World Cities Day Virtual Celebration, New York

World Cities Day Celebration | New York Liaison Office
Friday, 30 October 2020 | 9:00 am – 10:45 am EDT


This event, based on theme of World Cities Day 2020 “Valuing our communities and cities”, will feature speakers who will give their reflections on city-level innovations in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. Additionally, speakers will discuss how their respective industries have adapted to the COVID-19 crisis.


The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 31st of October as World Cities Day, by its resolution 68/239). The Day is expected to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.

The general theme of World Cities Day is Better City, Better Life; the theme of World Cities Day 2020 is “Valuing our communities and cities”. The global observance will take place in Nakuru, Kenya.

World Cities Day seeks to promote global interest in urbanization and engender international cooperation to address the challenges of urbanization, thereby contributing to sustainable urban development. Over half the world’s population live in cities and this figure is expected to increase by three billion by 2050. World Cities Day takes place during the month of October, otherwise referred to as “Urban October”.

The impact of COVID-19 has re-shaped urban life around the world. Local communities have played a key role in contributing to keeping people safe and maintaining some economic activities.

Community value encompasses local volunteering and people organizing in their own neighbourhoods as well as social movements that challenge poverty, systemic discrimination and racism. In informal settlements and slums in particular, communities are making a significant contribution while individual households in urban areas are providing an enabling environment for work and study in the home.


Mr. Antonio Gutteres, Secretary-General, United Nations (Video address)
Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat;
Ms. Christopher Williams, Director, UN-Habitat New York Liaison Office;
Ms. Aissata Camara, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs, City of New York;
Ms. Luna Abu-Yunis, Climate Activist, Fridays for Future;
Mr. Luis Bettencourt, Inaugural Director Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation, University of Chicago;
Mr. Eugene Zapata, Global Director of Strategic Partnerships and Head of Latin America and the Caribbean, Resilient Cities Network;
Mr. James Arinaitwe, Chief Executive Officer, Teach for Uganda;
Ms. Saada Amadu, Chief of Staff, ReThink Food;

Mr. Steven Aiello, Founder and Director of Debate for Peace

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Event City and Country
New York, United States of America
Event Date