World Habitat Day: UN-Habitat launches ‘Urban October’ to explore, promote urban challenges


Thirty days of promoting issues, challenges and solutions around urbanization got underway on Monday October 2, 2017 with the celebration of World Habitat Day in UN-Habitat’s host city, Nairobi, and in global centres around the world.
Celebrating the theme “Housing Policies: Affordable Homes”, the day was marked with a series of events including Urban Breakfasts in Nairobi and Geneva exploring the importance of affordable housing.
In Nairobi, a distinguished panel made up of government, private sector and grass roots organization representation explored the theme in the national context with a packed room and generated a lively debate that highlighted some of the key issues.
In his official statement for the day, UN Under-secretary-general and UN-Habitat Executive Director, Dr Joan Clos, said: “Ensuring housing affordability is…a complex issue of strategic importance for development, social peace and equality.
Addressing the needs of the most vulnerable
“Addressing the housing needs of the poorest and most vulnerable, especially women, youth and those who live in slums must be a priority in the development agendas,” he said, adding that urbanization, and housing in particular, has impact far wider reaching than its own sphere. “Promoting sound housing policies is also crucial for climate change, resilience, mobility and energy consumption.”
The day also kick-starts a dedicated month of exploring and promoting urban challenges and solutions, coined “Urban October”. During this month, partners and stakeholders are invited to contribute ideas and messages to promoting inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities for all.
In addition, this year marks the one-year anniversary of the adoption of the New Urban Agenda – a road map for achieving sustainable urban development – and efforts are focused on the way in which actors at global, national and local levels are implementing it.