The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as
World Habitat Day. The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the
state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.
It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the
responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.


Each year on World Habitat Day, we reflect on the state of human settlements and on what we want the cities of the future to look like.

View Speech

This year we start the Urban October celebrating the World Habitat Day and reflecting on Public Spaces for All.

View Speech
Events around the World

Partners in cities around the world will hold activities and events to celebrate World Habitat Day 2015
and the theme Public Space for All . Register your event today to be listed in this page.

  • Africa & Arab States
  • Asia & Pacific
  • Europe & Former Soviet Union States
  • Latin America and the Caribbean
  • North America

Cape Verde


UN-Habitat will host the premier of Urban Nights, a World Habitat Day celebration on 5 October 2015 at Pawa 254 in Nairobi. Urban Nights is an idea for an outdoor film screening in the style format of screen on the green. This concept was selected to highlight the theme of World Habitat Day - Public Spaces for All, and as an example of how citizens can utilize existing public spaces, increasing social cohesion. Urban Nights will consist of at least five film screening sessions running in different locations in Nairobi throughout the month of October. The premier event will also feature a Panel Discussion, with representatives from UN-Habitat, UN Women, Nairobi City County Government, media and the private sector. The main partners in this initiative include: FilmAid, Slum Film Festival, Udada Festival, UN Women Kenya and Urban Bites. For more information please visit the Urban Nights web page.

Sinini Tree and Coffee Nursery Women Group in Bungoma will celebrate World Habitat Day on 5 October in Chwele. The event aims at raising awareness of poverty eradication in urban centers, encouraging participation in slum upgrading awareness and sponsoring projects that create public spaces in the urban center of Chwele.

The County Youth Development Foundation will celebrate World Habitat Day on 24 October 2015 at Kihara Primary School in Kiambu County. Planned activities include tree planting; a rally event dubbed 'the town we want' in Kihara; a dialogue and discussions with the Kenya Power Lightening Company (KPLC) for installation of street lights; invitation to the county government to ensure the Gachie market is always clean and maintained; involvement of primary groups training and activities to sensitize schools on the need for access to public spaces to all. Also invited to participate is the Kisii University Nairobi Campus.


Smart Cities Initiative for North Africa will convene the International Summit for Smart Cities in North Africa (ISSC) on 6 October in Rabat, Morocco. The ISSC is an annual gathering that aims to contribute to the social and economic development of North African cities by helping them integrate "smart" initiatives. It focuses on connecting illustrious minds from the international community, notably North America, with influential policy makers in North Africa, allowing them to work together on key issues like information and communications technologies (ICT), innovation, and sustainability. The International Summit for Smart Cities in North-Africa is a unique opportunity to exchange ideas on improving urban life. We live in an era where technological innovation is changing the ways in which cities are governed and citizens, businesses, and public institutions interact. The main goal of the Summit is to find innovative and actionable solutions for urban living within the African geopolitical context. The event will delve into key issues such as innovation and economic growth, urban planning and mobility, resource management and infrastructure, education, digital inclusion, and governance. City leaders, government officials, academics, urban planners, utility providers, and city experts will all come together to discuss and present best practices for developing the smart cities of tomorrow. They will also introduce innovative strategies for strengthening the institutional efficiency of cities and measuring public engagement to competitiveness and sustainability. This unique event in the region, will offer a unique peer-to-peer learning environment as well as exclusive networking opportunities. Understanding the tools, processes, and models best suited to fostering integrated communities and smart cities will help stakeholders develop strong, secure, and sustainable infrastructure for all citizens. About 500 participants are anticipated to attend.


The Center For Human Settlements and Urban Development (CHSUD) of the Federal University of Technology Minna celebrated World Habitat Day through a radio talk show event held in Niger state. The Director, Center For Human Settlements and Urban Development (CHSUD, Professor Mustapha Zubairu highlighted the public of the importance and significance of World Habitat Day and Urban October. The show, "The Morning Ride with Odafe Imogu" on Search Fm 92.3 Campus Radio also hosted Dr. Abdul Husseini, the Coordinator Regional Center of Expertise, Minna and the General Manager of Niger State Geographical Information System.

Asabe Shehu Yar'adua Foundation (ASYARF) celebrated World Habitat Day through a workshop on "Urban lives and its challenges on Youths Development." Experts were engaged to share their experiences with the participants. There were counseling sessions, side events, dancing and photography activities. There was a special focus on women through urban business networking sessions where the women were taught how to identify business opportunities and apply appropriate skills to achieve their goals. In overall, the purpose of the event was to reflect on the state of our cities and towns and the basic human right to adequate shelter.


UN-Habitat Rwanda Office celebrated World Habitat Day through site visits to Mount Rubavu and Karukogo in Rubavu District, followed by an event in Rugerero Sector Office. Mount Rubavu area was prone to landslides and flooding which led to a project by the Government in partnership with UN-Habitat to relocate residents of the area. The World Habitat Day celebration was graced by the Minister of State in Charge of Energy, Water and Sanitation Ms. Kamayirese Germaine, the Western Province Governor Mrs. Mukandasira Caritas and the Mayor of Rubavu, Mr. Jeremie Sinamenye. The event took place on 7 October. For more information please download the full report and the speech delivered on behalf of the UN Resident Coordinator.


Coopérative habitat de la cellule Inter ONG held Low-income Housing Day in Kaffrine ahead of the World Habitat Day celebrations. In this event an International Scientific Committee conducted thematic discussions submitted by key stakeholders. The Agenda of the event included a major exhibition on success stories of Housing co-operatives.


The EastAfrican, a weekly publication by the Nation Media group will on 3 October 2015 publish a special report on World Habitat Day. The feature will highlight the following among others;

  • To call attention to the need for better shelter around the world.
  • To let it be known that affordable, adequate housing should be a priority everywhere.
  • To change the systems, policies and attitudes that lead to poverty housing, and involve partners in solutions.
  • Leadership in post conflict reconstruction
  • Developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.
  • The need to plan our cities better

The New Vision under the Vision Group Limited, will run a special publication on Monday 5th October 2015 in recognition of the World Habitat day. With the human population of the world growing at ever increasing rates and space at a premium, the publication is intended to promote awareness of the importance of ensuring that everybody has access to adequate shelter and accommodation.
Proposed areas of focus include;

  • Why World Habitat Day and the need for public spaces for all
  • Government policy on decent and affordable housing
  • The growing population, rising cost of living and housing crisis
  • Statement from Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban development
  • Healthy living environment for all- Safe and clean drinking water and sanitation
  • Improved urban planning and slum upgrading.

United Republic of Tanzania

The Ministry of Housing and Lands celebrated World Habitat Day on 5 October at the Karimjee Hall, in Dar es Salaam. Among the invited guests are Dr. Natalia Kanem, Representative, United Nations Population Fund, the Permanent Secretary, and the Director for Urban Planning within the Ministry. Several presentations by Ardhi University will be made on World Habitat Day's topic Public Spaces for All.



Nature Environment & Wildlife Society (Odisha) hosted a sensitization workshop on Habitat conservation during World Habitat Day. The event was held at Chhendipada of Angul district. About 80 participants including village level institution/ organization members and office bearers like Biodiversity Management Committee (BMC) Vanasurakshya Samiti, Panipanchayat are expected at the Event.

The Department of Architecture of the Integral University, Lucknow has organized a seminar titled" SMART CITIES- myths and realities". The aim is raising awareness among the student community, as well as the faculty members of different disciplines, about challenges regarding 'human habitat' being faced world over. The program will be presided over by the Honorable Vice Chancellor / Pro Vice Chancellor of the University. The Chief Guests will be Prof. Jagbir Singh, Principal/ Dean, Faculty of Architecture and APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow. The seminar will mainly focus on issues related to energy conservation and environmental safety though advent of Smart Cities- a movement; the Government of India has recently initiated in the Country. The event takes place on the occasion of World Habitat Day on 5 October, about 250 people are expected to participate.

The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) held World Habitat Day celebrations on 5 October in New Delhi. UN-Habitat's Deputy Executive Director Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira attended the celebration, together with Dr. N Chatterjee (Secretary Ministry of HUPA), Mr Rajiv Ranjan Mishra (Joint Secretary Ministry of Housing Housing), Dr. M Ravi Kanth (Chief Managing Director, Housing and Urban Development Cooperation), Mr. Sanjeev Kumar (Joint Secretary Housing and Finance Association), Mr. VK Dadhwal (Director, National Remote Sensing Centre) and Mr. Srinivasa Popuri (Senior Human Settlements Officer, UN-Habitat Regional Office Asia Pacific). Mr Srinivasa Popuri delivered the message of the Secretary General on World Habitat Day, followed by a speech of UN-Habitat's Deputy Executive Director Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kaycira. She highlighted that UN-Habitat recognizes the rapid urban transformation in India, as well as the passion and commitment of the Indian Government and its people, and reflected on the purpose of World Habitat Day. During the ceremony, she also awarded the winners of a children & youths drawing competition on the theme of Public Space.

Karpagam Innovation Centre of the Karpagam College of Engineering celebrates World Habitat Day through an event aimed at engaging engineers at the college to commit in a code of ethics to developing their habitat, Coimbatore. This ceremony will involve candle lighting a candle and participants explaining the individual power and responsibility to shape the future of Coimbatore City. For more information please visit

Manipur University celebrated World Habitat Day 2015 in Campus on 5 October. This was the fourth time that the celebration took place in the University. The function was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor of the University. The event brought together 100 faculty members, Post Graduate and Research scholars. The event took place in the Seminar hall of the Department of Geography. The discussions comprised of topics on city life, problems, environment and space available for urban amenities and sustainable environment. Download full report here.

The Building Materials & Technology Promotion Council (BMTPC), an inter-Ministerial organisation under the Ministry of Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation, India will publish a Special Issue of Newsletter titled "Nirman Sarika", on the occasion of World Habitat Day 2015. The publication will focus on the theme of this year's World Habitat Day, Public Spaces for All.

Integral University, Lucknow has organized an event to raise awareness among the Student Community, as well as the Faculty Members of different disciplines, about challenges regarding 'human habitat' being faced world over. Through the Department of Architecture, the Integral University, Lucknow is organizing a seminar titled "SMART CITIES- myths and realities". The program will be presided over by the Honorable Vice Chancellor/ Pro Vice Chancellor of the University and Chief Guest on the occasion will be Prof. Jagbir Singh, Principal/ Dean, Faculty of Architecture, APJ Abdul Kalam Technical University, Lucknow. The seminar will mainly focus on issues related to energy conservation and environmental safety though advent of Smart Cities- a movement; the Government of India has recently initiated in the Country.

The Institution of Engineers in Coimbatore holds a lecture presentation on the World Habitat Day 2015 theme Public Spaces for All with emphasis on statutory requirements. The audience will be 100 engineers within the network.

The Mumbai Environmental Social Network celebrated World Habitat Day through Wall Painting Competition. The event took place in Govandi, Mumbai in efforts to improve and sustain the use of public open space for enhanced community cohesion, civic identity and better quality of life. About 120 participants took part in the event.


The President of Indonesia, President Joko Widodo, invited mayors across Indonesia, sensitizing them to plan public spaces in their respective cities ahead of World Habitat Day celebrations. On the Occasion of World Habitat Day, the President attended the celebration organized at the State Palace. The Minister for Public Works and Public Housing, H.E. Basuki Hadimuljono, environmentalist Erna Witoelar, Djarot Syaiful Hidayat, Theo Sambuaga, and West Java Governor Ahmad Heriawan were also in attendance.


The Government of Nepal and UN-Habitat organized a half-day workshop was held in Kathmandu to mark World Habitat Day's theme Public Spaces for All. Mr. Narayan Khadka the Minister for Urban Development was present at the inaugural session, where four presentations on different aspects of public space management and conservation were made by experts. Padma Sunder Joshi, Habitat Program Manager at the United National Human Settlements Programme in Nepal made his presentation highlighting the importance of community engagement in creating public spaces not just the design. Highlighting the values and importance of public open spaces, Professor Sudarshan Raj Tiwari stressed on the need of pedestrianization of streets and open spaces to create vibrant cities. Yek Raj Adhikari, Architect from Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) made a presentation on the government plans to build 10 new towns (e.g. Phidim, Dumre-Bhansar, Sanphe Bagar) at the junction of Middle Hills and the provisioning of public open spaces. Other presenters at the workshop were Pushkar Shrestha from Centre for integrated Urban Development and Om Thapaliya of HomeNet Nepal. On the same occasion, Kathmandu Metropolitan City and UN-Habitat along with local organizations organized a day long campaign 'KTM Walks'along Kilagal Nardevi stretch and in Itumbahal to promote walkability and different uses of public spaces. Hundreds of people participated in the campaign and observed traditional arts and artifacts including traditional Newari music and dances.

Sri Lanka

The Ministry of Housing and Construction of Sri Lanka celebrated World Habitat Day 2015 on 5 October at a National event held at the Maligawattha Housing Scheme in Colombo. The event, which drew the participation of over 2,000 community members, was organized under the patronage of the Hon. Sajith Premadasa, the Minister of Housing and Construction. The Minister of Megapolis and Western Development, the Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction, the Hon. Indika Bandaranayake and the Chief Technical Advisor of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Mr. Tim McNair, also participated at the event. Representatives from key housing and urban sector agencies in Sri Lanka and private sector organizations were also present. This important national event marked the beginning of a week-long celebration which focuses on this year's World Habitat Day theme, Public Spaces for All. The Chief Guest at the event, the Hon. Sajith Premadasa, highlighted the Government of Sri Lanka's commitment to upgrading low income settlements within the city of Colombo as well as a nationwide effort to provide permanent housing solutions to thousands of residents who do not have permanent homes. Addressing the gathering, the Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka highlighted the importance of accounting for the needs of all communities and planning for sustainability in developing cities and the megapolis in the Western Province of Sri Lanka. Mr. Tim McNair shared the UN-Habitat Executive Director's message with the gathering. Emphasizing the importance of public spaces in urban areas, he stated "Public space is a vital component of a prosperous city. Well designed and managed public space is a key asset for a city's functioning and has a positive impact on its economy, environment, safety, health, integration and connectivity. The quality of life for people in cities is directly related to the state of its public spaces." The event featured several cultural presentations by local school children emphasizing the importance of community spirit and national unity. The event concluded with the handing over of prizes to school children for art and essay competitions and house ownership deeds to 1,000 residents. A number of subsequent national events have been planned by the Ministry of Housing and Construction to celebrate World Habitat Day 2015 and Urban October.



The Italian National Institute of Planning (INU), an associate Partner of the World Urban Campaign and founder of the Biennial of Public Space, has partnered with the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation to celebrate the 2015 World Habitat Day. This year, the traditional event format has been replaced by an internet-based conversation ("Puente Espacio Publico") between Italian public-space actors and representative cities from Latin America, a region that has distinguished itself for its focus on public space, citizen participation and local action and networking. The main goal of "Puente Espacio Publico" is to create new bridges between Latin American and Italian cities and institutions by exchanging information on on-going public-space initiatives, thus opening the way to new partnerships in view of the Habitat III UN Conference, to be held in 2016 in Quito, Ecuador.

Proposed Programme:
Introductions: Anna Zambrano, Directorate - General for Development Cooperation, Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Welcome Address: Fabio Cassese, Deputy Director, Directorate - General for Development Cooperation, Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,
Moderator: Pietro Garau, INU Coordinator, UN system

Giovanni Caudo, Urban Transformation Commissioner, Roma Capitale (TBC)
Mario Spada, Coordinator, Rome Biennial of Public Space
Laura Petrella, Leader, City Planning, Extension and Design Units, UN-Habitat, Nairobi
Daniel Chain, Minister for Urban Development, Buenos Aires
Nelson Yovany Jiménez, Director, Department for the Defense of Public Space, Bogotà
Maria Regina Rau de Souza, consultant, Municipality of Porto Alegre, and Member, Strategic Planning Committee, United Cities and Local Governments (TBC)


Basque Government organized a World Habitat Day event on 3 October in Vitoria Gasteiz. About 300 people took part in the marathon Ecological Eko Sketch drawing. Among the guests and participants were Minister Ana Oregi, Deputy Mayor Borja Belandia and Director for Environment Amaia Barredo. The themes of the event were environment, sustainability, streets to society, sustainable transport.

The UN-Habitat Liaison Office in Spain, in collaboration with the Ministry of Development and the National Habitat Committee will organize a conference in Madrid on October 5th, at 10:00 am. In light of the main theme of the WHD 2015, the goal of the event is to discuss and share knowledge and experience on public spaces from various points of view. Topics that will be covered are, among others, planning, accessibility, prevention and safety, social cohesion and gender equality. In addition, the inauguration of the exhibition "The 10th Spanish Catalogue for Best Practices" will take place. About 50 participants are expected to attend.


On the occasion of the World Habitat Day, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Cittadellarte Foundation (Biella, Italy) holds exhibition "Art for Smart Sustainable Cities" to celebrate the Day. The exhibition is aimed at drawing attention to the challenges of the urbanized world using a creative, artistic approach. The opening will take place on Monday, 5 October 2015, at 1.00 p.m. in front of Delegates' Lounge, Third Floor, Building A, at the Palais des Nations. The opening ceremony will be followed by a lunch reception. Agenda is available at



The HABITAR group in Limache, Chile , will join the global World Habitat Day celebrations through an event, where participants meet and discuss different experiences related to the theme of World Habitat Day in the region of Valparaiso. The preliminary program for the event includes a brief presentation of local sustainable development initiatives in relation to the theme of World Habitat Day, Public Spaces for All. Among the invited guests are architects from the area and community. The activity will be held on Monday, October 5 from 17:00 to 19:00 in the Hearth Foundation Limache, located at Avenida República 996.


The Fundacion Somos Ecuador will on 11 October 2015 celebrate World Habitat Day in Santo Domingo square in the Old Town of Quito. A series of activities are planned to raise awareness on the interaction between citizens and public space. Each activity is aimed at creating a peaceful coexistence among citizens, promoting art, culture, history, healthy life, recycling waste management, among others. The event is organized with the support of different institutions and grassroots organizations. Approximately 500 people are expected to attend.


Empowering Business Latin America, an organization in Guatemala that advocates for accessible housing for the poor will commemorate World Habitat Day on 5 October with a public exhibition. Among the invited guests for the opening of the exhibition are representatives of the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala.


United States Of America

The Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT produced on Sunday 4 October, their weekly Archnet update with a focus on World Habitat Day and this year's theme of Public Spaces for All. The aim was to highlight the innovative development of housing and associated public spaces. For more information please visit

The Global Observance of World Habitat Day this year will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, 5 October. The event format will be a high-level discussion covering key developments in the area of public space design. This event is organized by UN-Habitat, the Consortium for Sustainable Urbanization, the American Institute of Architects New York, UN Women, the Institute of Global Homelessness, the United Cities and Local Governments and the Permanent Mission of Grenada to the United Nations. The event will comprise of three main panel discussions. Among the invited guests, panelists and moderators include the Executive Director of UN-Habitat Dr. Joan Clos, the Deputy Executive Director of UN Women Ms. Lakshmi Puri, the Permanent Representative of Brazil to the United Nations Mr. Antonio Patriota, Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mr. Orhan Pamuk among others. This event is an outcome of a partnership with UN Women's global initiative, the HeForShe campaign. This partnership aims at examining and promoting the role of men and women alike in the active creation public spaces for all.
Click here for the Secretary General's remarks
Click here for the Statement by the Permanent Representative of Brazil
Click here for the Statement by the Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy
Click here for the Statement by the Permanent Representative of Hungary

Habitat for Humanity West Virginia Capitol Build and Habitat for Humanity of West Virginia's Capitol Build is held in association with West Virginia Habitat affiliates in conjunction with World Habitat Day taking place on 5 October. HFH WV invites the community, businesses, organizations and Habitat affiliates across the state to mark the event by partnering to draw attention to the continuing need for energy efficient affordable housing. 

Planned activities include:

  • Construct framing for an energy efficient home on the Capitol Grounds to promote and celebrate Habitat for Humanity in conjunction with World Habitat Day incorporating 2x6 blessed/signed boards by state representatives during Housing Day at the Legislature and by others throughout the state.
  • The "Hand up Initiative". A statewide awareness campaign, recognizing an imprinted work glove as a symbol of Habitat for Humanity in West Virginia. The campaign shows appreciation to Habitat volunteers and partner families and also to acknowledge corporate sponsors. Work gloves will be distributed to those who help Habitat for Humanity through sponsorship or volunteering on build sites and special events.
  • Capitol Build Dedication. A dedication in celebration of Habitat for Humanity, World Habitat Day, Habitat for Humanity day in WV and Capitol Build sponsors.
  • Proclamation. Governor Tomblin declares Habitat for Humanity day in WV. Proclamation presentation and photo opportunity.
  • Framework will be moved by the end of day to a permanent build site in Marion County to be completed by Mon County Habitat for Humanity in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of WV and EQT.