World Habitat Day

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World Habitat Day is marked on the first Monday of October each year,[1] and is recognized by the United Nations to reflect on the state of towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.[2] The day is also intended to remind the world that everyone has the power and the responsibility to shape the future of towns and cities.[3] World Habitat Day was first celebrated in 1986 in Nairobi, Kenya, and the theme chosen for that year was "Shelter is My Right". [4]

The United Nations General Assembly decided that this should be an annual event and the first Monday of October was chosen. The day is celebrated in many countries around the world and various activities are organized to examine the problems of rapid urbanisation and its impact on the environment and human poverty.[5] [6]

Annual themes for World Habitat Day have been diverse and have included "Shelter for the Homeless", "Our Neighbourhood", "Safer Cities," "Women in Urban Government," Cities without Slums" and "Water and Sanitation for Cities." [7]

UN Habitat makes plain the need to plan cities in order to avoid the chaotic development of urban sprawl and all the associated problems that are created as a result.

Cities are engines of growth. Many people from rural areas globally long to move to cities to realize their dreams of a better life. Often this dream is not realized, but people continue to flock to cities for no other reason than a vague promise of a better future and prosperity.[8]

A well-planned city can bring just that. Cities can be centres for economic activities and urban challenges can be addressed and opportunities can continue to be afforded to both current and future residents.[9] Those who are successful succeed in getting jobs or starting their own businesses, which in turn creates more employment opportunities.

On the other hand, cities can also become a setting in which marginalisation, inequality and social exclusion can abound. Access to adequate housing is an important factor in ensuring this is avoided.[10]

Another major issue is the ever-increasing risk posed by natural disasters as the climate crisis continues to develop. This risk is particularly significant in the Caribbean Region and Central America, where countries such as Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador and Bolivia have higher levels of poverty and where their cities are exceptionally vulnerable due to their population density and diversity.

High levels of population density, coupled with poor building techniques have given rise to shanty towns that have no proper infrastructure,[11] community organization or security of tenure. In the event of a disaster of any kind, a complete breakdown can result in a chaotic situation and enormous loss of life.

Habitat Scroll of Honour[edit]

The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award was launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in 1989.[12] It is currently the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. Its aim is to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in various fields such as shelter provision, highlighting the plight of the homeless, leadership in post conflict reconstruction and developing and improving human settlements and the quality of urban life.

The award, a plaque engraved with the name of the winner and their achievement, is presented to the winners during the Global Observance of the World Habitat Day.

Previous World Habitat Days[edit]

Year Theme Global Observance venue Chief Guest
2021 Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world [13] to be announced
2020 Housing For All: A Better Urban Future [14] Surabaya, Indonesia Basuki Hadimuljono, Minister of Public Works and Housing, Indonesia
2019 Frontier Technologies as an Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth [15] [16] [17] [18] Mexico City, Mexico Martha Delgado Peralta, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, and UN-Habitat Assembly President
2018 Municipal Solid Waste Management[19] United Nations Office at Nairobi, Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, President of Kenya
2017 Housing Policies: Affordable Housing[20] none
2016 Housing at the Centre[21] none
2015 Public Spaces for All none
2014 Voices from Slums none
2013 Urban Mobility none
2012 Changing Cities, Building Opportunities [22] Islamabad, Pakistan
2011 Cities and Climate Change Aguascalientes, Mexico
2010 Better City, Better Life Shanghai, China
2009 Planning our urban future Washington, D.C., United States of America
2008 Harmonious Cities Luanda, Angola José Eduardo dos Santos - President of Angola
2007 A safe city is a just city The Hague, Netherlands Wim Deetman, Mayor of The Hague and chairman of UCLG
2006 Cities, magnets of hope Monterrey, Mexico Beatriz Zavala Peniche, Secretary of Social Development, (SEDESOL) on "Rescue of Public Spaces Programme"
2005 The Millennium Development Goals and the City Jakarta, Indonesia President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
2004 Cities - Engines of Rural Development Nairobi, Kenya President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya
2003 Water and Sanitation for Cities Rio de Janeiro, Brazil César Maia, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro
2002 City-to-City Cooperation Brussels, Belgium H.R.H. Prince Philippe
2001 Cities without Slums Fukuoka, Japan Wataru Asō, Governor of Fukuoka Prefecture
2000 Women in Urban Governance Jamaica Seymour Mullings, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land and Environment
1999 Cities for All Dalian, China Yu Zhengsheng, Minister of Construction, China
1998 Safer Cities Dubai, United Arab Emirates Qasim Sultan Al Banna, Director General, Dubai Municipality UAE
1997 Future Cities Bonn, Germany Klaus Topfer, Federal Minister for Regional Planning, Building and Urban Development, Germany
1996 Urbanization, Citizenship and Human Solidarity Budapest, Hungary Minister of the Interior, Hungary
1995 Our Neighbourhood Curitiba, Brazil Mayor of Curitiba
1994 Home and the Family Dakar, Senegal Abdou Diouf, President of Senegal
1993 Women and Shelter Development New York City, United States of America Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations
1992 Shelter and Sustainable Development New York City, United States of America Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the United Nations
1991 Shelter and the Living Environment Hiroshima, Japan Mayor of Hiroshima
1990 Shelter and Urbanization London, United Kingdom Sir Geoffrey Howe
1989 Shelter, Health and the Family Jakarta, Indonesia Suharto, President of Indonesia
1988 Shelter and Community London, United Kingdom Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury
1987 Shelter for the Homeless New York City, United States of America Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, Secretary-General of the United Nations
1986 Shelter is my Right Nairobi, Kenya

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "October 7: World Habitat Day". currentaffairs.gktoday.in /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  2. ^ "World Habitat Day 2019 reflects on the state of our towns and cities". www.thesouthafrican.com/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  3. ^ "World Habitat Day 2019". www.awarenessdays.com/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  4. ^ "World Habitat Day". www.timeanddate.com /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  5. ^ "Can 'Frontier Technologies' Help Solve The Critical Issues For The Urban Poor?". practicalaction.org /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  6. ^ "Call for Innovative Solutions to Transform Waste to Wealth @ UN Habitat: Submit by Sept 6". www.noticebard.com/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  7. ^ "Using urban planning to improve sanitation in post refugee camp settlements". reliefweb.int/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  8. ^ "World Habitat Day Frontier Technologies as an Innovative Tool to Transform Waste to Wealth". www.globalnewlightofmyanmar.com/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  9. ^ "Turning waste into wealth: World Habitat Day focus on cleaning up cities". moderndiplomacy.eu /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  10. ^ "India Fully Committed To Early Achievement Of SDGs: Puri". accommodationtimes.com/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  11. ^ "World Habitat Day: Nigerian towns need regeneration to remain sustainable ― Aliyu". www.vanguardngr.com/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  12. ^ "World Habitat Day 2019: Date, theme, significance of the day". newsd.in /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  13. ^ "World Habitat Day". urbanoctober.unhabitat.org/. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  14. ^ "World Habitat Day". urbanoctober.unhabitat.org/. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  15. ^ "Turning waste into wealth: World Habitat Day focus on cleaning up cities". europeansting.com/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  16. ^ "Technology Crucial To Sustainable Dev't Of Settlements – Fashola". www.independent.ng/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  17. ^ "Myanmar morning news for October 7". aecnewstoday.com /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  18. ^ "UN-Habitat's Call for Innovative Solutions to Transform Waste to Wealth". www.mwanampotevu.co.tz/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  19. ^ "Global focus shifts to technologies as experts assess habitats". guardian.ng/. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  20. ^ "World Habitat Day 2017". www.uclg.org /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  21. ^ "World Habitat Day 2016 - Message From The Secretary General". www.worldurbancampaign.org /. Retrieved 2020-07-20.
  22. ^ "World Habitat Day: Emphasis laid on better planned cities". tribune.com.pk/. Retrieved 2020-06-30.

External links[edit]