Since 1986, UN-Habitat has led the world in celebrating World Habitat Day with the main aim of focusing our attention on the state of human settlements. This year, on 3 October 2022, the city of Balikesir, Türkiye welcomes us to dialogue together under the theme Mind the Gap. Leave No One and No Place Behind.
To leave no one behind [...] means making cities work for women and children and closing existing gaps: between the haves and the have-nots; within and between urban and rural areas; and within and between developed and developing regions. - UN Secretary-General António Guterres for the World Habitat Day 2022
This occasion also marks two years since the Urban Agenda Platform was launched as the global platform for sharing progress, action and knowledge on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to achieve sustainable urban development.
For the last two years, the platform has overseen the submission of National Progress Reports which are intended to track progress, assess the impact and ensure the New Urban Agenda’s effective and timely implementation. The platform has also published over 24 actions - committed during the tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF) in Abu Dhabi - that advance the progress and achievement of the Agenda 2030 under the UN Decade of Action. More actions will follow which have been declared during WUF 11 in Katowice in June this year.
In order to help Member States understand the rich but complex global policy framework for urban sustainability proposed by the New Urban Agenda, the Platform has opened access to over 30 e-learning courses ranging from the New Urban Agenda Crash Course to programmes and toolkits like the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme and the City Resilience Action Planning tool.
The World Habitat Day therefore presents the opportunity for the Urban Agenda Platform to celebrate the above achievements as well as contribute to the global dialogue on the gaps caused by the simultaneous crises of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and conflicts and shed light on the multifaceted nature of urban poverty. Along with discussing important issues like policy development and planned urban growth, there is also a focus on the different creative strategies that may be employed to address these gaps. To learn more about these gaps, read the World Habitat Day Fact sheet here.
World Habitat Day is also the launch of Urban October, a month of meetings, discussions and events focusing the world’s attention on urban issues and sustainable development. This year’s global observance is planned to take place on 31 October 2022 under the theme Act local to go global. UN-Habitat wants to bring different partners and diverse stakeholders together to share their experiences and approaches to local action, and explore what is needed to empower local and regional governments to create greener, more equitable and sustainable cities.
For more information on Urban October, visit the dedicated webpage here.