World Cities Day 2020: Theme, History, Significance, and Key Facts of the day

World Cities Day is celebrated on October 31 to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization and to cooperate for a planned and sustainable urban life in the wake of the fast development of populace and issues.

The recognition of this day expects to push forward collaboration among nations in meeting opportunities. Alongside promoting urbanization, the UN tends to the challenges of urbanization presents. Cities team up on sustainable urbanization around the globe.

Urbanization refers to the expanding numbers of individuals that live in urban regions. This trend is a moderately new development. At one time, the total populace lived in rural territories. In 1800, over 90% of the world’s population lived in rural zones. All through the 19th century, many high-income nations started to see a shift. An ever increasing number of individuals were moving into urban areas.

At the point when urbanization happens excessively fast, it causes numerous challenges. These incorporate congested traffic, environmental pollution, expanded crime percentages, and diminished amounts of natural resources. Those living in cities frequently experience sustainability challenges, too. These incorporate an absence of moderate housing, fair jobs, fundamental services, food security, and education.

Thus, the UN understands the significance of achieving sustainability. These necessities mean better planning for infrastructure, using technology, and improving social development. In any case, urbanization isn’t all terrible. For instance, urban regions are frequently more socially inclusive, experience greater equity, and gives access to new chances.

World Cities Day tries to promote global interest in urbanization and incite international collaboration to address the challenges of urbanization, along these lines adding to sustainable urban development.

World Cities Day 2020 Theme: Valuing Our Communities and Cities

Every year an alternate sub-theme is selected, to either promote accomplishments of urbanization or address specific challenges coming about because of urbanization. The sub-theme for World Cities Day 2020 is Valuing Our Communities and Cities, and the Global Observance will be hosted in Nakuru, Kenya, and is being communicated live here: World Cities Day 2020 Live Stream.

The effect of COVID-19 has re-shaped urban life around the globe. Nearby communities have played a vital role in adding to keeping individuals safe and keeping up some economic activities.

Community value envelopes local volunteering and individuals arranging in their own areas as well as social movements that challenge poverty, systemic discrimination, and racism. In casual settlements and slums specifically, communities are making a significant contribution while singular family units in urban zones are giving an empowering environment to work and study in the home.

UN-Habitat’s most recent World Cities Report fortifies the advantages of cities that connect all stakeholders, including local communities to promote sustainable cities. The Secretary-General has recognized cities and communities as being on the frontline of the COVID-19 response. Collectively, we can genuinely encourage sustainable cities for all.

Community activities can presently don’t be underestimated or under-resourced. Policy producers and urban managers need to engage communities systematically and deliberately in urban planning, implementation, and monitoring to co-make the urban areas of the future.

The acknowledgment of communities’ value must be kept up beyond the virus outbreak. In the change to a new sustainable urban normality, local communities must play an extended role supporting government stimulus packages for employment creation, delivery of fundamental services, guaranteeing a green-economic transformation, the provision of sufficient sanctuary and public space, and reestablishment of local value chains.

World Cities Day History

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) assigned 31 October as World Cities Day through its resolution 68/239 in December 2013.

Moreover, in 2014, UN-Habitat dispatched Urban October to address the world’s urban challenges and engage the international community towards the New Urban Agenda. The full month is put aside to promote a better urban future. In October 2016, during the HABITAT III Conference, The New Urban Agenda was adopted. The objective is to manage the challenges of urbanization in the next two decades.

The New Urban Agenda is the roadmap for building cities that can serve as engines of prosperity and centers of cultural and social prosperity. The Agenda likewise gives the establishment of activities to address environmental change.

The World Cities Day was set up by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) by passing resolution 68/239 in December 2013. This day was established in acknowledgment of the importance of urban essential services as an establishment for overall social and economic development. The general theme of World Cities Day is “Better City, Better Life”, to promote triumphs of urbanization and address explicit challenges coming about because of urbanization, while every year extraordinary sub-theme is selected to either promote accomplishments of urbanization or to address explicit challenges coming about because of urbanization. The first World Cities Day is celebrated in Shanghai, China on 31 October 2014 under the sub-theme “Leading Urban Transformations”.

Key Facts about Cities

  1. Until 2007, a larger number of individuals lived in rural areas than in cities. Presently, about 55% of the total populace lives in urban communities, as per the UN. By 2050, that is probably going to have gone up to 68%. The greater part of that expansion will happen in African and Asian nations.
  1. By 2035, the world’s most populous city will be Jakarta, so, at which point it will push the current holder of that title, Tokyo, into second place. They will be followed by Chongqing, Dhaka, and Shanghai, individually. Together, the top five biggest cities will be home to around 165 million individuals.
  1. Despite such development, urban regions in reality just spread around 1% of the surface of the Earth. The term ‘urban areas’ can be applied to incorporate a large number of developed territories. However, there is no internationally concurred meaning of what an urban area is.
  1. Cities could be liable for as much as 70% of global CO2 emissions. The greater part of that originates from urban transport and the energy consumption of buildings.

If a city is spread out and rural, with restricted public transport, its occupants will be more dependent on privately-owned vehicles. That circumstance can become more awful if facilities like shops and medical considerations are not within simple walking distance, or there are lacking transit options for having the opportunity to work. Fortunately tending to this issue should be possible, at least to some degree, by better urban planning.

  1. Around the globe, there are 136 port cities that each have a populace of more than 1,000,000. Over a fourth of them are in areas that are at a higher risk from coastal flooding.

In the next 50 years, the number of individuals living in cities with a high risk of coastal flooding could arrive at 150 million – a triple increment on around 40 million today.


Matthew Gregor

Matthew Gregor decided that he wanted to become a writer at the age of 16, when his high school football team won a big game. He wrote a poem about this, and two days later the poem was published in the local newspaper. When he began his professional writing career, Matthew attempted to write books. Matthew’s writing direction changed and he writes news and articles. He is now onboard with Time Bulletin as a free lance writer.
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