Nairobi, 30 April 2021 - With just five months to go until the start of Urban October 2021, UN-Habitat has announced the themes for World Habitat Day on 4 October and World Cities Day on 31 October. The themes both relate to the urban dimensions of the climate crisis which is a UN-Habitat priority and focus of its ClimateAction4Cities Campaign.
The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day is Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world. The theme recognizes that 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. Events and activities during World Habitat Day will explore how national, regional and local governments and organizations, communities, academic institutions, the private sector and all relevant stakeholders can work together to create sustainable, carbon-neutral, inclusive cities and towns.
World Habitat Day will amplify the global Race to Zero Campaign and encourage local governments to develop actionable zero-carbon plans in the run up to the international climate change summit COP26 in November.
On 31 October 2021, Urban October concludes with World Cities Day with the theme for this year being Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience.
Cities worldwide are increasingly suffering the effects of climate-related disasters, such as floods, droughts, sea level rise, heatwaves, landslides and storms. At least 130 port cities with over one million inhabitants are expected to be affected by coastal flooding and the one billion people in urban informal settlements are particularly at risk.
Creating more sustainable, climate-resilient societies involves addressing a range of issues including poverty reduction, ensuring basic services livelihoods, the provision of accessible, affordable and adequate housing, investing in infrastructure, upgrading informal settlements and managing ecosystems. World Cities Day will look at how successful, well-governed cities greatly reduce climate-related risks for their populations.