World Habitat Day 2021

Every October, UN-Habitat and partners organize a month of activities, events and discussions on urban sustainability. This year, Urban October opens with World Habitat Day on 4 October.

The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/202, and was first celebrated in 1986. It takes place on the first Monday of October.

The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day is Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world.  Cities are responsible for some 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions with transport, buildings, energy, and waste management accounting for the bulk of urban greenhouse gas emissions. The future of our planet depends on national, regional and local governments and organizations, communities, academic institutions, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders working together to create sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns. World Habitat Day will amplify the global Race to Zero Campaign and UN-Habitat’s ClimateAction4Cities and encourage local governments to develop actionable zero-carbon plans in the run up to the international climate change summit COP26 in November.

World Habitat Day 2020 took place on 5 October 2020 with the theme Housing for All: A Better Urban Future.  There were 69 events celebrated globally in 42 countries and 58 cities and the Global Observance was hosted by the city of Surabaya, Indonesia.

Scroll of Honour 2021

Press Release on Scroll of Honour winners - English

Press Release on Scroll of Honour winners - Chinese

The UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour award was launched in 1989 and is one of the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. It aims to acknowledge initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in the field of human settlements, provision of housing, highlighting the plight of people living in poverty or who have been displaced, developing and improving human settlements and the quality of urban life to leave no one behind echoing the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 with emphasis on Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

The award, a plaque engraved with the name of the winner, is presented during the Global Observance of World Habitat Day of the same year.

Individuals, organizations, the private sector, government, non-governmental, bilateral and multi-lateral aid agencies dealing with sustainable projects which have had great impact in society, and any Habitat Agenda partner who has improved the lives of people can be nominated for the UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour.

Nominations are now closed for the 2021 UN-Habitat Scroll of Honour Award which will be presented at the Global Observance of World Habitat Day 2021.

You may find detailed guidelines for submitting a nomination and the online nomination form  can be found here. The deadline was 8 August 2021 and nominations were made in English.

The Award acknowledges initiatives which have made outstanding contributions in the field of human settlements including through the provision of affordable, accessible and adequate housing and improving human settlements and the quality of urban life to leave no one behind.

In choosing the award winners, the Selection Committee looked at best practices, innovative solutions and achievements related to Sustainable Development Goal 11 and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, attention was given to achievements related to the World Habitat Day 2021 theme.

World Habitat Day Concept Notes

Event Toolkit

Social Media

Information on the previous World Habitat Day celebrations is available here.

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