October 31: World Cities Day

World Cities Day is observed on October 31 to promote international cooperation in the promotion of global urbanization and address related challenges.

What is the theme for World Cities Day 2022?

The theme for World Cities Day has been the same since the inception. It is “Better City, Better Life”. However, the sub-theme for the day differs each year. The sub-theme for 2022 is “Act Local to Go Global”. It highlights the importance of local actions in achieving the mission of the Sustainable Development Goal 11, which is “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The sub-theme calls for strengthening local and regional governments to make cities greener and more equitable.

Which is the host city for this year?

Each year, World Cities Day is hosted by different cities across the world. The 2022 edition was hosted by Shanghai in China.

How did World Cities Day come into being?

On December 27, 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution to create the World Cities Day. It came as the result of the 2nd United Nations Conference on Human Settlements, which was held in 1976. The inaugural edition of the World Cities Day was observed on October 31, 2014.

Each year, World Cities Day brings the Urban October to an end. The UN Habitat launched the Urban October in 2019 to highlight the challenges faced by urban communities and promote global cooperation towards the New Urban Agenda, which was adopted during the HABITAT III Conference held in 2016.

Why is World Cities Day significant?

Urbanization drives the economic growth. However, it causes several challenges that span across social, economic, demographic and environmental dimensions. Some of the major challenges related to rapid urbanization are displacement of original inhabitants, felling of trees, loss of wildlife habitat, healthcare concern, food supply concerns and pollution. World Cities Day seeks to address these challenges by bringing together stakeholders involved in local and global urban development.

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