News from UN-Habitat – Issue 2 – November 2014
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The first World Cities Day, celebrated on 31 October, rounded off Urban October; a month of increased activity around sustainable urbanisation beginning with World Habitat Day and including several National Urban Forums and an Urban Thinkers Campus.

Guardian Cities hosted the World Cities Day Challenge in which they invited urbanites from around the world to present ideas on improving city life and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon received a live demonstration of Paper City – a stop-motion video that explains some of the most basic concepts of urban design using a model city.

You can read a full update on these activities and more in the November edition of Urban Insight.
In this issue:


Featured: Urban October

World Cities Day: First celebration

On 31 October 2014, the first World Cities Day was commemorated across the globe under the theme “Leading Urban Transformation”.

The global celebration was hosted by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government, in collaboration with the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, China and UN-Habitat.


Paper City, an urban story...

As part of last month' Urban October celebrations, UN-Habitat has recently launched “Paper City”, a stop-motion video animation portraying today’s urban challenges using nothing but paper...

Aimed at an audience not yet familiar with urbanization processes, the video intends to draw attention on current issues caused by rapid and uncontrolled city growth. It points out possible urban solutions in a visual and attention-captivating way that is fun and easy to understand.

Watch the “Paper City” video on UN-Habitat’s website ( or on YouTube.

World Habitat Day

First celebrated in 1986, World Habitat Day takes on a new theme each year chosen by the United Nations based on current issues relevant to the Habitat Agenda. The themes are selected to bring attention to UN-Habitat’s mandate to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all. This year, the theme was "Voices from Slums".

Read more about World Habitat Day: events, statements by the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon and Dr. Joan Clos, Executive Director UN-Habitat...

Global cities step up for the World Cities Day Challenge

Ideas on improving city life have poured in from around the globe for the World Cities Day Challenge hosted by the Guardian Online. Organised in conjunction with the first World Cities Day, celebrated on 31 October, the Guardian Cities site hosted a live event throughout the day where more than 30 cities pitched their ideas for making their cities more liveable for their populations.

Urban quote

"Affordable housing should be at the centre of cities."

– Dr. Joan Clos, UN-Habitat's executive director, during the recent launch of the McKinsey report on affordable housing.
Urban round-up
(1) Urban meetings bring together specialists in Mexico: Urban experts met in the Mexican cities of Zapopan and Monterrey during the "Planning Dense Cities in the 21st Century: Tools for Redevelopment" conferences held between 29 and 31 October 2014. More...
(2) Nigeria and Cameroun hold premier National Urban Forums: Nigeria and Cameroun recently held their first ever urban forums, underpinning the importance of such events as the world heads to the Habitat III Conference. More...
(3) Urban Thinkers Campus – towards a participatory and inclusive Habitat III: From 15 to 18 October 2014, UN-Habitat convened the first Urban Thinkers Campus, an innovative, inclusive and intimate gathering of a diverse array of urban thinkers. More...
(4) Slum upgrading to start in Iran: UDRO, Sabzevar Municipality and UN-Habitat will collaborate on slum upgrading in Sabzevar in northern Iran. More...
(5) Understanding Afghan cities: On 5 November, UN-Habitat launched the State of Afghan Cities Programme 2014/2015, an analysis of the state of urbanization across Afghanistan. More...
(6) Youth celebrated for their role in social innovation in India: The role of youth as social innovators in sustainable development has been highlighted by speakers at a conference in India. More...
(7) Tackling climate change and urban resilience in the Asia Pacific region: a high-level workshop on environment change and urbanization in Asia Pacific was recently held in Vietnam, attracting 50 leading organisations from across the region. More...
World Urban Forum 2018

Kuala Lumpur to host World Urban Forum in 2018

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, will host the 9th session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) in 2018. UN-Habitat, as the convener of WUF, announced the decision on 3 November 2014 as the culmination of a six months bidding process.

UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr. Joan Clos, has informed Minister of Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government of Malaysia, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, of the decision during the 5th Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on Housing and Urban Development (APMCHUD) in Seoul. Read more...
Did you know?

By 2030, as many as 60% of all urban dwellers will be under the age of 18.

Read more about UN-Habitat and youth...
Up next
  • 6-7 November 2014: Smart Local Governance – the challenge of good governance in local administrations, Bilbao City, Spain
  • 14-15 November 2014: Urban Age Governing Urban Futures Conference, Delhi, India
  • 16-22 November 2014: 6th Ethiopian National Urban Forum, Dire Dawa, Ethiopia
  • 19 November 2014: Urban Journalism Academy at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona
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© United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) 2014

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the secretariat of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any county, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries regarding its economic system or degree of development. Excerpts may be reproduced without authorization, on condition that the source is indicated. Views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, the United Nations and its member states.
Photo credits: UN-Habitat, Shutterstock, The Guardian Online, Ilija Gubic, "ITESM Campus Monterrey Aulas I" by Luis Antonio Rodríguez Ochoa (CC license), "Mausoleum of Yahya 01" by Americophile (CC license)
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