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Ekaterinburg, 25 October 2019 – Preparations are underway in Russia’s fourth largest city, Ekaterinburg to host the global observation of World Cities Day on 31 October 2019.

World Cities Day focuses the international community’s attention on how urbanization can be used to achieve sustainable development. It reminds us that while cities are where we face our greatest challenges, they will also be the places where we find the solutions.

While the general theme for World Cities Day is “Better City, Better Life”, the specific theme for 2019 is “Changing the World: Innovations and a Better Life for Future Generations”.

“Innovation can foster inclusiveness and social cohesion. It should allow new comers, people with disabilities, the urban poor and other vulnerable groups to enjoy equal rights and access to services, infrastructure and livelihood opportunities,” said UN-Habitat’s Executive Director, Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif.

She added, “As Urban October, a month dedicated to raising awareness on urban challenges, successes and sustainability, comes to an end, I am delighted to hear about the large number of global celebrations that have taken place. I would like to thank the City of Ekaterinburg, Russian Federation for hosting the Global Observance of World Cities Day 2019. And of course I look forward to welcoming you all to the World Urban Forum in February 2020 in Abu Dhabi which continues the focus on innovation and culture. There are many exciting upcoming events over the next year. Let us work together to innovate for positive change.”

Ekaterinburg is an exciting venue for this prominent day. The "100+ Forum Russia" (International Forum and Exhibition of High-Rise and Unique Buildings), will be held in Ekaterinburg from 29 October – 1 November, at the same time as the Global Observance of World Cities Day.

Ekaterinburg birds eye view

Background to World Cities Day:

The United Nations General Assembly designated 31 October as World Cities Day.

Urbanization is happening at a phenomenal rate. Half the world's population now live in cities, and this is projected to increase to two-thirds by 2050. UN-Habitat leads the observation and promotion of World Cities Day in collaboration with partners from the United Nations system, international organizations, civil society and business leaders.

The general theme of World Cities Day is 'Better City, Better Life', and each year a different sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanization, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanization.

Last year the host city for World Cities Day was Liverpool, UK and there were 50 activities in 23 countries to celebrate the day.

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