World Habitat Day 2011 was held on 3 October 2011, under the theme – Cities and Climate Change. The United Nations chose the theme Cities and Climate Change was chosen because climate change is fast becoming the preeminent development challenge of the 21st century. Indeed, no-one today can really foresee the predicament in which a town or city will find itself in 10, 20 or 30 years time. In this new urban era with most of humanity now living in towns and cities, we must bear in mind that the greatest impacts of disasters resulting from climate change begin and end in cities. Cities too have a great influence on climate change.

The main celebration was held in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

For more information visit the World Habitat Day 2011 website.

Messages from the UN Secretary General and the Executive Director
Ban Ki-moon

This year, World Habitat Day falls during the month when demographers predictour planet’s seven billionth inhabitant will be born. The future that this child and itsgeneration will inherit depends to a great degree on how we handle the competing pressuresof growing population growth, urbanization and climate change.

Experts predict that by the year 2050, global population will have increased by 50per cent from what it was in 1999. Also by that time, scientists say, global greenhouse gasemissions must decrease by 50 per cent compared to levels at the turn of the millennium. Icall this the “50 – 50 – 50 challenge.”

Dr. Joan Clos

Each year on World Habitat Day, the first Monday in October, we bring to the world’s attention a matter of great concern in our rapidly urbanizing world. This year we look at the impact of cities in creating climate change, and, in turn, the impact of climate disruption on cities, and what cities are doing about it.

We live in an age where the world’s population will have grown to 7 billion by the end of this month and where more than half of them live in towns and cities. Projections indicate that this will increase to two-thirds in just over a generation from now. How we manage this rapid urbanisation is one of the greatest challenges facing us.