In 2013, the United Nations General Assembly during its Sixty-eighth session designated every 31 October, beginning in 2014 as World Cities Day. All UN member states, the UN system, relevant international organizations, civil societies and all other relevant stakeholders are invited to observe and raise awareness of the World Cities Day.
World Cities Day was first proposed in a declaration issued on the closing day of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China in a bid to recall, renew and advance ideas and practices of the Shanghai Expo for future development. The Day is expected to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanisation, encourage cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges in urbanization towards sustainable urban development.
World Cities Day 2014: Leading Urban Transformations
World Cities Day 2014 will be celebrated under the theme Leading Urban Transformations.
“Since 2008, the majority of the world’s population has lived in cities. Today, urban areas are a living combination of history, civilization, diversity and culture. Urbanization has been a force that has changed almost everything: ways of thinking and acting, ways of using space, lifestyles, social and economic relations, and consumption and production patterns. Cities, as economic and productive innovation spaces, provide opportunities for improving access to resources and services, as well as options in the social, legal, economic, cultural and environmental fields. Urbanization has ushered in economic growth, development and prosperity for many.
However, cities are also spaces where multidimensional poverty, environmental degradation, and vulnerability to disasters and the impact of climate change are present. Today, more than two thirds of the global population live in cities with greater levels of inequality than 20 years ago. We acknowledge the notable efforts that are underway to ensure that urban places can overcome challenges to sustainable and inclusive development; while recognizing and commending these efforts, we agreed that much work remains to be done”World Urban Forum 7, “Medellín Declaration”