World Habitat Day, observed on the first Monday of October each year, supports UN-Habitat’s mission towards transformative change in cities and human settlements – to leave no one and no place behind. Building on last year’s theme “Municipal Solid Waste Management”, this year’s theme is “Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth”. The global observation of the World Habitat Day 2019 was hosted by the Government of Mexico in Mexico City on 7 October.
UN-Habitat is this year promoting the contribution of innovative frontier technologies to sustainable waste management to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11: inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities. Going beyond solid waste this includes all waste produced by human activity (solid, liquid, domestic, industrial and commercial), which continues to have a devastating impact on climate change, public health and the environment.
According to the World Economic and Social Survey 2018, frontier technologies hold immense potential to improve how people work and live, as well as to significantly accelerate efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change.
Frontier technologies, such as automation, robotics, electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, bio-technologies and artificial intelligence, can possibly transform the social, economic and environmental spheres. They offer the potential of better, cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for every-day problems, including waste management. They also present opportunities for developing countries to leapfrog towards less efficient technologies and implement social innovations. In line with these possibilities, the New Urban Agenda calls for enhanced cooperation and knowledge exchange on science, technology and innovation that will influence the development of current and future urban areas in the world.
UN-Habitat’s Waste Wise Cities Campaign supports cities in monitoring their waste flows to transform them into valuable resources and opportunities. Has your city joined the campaign?
Last year some 80 cities around the world held events to mark World Habitat Day. If your community if making World Habitat Day or Urban October please post your event to our map, so others can see it.
For more information on how innovate, frontier technologies can support waste management, please see the concept notes below.
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See below for the concept notes for World Habitat Day in different languages
Message on the occasion of World Habitat Day from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres.
Look here for messages on the World Habitat Day theme, a PowerPoint and the Press Release announcing the Global Observance in Mexico City