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); “Shelter and Urbanization” (1990, London); “Future Cities” (1997, Bonn); “Safer Cities” (1998, Dubai); “Women in Urban Governance” (2000, Jamaica); “Cities without Slums” (2001, Fukuoka), “Water and Sanitation for Cities” (2003, Rio de Janeiro), “Planning our Urban Future” (2009, Washington, D.C.), “Better City, Better Life” (2010, Shanghai, China) and Cities and Climate Change (2011, Aguascalientes, Mexico).
Who started World Habitat Day?
The UN General AssemblyWorld Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the UN General Assembly through Resolution 40/202, and was first celebrated in 1986.Urgent global priorityThe pandemic and recent conflicts have reversed years of progress made in the fight against poverty, resulting in the emergence of newly poor people — those who would have exited poverty in the absence of the pandemic but remain poor, and those who have fallen into poverty on account of the pandemic.
According to the UN-Habitat’s World Cities Report,
the number of people affected was between 119 and 124 million in 2020, and between 143 and 163 million in 2021. Tackling urban poverty and inequality have become an urgent global priority.
Cities and local governments — front-line role
Cities and local governments play a front-line role in responding to crises and emergencies, as well as in planning for an inclusive, resilient, and green future. To prepare urban areas for future catastrophes, we need to start with cities. Thus, local action and local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals is more important than ever.