News from UN-Habitat - Issue 14 - November 2015
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This year marked the second commemoration of Urban October which was marked with various events around the globe to celebrate the month.

The main celebration of this year’s World Cities Day was on 31 October 2015 in Milan, Italy, under the theme Designed to live together.

The first World Cities Day was celebrated in Shanghai, China on 31 October 2014, under the theme Leading Urban Transformations.

The United Nations has designated every 31 of October as World Cities Day. Just in its second year, the day has greatly promoted the international community's interest in global urbanization, pushed forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, hence contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.

In this issue:

Focus On: Celebration of World Cities Day

Local Governments Moving towards a New Urban Agenda

World Cities Day aims to attract the international community's attention to urbanization as a central issue for development and to encourage cooperation among countries and cities in meeting opportunities and addressing urban challenges towards sustainable development through inclusive and participative initiatives for all citizens.

At the same time, Local Governments around the world recognize the opportunity before us to transform our cities into inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable places as we work towards a New Urban Agenda.

In a statement on World Cities Day, the Local Governments said: "We take the opportunity of this joyous day to recall the central role and responsibilities of local governments in the Habitat III process and confirm our commitment to constructively contribute to develop a strong action agenda in Quito.”
Urban Round Up

(1) United Nations adopts SDGs, cities in greater focus:
Although great strides were made on the MDGs, it is envisaged that the SDGs would go much and address the root causes of poverty and the universal need for development that works for all people. Of particular importance to UN-Habitat is Goal 11 which seeks to "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable...More...

(2) The World Bank Group and UN-Habitat re-affirm their commitment to sustainable urban development:
On the occasion of the "What Makes a Sustainable City?" event held on Saturday, 10th October, 2015, during the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru, the World Bank Group and UN-Habitat committed to their shared vision of sustainable urban development, and called upon national governments, local authorities, and stakeholders to be involved in the move to a New Urban Agenda... More...

(3) Calls for sustainable urbanisation as the globe celebrates World Habitat Day:
In a message during a World Habitat Day High Level Discussion on 'Public Spaces for All' In New York, United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon said the recent adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reflected an international consensus that sustainable urbanization could play a transformational role.... More...

(4) United Nations report calls for urgent response to harness Asia-Pacific's urban transformation:
According to the report, in 2018 the region will mark a historic transition as more than half of its population is expected to then be living in urban agglomerations. The region's urbanization involves unprecedented shifts in population. By 2040 a further one billion people will be added to the region's cities. It is expected that by 2050 the urban population in Asia and the Pacific will reach 3.2 billion. More...

(5) UN-Habitat receives ISOCARP award for Urban Planning:
UN-Habitat clinched the 'Sam Van Embden' Award for its urban planning work and the consistent way this has contributed to make the world's cities more sustainable. Sam Van Embden was urban planner and the founder of ISOCARP.. More...

(6) UN-Habitat and Japan help 180,000 to rebuild community infrastructure facilities in Sri Lanka:
"Project for Rehabilitation of Community Infrastructure and Facilities in the Conflict Affected Areas in the Northern Province" started in March, 2013 and was implemented by UN-Habitat in collaboration with the Government of Sri Lanka, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and community members in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. More...

(7) Young people of the world elect a new UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board:
A total of 93,000 votes were cast to elect the sixteen new members of the UN-Habitat Youth Advisory Board. Twelve youth, 6 men and 6 women, representing six regions of the world, will take up their posts for the next 4 years and represent the issues of youth and urbanization at the regional and global level. ... More...

Urban quote
"When planning cities, public authorities should facilitate a collaborative design process with a broad range of concerned stakeholders that develops a debate around concrete interventions, step by step.
Design is the point of departure from which through debate and reflection, testing and improving, a common vision is reached."

- Mr. Ban Ki Moon, United Nations Secretary General on Designed to live together.
Featured Network

Global Public Space Programme

Launched in 2011, the Global Public Space Programme aims to improve the quality of public spaces worldwide. Public spaces have historically often been overlooked and undervalued by urban authorities but is increasingly being considered the backbone of cities.

Public spaces are sites which are accessible and enjoyable by all without a profit motive and take on various spatial forms, including parks, streets, sidewalks, markets and playgrounds. Good public spaces enhance community cohesion and promote health, happiness, and well-being for all citizens.More...

Did you know?

The State of Asian and Pacific Cities 2015

This report on the state of Asian and Pacific cities is the second in the series first published by UN-Habitat (the United Nations Human Settlements Programme) and ESCAP (the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific) in 2010 then 2011.

Building on the findings and baseline data provided in the 2010 report, and in capturing both rapid change and new policy opportunities.

Download the Publication
Up next
  • 17th - 20th November 2015: Urban Thinkers Campus México: Legal course towards Habitat III
  • 24th - 27th November 2015: Urban Thinkers Campus, Brazil. Recife Inclusive Cities: Youth and open source technologies in urban space
  • 29th - 3rd December 2015: Africities Summit
  • 30th - 11th December 2015: UN Climate Change Conference - COP21
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© United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) 2015

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
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