World Habitat Day 2012 was held on 1 October 2012, under the theme – Changing Cities, Building Opportunities. The main celebration was hosted by Embu Town in Kenya.
The United Nations chose the theme Changing Cities, Building Opportunities because cities are the engines of growth. It is in the cities that many realise their dreams of a better life. Even if this is not achieved, still many more leave the rural areas and flock to the cities for no other reason than the promise of a better future and prosperity. This they achieve by either getting jobs or by starting businesses which at one point not only provide for the owners but even other employees thus creating jobs.
Under this theme, UN-Habitat aimed to underscore the need to plan our cities better because as has also been stated, unplanned growth of cities lead to chaotic development and urban sprawl. When well planned, cities can continue to afford opportunities to both the current and future residents. The theme dovetails with the new UN-Habitat campaign, I am a city changer which seeks to involve all in making their cities a better place to live.