During Urban October some 60 events took place both in Brazil and the USA (over 30 in New York), China hosted 40, India over 20 and 10 in Kenya. UN-Habitat appeared in 48.8 million article views with 168 editorial mentions. India dominated the media global coverage of Urban October flagship days at 41% followed by United States (13%) and the United Kingdom (8.7%).
In New York events included a conversation between restaurant chefs and policy makers on rethinking food and waste. On World Cities Day there was a “Rethink Food/Waste Lunch” created from food sourced to local farmers at the UNHQ Delegates Dining Room, and a photo exhibition “Here Comes the Sun – Resilient Liverpool” anticipated the city’s global observation of World Cities Day.
In Asia more than 40 events were held in 15 countries. In Afghanistan, the Third National Mayors’ Conference discussed the country’s rapid urbanization process while in India, UN-Habitat, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and partners organized activities, including an Urban Café on ‘River and Habitat’, about urban rivers and water bodies in urban areas. The first Integrated Resource Recovery Centre for innovative solid waste management was launched in Islamabad and in the Philippines, UN-Habitat organized urban peace and dialogue events in Minadano and Manila on post-conflict and development-themed urban issues.
In Thailand, Four Regions Slum Network’ (FRSN) led a gathering of several hundred inhabitants of slums and informal settlements to call for action on homelessness World Cities Day originated as a legacy of the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and China’s 2018 World Cities Day was jointly hosted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the People’s Government of Jiangsu Province and UN-Habitat in Xuzhou City to discuss “Ecological City and Green Development”. Guests included Mr. Ni Hong, Deputy Minister, Mr. Fei Gaoyun, Vice Governor of Jiangsu Province, and Ms. Christine Musisi, representing the UN-Habitat Executive Director.
The Palestine UN-Habitat Country Programme Document was launched on World Habitat Day and the Saudi Urban Forum also took place which included sessions with children planning public spaces in their community, using Minecraft, which has been adapted as a participatory planning and design tool. In Libya a clean up of the market and surroundings in Souk El Albisah, Tripoli was carried out by UN-Habitat, the Municipality of Tripoli , NGOs and civil society partners who were involved distributing bins and reusable shopping bags, raising community awareness and installing boxes to collect plastic bags. UN-Habitat Lebanon organized a urban breakfast on Solid Waste Management.
UN-Habitat organized a football tournament in Nairobi involving youth from Nairobi slums and UN agencies including UN-Habitat as well as a children’s tournament with the Executive Director awarding the trophies. In Brazil, the UN-Habitat office launched a national initiative called the “Urban Circuit” (Circuito Urbano in Portuguese) to call for urban events. Over half of the proposals submitted were selected by UN-Habitat to receive support and events took place in 29 cities.