WORLD HABITAT DAY
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 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.
The first World Habitat Day was celebrated in Nairobi, Kenya in 1986 and the theme chosen for that year was ‘Shelter is My Right.’ Over the years, diverse themes adopted by various countries have been guiding the motive of the day to encourage grassroots action towards ending poverty housing. “Shelter and Urbanization”, "Housing For All- A Better Urban Future", "Shelter for the Homeless", “Future Cities” are some of the themes of the past years.
This year, it will be observed on October 4, 2021.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. It also aims to remind the world of the effects of urbanisation and its collective responsibility for the future of human habitat.
Significance of World Habitat Day 2021
Cities are the driving force that enables ultimate growth. However, these cities can also become a setting in which marginalisation, poverty, inequality exist. Therefore, it means only a well-planned city can bring economic growth and benefit the citizens. Access to adequate housing is an important factor in ensuring this.
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.