Urban October is an opportunity for everyone to be part of the conversation about the challenges and opportunities created by the fast rate of change in our cities and towns. Each October, everyone interested in sustainable urbanization from national and local governments to universities, NGOs and communities is encouraged to hold or participate in activities, events, and discussions.
The month began with World Habitat Day on the first Monday of the month, 5 October in 2020, and ends with World Cities Day on 31 October. Activities took place on those specific days or at any time during the month.
The year 2020 World Habitat Day global observance was held virtually on 5 October, hosted by the city of Surabaya, in Indonesia while other celebrations of World Habitat Day were held around the globe on the theme Housing For All: A Better Urban Future.
The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour award was one of the highlights of World Habitat Day global observance. The award, a plaque engraved with the name of the winner, was presented to the selected winners during the global observance.
World Cities Day 2020 was the seventh global celebration since it was launched on 31 October 2014 in Shanghai, China. The theme was Better City, Better Life and the sub-theme for the year was Valuing our communities and cities, and the Global Observance was hosted in Nakuru, Kenya.
Today 55 per cent of the world’s population live in cities and towns and the number is growing every day. The United Nation’s Agenda for Sustainable Development, and Sustainable Development Goal 11 “to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” puts sustainable urbanization at the centre of the global agendas for development. The adoption of the New Urban Agenda in 2016 has seen national and local governments embark on a transformative path towards making SDG11 a reality.
By engaging all stakeholders, cities can harness transformational change and ensure a better life for all in an urbanizing world.