United Nations (UN)’s World Cities Day (WCD) is annually observed across the globe on October 31 to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push for global cooperation in sustainable urban development and contribute to sustainable urban development worldwide.
- 31st October 2023 marks the 10th World Cities Day.
i.The theme of WCD 2023 is “Financing sustainable urban future for all”
- The theme aims to explore ways to use the potential of transformative investment in urban planning and achieve adequate fiscal decentralization.
ii.Better City, Better Life is the general theme of WCD which remains constant for every year.
Host city for WCD 2023:
i.Every year a location for global observance is chosen to promote the success of urbanization or address a challenge resulting from urbanization.
ii.The Global Observance of WCD 2023 was held at the Municipality of Üsküdar in Istanbul, Republic of Türkiye.
- The event was held under the support and guidance of the First Lady of Türkiye, Her Excellency(HE) Emine Erdoğan.
i.The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution A/RES/68/239 on 27th December 2013 and proclaimed October 31 of every year as World Cities Day.
ii.The 1st WCD was observed on 31st October 2014, in Shanghai, the People’s Republic of China.
i.Every year, World Cities Day (31st October) marks the end of the observance of Urban October.
- Urban October begins with World Habitat Day on the 1st Monday of October and ends with World Cities Day on 31 October.
ii.United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) started Urban October in 2014 to raise awareness of the world’s urban challenges and get people from all over the world involved in the New Urban Agenda.
Events of WCD 2023:
The events witnessed two Roundtable discussion which was sandwiched between Grand Opening and Closing ceremony.
- Roundtable1: The main objective of this roundtable was to review and improve the suggestions received during Urban October and facilitated the financing of Sustainable Urban Development.
- Roundtable2: The roundtable on “Waste to Wealth” discussed the strategies, national and local governments can adopt, to move towards a circular economy.
SDG11 and Urbanisation:
i.Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11) is about making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.
ii.SDG 11 is important because cities are home to more than half of the world’s population, and this proportion is expected to grow to two-thirds by 2050.
iii.Cities offer many opportunities for economic growth and social development, but they can also face challenges such as poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation.
About United Nations Human Settlements Programme(UN–Habitat):
Executive Director – Maimunah Mohd Sharif
Headquarters – Nairobi, Kenya
Established in – 1977