003, Rio de Janeiro|
|Future Cities||1997, Bonn||Planning our Urban Future||2009, Washington, D.C.|
|Safer Cities||1998, Dubai||Better City, Better Life||2010, Shanghai, China|
|Women in Urban Governance||2000, Jamaica||Cities and Climate Change||2011, Aguascalientes, México|
World Habitat Day 2021 Theme
The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day is Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world. Cities are responsible for some 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions with transport, buildings, energy, and waste management accounting for the bulk of urban greenhouse gas emissions. The future of our planet depends on national, regional and local governments and organizations, communities, academic institutions, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders working together to create sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns. World Habitat Day will amplify the global Race to Zero Campaign and UN-Habitat’s ClimateAction4Cities and encourage local governments to develop actionable zero-carbon plans in the run up to the international climate change summit COP26 in November.
The Strategic Plan 2020-2023
The Strategic Plan for 2020–2023 re-positions UN-Habitat as a major global entity, a centre of excellence and innovation. In that respect, the organization is refocusing its niche position as the “thought leader” and the go-to programme for issues pertaining to its work, setting the global discourse and agenda on sustainable urban development, driving political discussion, generating specialized and cutting-edge knowledge, shaping technical norms, principles and standards, and acting as a multiplier in the exchange of knowledge, experience and best practice in getting cities and other human settlements right.
Global Urban Observatory
Urban areas, especially cities are now home to slightly more than half of the world’s seven billion people. Current urbanization trends indicate that an additional three billion people will be living in urban areas by 2050. The Global Urban Observatory (GUO) unit is a specialized statistical unit in charge of global monitoring of the Habitat agenda and other agenda with an urban linkage, and carries out normative work such as developing the City Prosperity Initiative (CPI) and computing the CPI for selected cities.