Access to adequate housing is a global
    challenge growing fast with urbanization


    Urbanization provides the potential
    for new forms of social inclusion and greater equality

Urban October

Urban October is a time of raising awareness, promoting participation, generating knowledge and engaging the international community on sustainable urban development.


Cities around the world are planning activities and events to celebrate World Habitat Day and World Cities Day
this October. Register your event today to be listed in this page.

  • Global
  • Africa
  • Asia and the Pacific
  • Europe
  • Latin Ameria & the Caribbean
  • North America



Cabo Verde

UN-Habitat Cabo Verde launched the initiative Local Urban Ambassadors to celebrate World Habitat Day 2017. In this occasion 42 local ambassadors were selected among pop stars, musicians, artists, sports man, slum dwellers, researchers, urban specialists and entrepreneurs. These partners will be UN-Habitat's focal points in their respective communities in Cabo Verde, to advocate for the New Urban Agenda. The event was organized in partnership with the City Council of Praia and was presided over by United Nations Resident Coordinator in Cabo Verde. The event included a city tour and a get together at the informal settlement of Castelão. Please visit http://www.rtc.cv/tcv/index.php?paginas=47&id_cod=62024 and https://web.facebook.com/onuhabitatcaboverde/ for photos and the coverage of the activities on social media and television.


An Urban Breakfast was held on 30 October in Addis Ababa as part of the world celebration of the Urban October. The event was jointly hosted by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and UN-Habitat in collaboration with the African Union and had participation of the Ethiopian Ministry of Urban Development and Housing.
The half day event provided the context to present and discuss urban development priority issues for the region, including the upcoming Regional Framework for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda in Africa. The event was also an opportunity to connect the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the follow up process with the upcoming Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) to be held from 7 to 13 February 2018. Participants were drawn from the national government of Ethiopia, the private sector, as well as representatives from countries Permanent Missions based in Addis Ababa.
Guest speakers included the Minister for Urban Development and Housing of Ethiopia Dr. Ambachew Mekonen, the Director of Regional Office for Africa of UN-Habitat Mr. Naison Mutizwa-Mangiza, and the Director of Social Development Policy Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Ms. Thokozile Ruzvidzo, the Senior Political Officer at the Department of Political Affairs of the African Union Commission Mr. Issaka Garba. The opening session was followed by a technical session with a panel consisting of the Coordinator of Substantive Programme of the World Urban Forum in UN-Habitat Mr. Roi Chiti, the Chief of Urbanization Section at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Ms. Edlam Yemeru, and Mr. Mohamed Halfani, an International Expert currently supporting the preparation of the New Urban Agenda Implementation’s Framework for Africa.
On this occasion, the African Union Commission noted the commitment of African Member States to achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals, through the use of structures, policies and strategies that are put in place, and reiterated the relevance of the 11th Goal in progressing towards the New Urban Agenda, which targets Sustainable Cities and Communities.
The event took place at the United Nations Conference Centre (UNCC) in Addis Abeba. Press release by UNECA is available here: https://www.uneca.org/stories/implementation-new-urban-agenda-gains-momentum-african-region


The Network for Promotion of Agriculture and Environmental Studies plans to celebrate World Cities Day on 31 October 2017 in Accra through an event to share information and educate communities for sustainable development.


UN-Habitat organized an Urban Breakfast to celebrate World Habitat Day in Nairobi. Opening remarks were made by the Executive Director of UN-Habitat Dr. Joan Clos, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Kenya H.E. Mr. Anthony Andanje. The session was followed by a substantive discussion on the theme of World Habitat Day Housing Policies: Affordable Housing. The Panel includedthe Advisor, Policy and Delivery at the County Government of Kisumu Mr. George Okong’o, theC.E.O of Safaricom Sacco Dr. George Ochiri, and the Director of GROOTS Kenya Ms. Fridah Githuku.

UN-Habitat and the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme Kenya team organized a workshop to address the need for coordination between the local and national government in the development and implementation of the financial strategies, for sustainable city-wide slum upgrading. The UN-Habitat through its Slum Upgrading Unit took this chance to present a new Financing tool for citywide improvements. The main message of the workshop was, ‘The importance of developing a proper financial system by taking into account the process as a whole and the context of the country.


UN-Habitat Lebanon celebrated Urban October by organizing an Urban Breakfast at their offices in Beirut, Lebanon. The event, which was centered on the theme of Housing and Affordability, was held on 31 October 2017. The guest speaker was Ms. Nadine Bekdache, a practicing designer, urbanist, and a co-founder of Studio for Public Works. Ms. Bekdache made a presentation of a research conducted by Public Works’ titled 'Rent controlled housing stock: an opportunity for diverse housing programs'. The presentation was followed by a discussion with attendees over breakfast.


UN-Habitat Mozambique celebrated World Habitat Day in Maputo by organizing panel presentations and discussion with the public over the subject Adequate and Affordable Housing in Mozambique.


Dokup, a global digital platform for eHealth, medical services and advice, commemorated World Cities Day on 31 October 2017. Dokup took the opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of cities and the involvement of youth in sustainable urban development. The event was held in Casablanca. Please visit https://twitter.com/e_dokup for further information.


United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth Nigeria celebrated World Habitat Day on 5 October though an event focusing on role of young people in housing policies and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda at all levels in achieving the SDG Goals in Nigeria. The aim was to celebrate the theme of World Habitat Day Housing Policies: Affordable Homes and to identify present-day housing policy in Nigeria and identify interventions towards the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. The Group also ought to identify, deliberate and list out an outcome document which can be used as recommendations for all stake holders towards the implementation of better housing policies that can be affordable for all.

On 9 October 2017 the Lagos State Government commemorated World Habitat Day 2017 and its theme Housing Policies: Affordable Homes. In this occasion, the state government pledged commitment to provision of affordable housing. The event was graced by officials from the Lagos State Government, including the Governor Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, and representatives from UN-Habitat. Please find here the complete report of the event

Kpakpando Foundation, a community based organization that advocates for equal rights for persons with disabilities, celebrated World Cities Day in Abuja Nigeria on the 30 October 2017. This day also marked the organization’s 12th Anniversary. The key note speaker was Mrs. Patricia Ovuoke Oseh, the Director General of Kpakpando Foundation and Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities International Inc. who took the opportunity to highlight the achievements realized by the organization. The speaker especially noted the role of UN DSPD/DESA in recognition of the rights of people living with disabilities in Nigeria, and presented the UN DSPD/DESA Toolkit on Disability for Africa.

Awka Capital Territory Development Authority celebrated World Cities Day on 31 October 2017. Among those present were the Governor of Anambra State, Willie Obiano, his deputy-Prof. Nkem Okeke and Arch. Michael Okonkwo. A panel discussion was held with a focus on World Habitat day theme, Housing Policies: Affordable Homes, and specific theme "Enabling future cities to be smart; Strategies to prevent urban poverty and promote social inclusion and wellbeing." These conversations highlighted the application of good strategies to combat the effects of urbanization in Anambra state and other major cities in Nigeria. For more information, visit http://actda.com.ng.

South Africa

Government of South Africa through the national Department of Human Settlement and Department of Cooperative governance and Traditional Affairs working together with eThekwini Municipality and other strategic partners namely, South African Local Government Association and South African Cities Network is hosting national observation of World Cities Day on 31 October 2017 in Durban. The Government and all partners aim to use this day to facilitate discussion on the national implementation for the New Urban Agenda. The day will have three sessions. There will be a high-level session where political leadership will have a roundtable discussion on the New Urban Agenda followed by a moderated session on the implementation plan and lastly the community session where political leadership with all participants will visit the identified community to celebrate and hand over a revitalised public open space.

South Africa celebrated the launch of the World Cities Days, under the theme of “Innovative Governance, Open Cities”, in the city of Durban on 31 October. The World Cities Day was part of eThekwini Urban Week, which comprised the South Africa Cities Urban Conference on 30 October and the 2nd Africa Forum for Urban Safety (AFUS) Learning Exchange taking place on 1-3 November 2017.

The Mayor of eThekwini Municipality Ms Zandile Gumede, the Deputy Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) Mr Andries Nel, the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements Ms Zou Kota-Fredericks, the UN-Habitat’s Director of External Relations Division Ms Christine Musisi, and the President of South African Local Government Association (SALGA) and United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) Mr Parks Tau, joined other stakeholders and role-players to recognize the role of cities in the overall development of communities.

The implementation of the New Urban Agenda was the main focus of the World Cities Day, with the national urban policy, the Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) as key framing element to its localisation in South Africa. The IUDF aims to guide the development of human settlements through an inclusive and resilient way. Its vision speaks to liveable, safe, efficient cities – socially integrated, economically inclusive and residents participate actively in urban life.

Building on the IUDF and its implementation plan, the Department of Human Settlements, the Department of Cooperative Governance, the South African Local Government Association and the South African Cities Network have drafted the South African Implementation Framework for the New Urban Agenda.

The World Cities Day provided a platform to present the draft of the Implementation Framework for the New Urban Agenda in South Africa and to dialogue with stakeholders across government and civil society to dialogue on how the New Urban Agenda can be localised. This consultative process aimed to support its finalization before the presentation of the final document to UN-Habitat and partners at the 9th World Urban Forum, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in February 2018.

The main message from the speakers was to promote better planning by anticipating urban growth for future change and ensure that urbanisation remains a positive force for sustainable development. “Changing the outlook of our cities will require us to use the spaces creatively and also contribute to deep development”, said Deputy Minister Nel, while highlighting the need to design and manage the urban spaces in a way that makes the citizens feel safe.

“Going forward to address the requirements of the New Urban Agenda, South Africa is to create an Implementation Framework that ensures urbanization challenges and opportunities are tackled collectively,” said Councillor Gumede. “We look forward to gathering with our peers to see how we will take a collective approach, recognizing that the development of our urban spaces within a context of human settlements is linked to the economic and social development of the country as a whole.”

In her remarks, Ms. Musisi articulated the transformative commitments required to achieve sustainable urbanization and applauded the commitment and achievements of the government of the Republic of South Africa for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda.
“Even though lots of progress has been achieved, South Africa is still committed doing more and to develop a clear implementation plan for our urban agenda”, concluded the Deputy Minister Nel.


Khalafalla Omer, a member of Royal Town Planning Institute organized a session to discuss the challenges of developing better housing policy in Khartoum city with policy makers and urban actors in Sudan. The session held on 17 September 2017 at the headquarter of National Fund for Housing & Reconstruction at Khartoum city focused on the topic Towards Inclusive Housing Policy: Khartoum Case Study. Stakeholders from different sectors such as the National Fund for Housing & Reconstruction along with the heads of State Fund for Housing & Reconstruction, Engineering Council, Housing Research Center and UN-Habitat were present. The main presentation was by Khalafalla Omer, a member of RTPI. For more information please visit https://www.slideshare.net/KhalafallaOmer/towards-inclusive-housing-policy-khartoum-case-study-80786702

The Ministry of Urban Development organized an event on 13 September 2017 in Khartoum, leading up to Urban October 2017. Responding to a meeting invitation received from Mr. Hassan Hilal, the Minister of Urban Development, a group of stakeholders from different urban field aspects is met to participate in reviewing the proposed road map to develop Sudan National Urban Policy (SNUP 2018-2031). Among the presenters was:
Mr. Salah Mahmoud the National Expert presented a review for the road map, taking into account the fundamental social factors among Sudan regions;
Mr. Hassan Hillal, the Minister of Urban Development ensured that the upcoming policies have to be drafted within the allocated budget to avoid miss-implementing process;
Mr. Wael Al-Ashhab, the Head of Country Program at UN-Habitat ensured the importance of establishing urban observatory centers in different regions across Sudan to monitor the indicated urban challenges;
Mr. Khalafalla Omer, a member of Royal Town Planning Institute called for creating urban participatory councils for each locality to identify and priorities the most urban challenges within cities borders through community driven methodology in order to insure democratic decision making process;
Mr. Malik Dongula, the President of Contractors Union claimed for specified timeframe to accelerate the handover of SNUP to ministerial council for final presidential approval;
Mr. Ali Abbas, lecturer at Alzaiem Alazhari University asked for organizing lunching event where all stakeholders are invited to be informed about the new policies;
Mr. Jamal Mahmoud, the State Minister of Urban Development requested a further examination of the urban challenges that shapes the context of Sudan for the sake of implementing sustainable urban development programs.
Finally, the meeting participates listed the following recommendations required to develop SNUP:

  • Establish urban observatory centers in the cities of Sudan
  • Organize a workshop to identify urban indicators necessary to monitor the urbanism features
  • Set up appropriate methodology for data collection process
  • Create participatory platforms during the process of developing SNUP
  • Develop a clear definition of Sudan urbanism
  • Determine the current urban statues of Sudan.

In conclusion, the meeting outcomes send promising urban future for Sudan. However, there is still a lot to do with regard the federal governance, transparency and fair distribution of wealth and power to ensure appropriate implementation of SNUP.


Habitat for Humanity Zambia has organized a Banker's Build event, where financial institutions in Zambia will come together, contributing staff manpower, time and financial resources. The purpose is to provide simple yet decent housing units for beneficiary families identified as being vulnerable, caring for orphans. The construction takes in urban informal settlements, often termed as slums in Zambia. This year two families will be supported, and later in the month, we expect financial contributions for water points, to provide access to safe and clean drinking water.



The People In Need (PIN), a non-governmental organization in Cambodia will celebrate World Cities Day on 19 October 2017, in the city of in Phnom Penh. The event will be marked through the "City For All!" Conference, an annual event organised by People In Need (PIN) Cambodia to provide a platform for discussion on sustainable urban development in Cambodia. This year, over 30 speakers from across Asia will present four thematic sessions – Resilient City, Inclusive City, Clean City and Future City. For more information please email: samrawit.gougsa@peopleinneed.cz


The World Bank (Global Platform for Sustainable Cities)will organize the 2nd GPSC Annual Meeting on World Cities Day, 31 October in New Delhi. Currently comprised of 27 cities across 11 pilot countries, the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, or GPSC, supports cities in their efforts to adopt an integrated approach to urban planning and financing. Led by the World Bank and supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in collaboration with development partners, the GPSC promotes sustainable development amidst rapid urbanization and works with practitioners and thought leaders from around the world in developing solutions for sustainable urban growth. At the annual forum, mayors and city leaders convene with experts from financial institutions, international organizations, UN agencies and the private sector, to share best practices in sustainable development planning and discuss policy options towards a common vision of urban sustainability. The offical opening of the GPSC Annual Meeting will take place in the morning of October 31. The theme of the 2017 forum – ‘Innovation & Smart Solutions for Urban Sustainability’ – will be illustrated through the many scheduled events, including a Mayor’s RoundTable, high-level panel discussions and a series of in-depth learning events. For more information please visit http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/urbandevelopment/brief/global-platform-for-sustainable-cities

The Government of Andhra Pradesh India celebrated World Habitat Day by an inauguration of One Lakh EWS houses in the state of Andhra Pradesh.  In this initiative, the Government of Andhra Pradesh committed to provide Permanent houses to all eligible families by 2022. For more information please visit https://apgovhousing.apcfss.in/

Social Good Summit marked World Cities Day on the 31 October 2017 under the theme Innovative Governance, Open Cities. The aim wasto highlight the important role of urbanization as a source of global development & social inclusion. For more information, please visit https://www.facebook.com/ASHISHS80450398/?hc_ref=ARTiOUJwmDddFPuGvS2IAVBQb_xQlWXTn36TzofIUyvopitCv1KwGmA7zGI2xhkqqdw&fref=nf

Integral University based in Lucknow India, commemorated World Habitat Day on 5 October 2017 by organizing a seminar on ‘Housing Policies: Affordable Homes’ with a focus on ‘Housing for Masses; issues and challenges’. Among the guests were the Founding Vice Chancellor of Integral University, Prof. S. W. Akhtar and Prof. Jamal Mohammad Arif – Pro Vice Chancellor, Integral University. The main speakers were as follows:

  • Ar. Arun K. Pachauri – Former Chief Architect Planner U.P. Housing Board
  • Prof. D.C. Thapar, Veteran Architect – Academician
  • Dr. Arun K. Rana, DGM, HUDCO, Regional Office, Lucknow
  • Ar. Rajat Kant, Sr. Practicing Architect and Urban Designer, Lucknow

One of the topics highlighted was the need for solutions to combat housing issues arising due to unaffordable housing developments. Among the solutions proposed were the implementation of policies, framing-in of areas and use of specific development control by-laws for maintaining the architectural ethos and character of the social fabric.
The Department of Architecture took the opportunity to exhibit the Integral University students’ work which were viewed and commended by senior architects and town planners of Lucknow.


Research Institute of Policy Studies organized a seminar in Jakarta to propose policy recommendations that can be adopted by policy makers, from national and sub national government. It was also meant to encourage city planners to learn from Surabaya City's experiences on how to vision a livable city and execute concrete actions to accomplish it. For more information please visit http://litbang.pu.go.id/pkpt/

Islamic Republic of Iran

The Ministry of Roads and Urban Development (MoRUD) led the Seventeenth Conference on Housing Policies and the Commemoration of World Habitat Day on 10 October in Tehran. The opening ceremony, held in the Roads, Housing and Urban Development Research Center (known as BHRC) was attended by the Minister of Roads and Urban Development Dr. Abbas Akhundi, Senior Ministry of Roads and Urban Development (MoRUD) officials, Members of Parliament, university professors and experts in the fields of housing and urban planning, and the Chief of UN-Habitat office in Iran Mr. Siamak Moghadam. The event focused on the theme of World Habitat Day “Housing Policies: Affordable Homes”. The Minister of Roads and Urban Development extensively addressed the issue of housing in the country. MoRUD’s annual Conference on Housing Policies focuses on integrated housing issues such as financing, affordable housing, informal settlements, land policies, urban economy, housing market and human settlements. UN-Habitat will also present a paper on the concept of low income housing and their coverage in the Vancouver Declaration, Habitat Agenda and the New Urban Agenda.


Think City, a community-based organization from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia marked Urban October on the 25 October 2017 by engaging in a laneway improvement program. The lane ways, which are usually used for illegal parking among other activities, can now be used by the neighboring cafes for more productive reasons. The demonstrative project also provided feedback from the community as it progresses into the pilot stage. For more information, please visit the website https://thinkcity.com.my/.

In commemoration of Urban October, Think City plans to hold two talks on the 28 October 2017 concentrating on connectivity in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Six speakers are set to deliver speeches for the two sessions. They are from diverse age groups and backgrounds and will therefore; offer their unique views on connectivity and what it means for the city. For further information on this event, visit https://thinkcity.com.my/.


UN-Habitat Philippines will organize an Urban Breakfast on 17 October 2017 in Metro Manila.  This event will focus on updates on the New Urban Agenda, its promotion and implementation within the Philippine context. The Programme may be found here: http://bit.ly/2y5Nt7t
Livestreaming will be available on facebook.com/urbanphilippines on October 17, 9:30 a.m. (GMT +8).

UN-Habitat Philippines held the First Urban Breakfast in Asia-Pacific on 17 October 2017 in Quezon City, Manila. The event kicked off the first training workshop for national government partners of Building Climate Resiliency through Urban Plans and Designs, a German government funded project with UN-Habitat Philippines as the lead implementer in partnership with national government and five partner cities. Locally dubbed Kapihan at Usapang Urban (Coffee and Urban Conversation), the Urban Breakfast focused on the upcoming Ninth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) as a key platform to review progress cities have made in implementing the New Urban Agenda since its adoption in 2016 and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals. Read complete report here



Habitat Norway has organized a series of events to celebrate World Habitat Day and Urban October. The activities will take place from 2-31 October in Oslo. Please find attached the programme of activities.


Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Slovenian Association of Landscape Architects and Town and Spatial Planning Association of Slovenia celebrated World Habitat Day on 2 October 2017 in the city of Ljubljana. The main activity was the launch of the Slovenian translation of the New Urban Agenda and discussion about the role and future of Slovenian cities and towns. In the first segment of the event, the Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning Mrs. Irena Majcen welcomed the attendees and stressed the importance of Slovenian cities in achieving sustainable development. This was followed by the launch of translation and presentation of the New Urban Agenda in Slovene. Later the representative of city of Ljubljana shared his views on importance of the New Urban Agenda for the local level and experience from the Habitat III conference. The second segment included professionals, national and local officials discussing the state, role and future of Slovenian towns and cities. The event was also the opening of Ministry’s annual project “Mesec prostora”. This project connects different events that take place throughout October and which address spatial and urban development themes. The main theme this year is “Green Space Connects Us”.


Junta Municipal Tetuán will organize the 10th Series of Architecture in Tetuan District of Madrid. The event, which takes place in October and November, comprises a comprehensive agenda of activities related to architecture, built environment and knowledge about urban policies. Scheduled activities include:
2 October - a lecture form Margarita de Luxan about climate change, housing and city
6 October - the presentation of the facilities in the district by Metro de Madrid
14 October - a guided walks around the Canal Bajo of water suply among the Tetuan District
21 October - a guided tour held by the Tiflologic ONCE museum Workshops about public spaces for children have also bee organized. For more information please visit https://cicloarquitecturatetuan.tumblr.com/

UN-Habitat Spain will celebrate World Cities Day by organizing an event on ‘Innovative Governance, Open cities: the case of opened Andalusian Cities’. The event will focus on discussing how cities from Andalucía are deploying innovative projects of governance in the different regions.  Hosted by Sevilla City Council and with the participation of multiple mayors of Andalusian Cities, the event will show and debate new ways of approaching to the concept of Innovative cities. At the close of the event, the film Citizen Jane, the battle for the city will be broadcasted, as well as video pieces The Quito Papers and the film Urban Labs.

LaVola and UN-Habitat’s City Resilience Profiling Programme will celebrate World Cities Day on 31 October through the ‘My Dream City’ activity. The activity will provide a platform for children to reflect on their experiences living in a city and discuss the city they need. It aims to change the perception of the role of children in shaping cities, a role that has traditionally been non-existent, while creating awareness of the importance of their inclusion and contributing to inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities. Recycled blocks will be used to build a child friendly space, followed by a debate that will encourage children to share their ideas and concerns. For more information please contact info@cityresilience.org

UN-Habitat Spain organized a Session of Urban Cinema at the Madrid Official Architects College. The session broadcast two UN-Habitat videos (The Quito Papers and Urban Labs, the Film) and the movie Citizen Jane, the battle for the City, whose broadcasting rights have been acquired for the occasion. The event focused on messages promoting World Habitat Day 2017 theme and the Urban October month.

UN-Habitat, Sant Pau and LaVola has every first Sunday of the month as a free entrance in the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona. The first Sunday of November will be dedicated to the World Cities Day at a publicly open fair. The World Cities Day Fair is designed for families to celebrate this international day maintaining that creating a livable city is not only about dreaming, it is also about taking responsibilities from all sides and citizens play an important role. With this activity, families will play and participate in workshops with reused everyday elements and experimental materials. The purpose is to raise awareness about how children and families can improve life in cities with small but important actions. For more information please contact info@cityresilience.org

Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona will on 3 November 2017 celebrate World Cities Day through an event for the restoration of the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site. The restoration is an exemplary process in terms of quality, sustainability and energy efficiency. The enhancement of the heritage, the application of new technologies and the latest advances in energy saving are the main distinguishing features. A good example of this commitment to sustainability is the geothermal system designed for the air conditioning of all of the buildings in the complex. The geothermal facility at Sant Pau, one of the most important in Europe, makes use of the constant temperatures of the lower layers of the subsoil to heat or cool a closed water circuit, resulting in savings of up to 40% on the usual consumption of a conventional gas installation. In addition, the buildings are equipped with systems to regulate consumption on the basis of user demand, such as sensors and centralised management and control systems. Sant Pau Foundation is hosting an informative session and visit to geothermal system facilities for university students. For more information please visit https://www.santpaubarcelona.org

Barcelona Global will host an Urban Talk on 2 November 2017 in Barcelona. The Urban Talk will contain presentations and discussions by renowned urbanists, economists, sociologists, artists and thinkers around topics on urbanization as presented from a wide array of professional perspectives. The event is aimed to build reflections on this year’s World Cities Day theme: “Innovative Governance, Open Cities.”

On the occasion of World Cities Day on 31 October 2017, UN-Habitat's City Resilience Profiling Program will be opening its doors to members of the public visiting the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Site in Barcelona where the office is situated. Visitors will be welcomed by the team and given an introduction to their work and the importance of urbanization. During the day, the Sant Pau Art Nouveau Sit will also be projecting videos at various points across the site related to urbanization and urban development.

UN-Habitat and Barcelona partners will celebrate World Cities Day on 31 October 2017 through a week-long programme named The World Cities Day Fair running to 5 November 2017. All first Sundays of the month will be Free Entrance Days at Sant Pau, and to conclude the week-long programme, Sunday, November 5th (the first Sunday of the month) will be dedicated to World Cities Day. The World Cities Day Fair will invite all site visitors, particularly families, to celebrate the international day by playing and participating in workshops with reused everyday elements and experimental materials. The purpose is to raise awareness on how children and adults can improve life in cities with small but important actions.
Activities of the World Cities Day Fair will include:
- My Dream City (Lavola)
- Giant Puzzle (Castell de Torre Baro)
- Sharing the Future (Area Metropolitana de Barcelona)
- I want a world of colors - Photocall (Diputacio de Barcelona)
- Biking for popcorn (Diputacio de Barcelona)
- The Beach Trolley (Ajuntament de Barcelona)
- Food waste in the fridge (Agencia de Residus de Catalunya)
- Creating Art Noveau magnets (Fundacio Gas Natural Fenosa)
- Music & City songs!


The Swedish Institute Network for Future Global Leaders (SINFGL) Local Network at Blekinge Institute of Technology has collaborated with PlanKan, the Planning Students’ Body, to organize World Cities Day Celebrations in Karlskrona City. The event, scheduled for 31 October 2017, will bring together different stakeholders of urban development from students, academia, civil society, private sector and the general public to celebrate the theme of World Cities Day 2017 "Innovative Governance, Open Cities". For more information please visit https://eng.si.se/areas-of-operation/scholarships-and-grants/si-network-for-future-global-leaders/

United Kingdom

To celebrate UN World Cities Day the Sustainable Cities Global Research Priority of the University of Warwick is holding a half-day event to showcase cities research at Warwick. Besides offering the opportunity to hear more about the wide variety of research being undertaken in the cities space, this event will also offer the opportunity to advance university wide relationships and to learn more about research opportunities linked to cities. For more information please visit https://www.warwick.ac.uk/citiesday

Sound Diplomacy are hosting an open doors event at their office in Shoreditch to launch their guide to becoming a music city. Anyone is free to drop by and have a chat about music's place in our towns, cities and urban developments. The event will commemorate World Cities Day on 31 October 2017. For more information please visit https://www.sounddiplomacy.com/

International Growth Centre will host a Twitter chat on the central role of innovative governance for urbanisation as a source of global development and social inclusion. As governments in many developing countries struggle to keep pace with the demands of rapidly urbanizing cities, questions about the governance of cities have magnified in significance. Local and municipal governments are expected to deliver an ever-expanding range of infrastructure and services to enhance both the livability and productivity of cities. In this context, innovation in managing the urbanisation process and in policies to support inclusive growth in cities is crucial. The event will endeavor to address these questions: Can different municipal structures prove more or less effective in managing rapid urban growth? What can national governments do to help facilitate effective urban governance? How can cities improve their accountability to citizens in delivering services and making large scale investments? And how can big data help policymakers address the needs of rapidly growing cities? The event will be to celebrate World Cities Day on 31 October 2017. Join researchers, policy makers and urban experts as they debate what are the biggest challenges associated with governance in fast growing cities today. Register your interest to join the Twitter chat here. You can also contribute to the discussion by using #citiesthatwork. For more information please visit https://www.theigc.org/event/twitter-chat-innovative-systems-governance-rapidly-growing-cities/




The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia (Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible), will celebrate World Cities Day on 31 October 2017 in Bogota through a seminar named “SMART SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND TERRITORIES”. The Seminar will be under the theme of World Cities Day "Innovative Governance, Open Cities". The event aims to offer a space for inter-institutional, intersectoral and territorial dialogue to analyze the current context, challenges and action potential in the topic of “Smart Sustainable Cities and Territories”. The expected outcomes are a common vision and understanding of concepts, recommendations for Colombian cities and generation of proposals from a sustainable perspective. For more information please visit http://www.minambiente.gov.co

Costa Rica

Centro Para la Sostenibilidad Urbana and Serge Group has organised a series of Urban October events in San Jose. The list of events are shared below. For more information please visit https://www.facebook.com/OctubreUrbano/

  • Pausa Urbana con Grupo Serge: Talleres de baile y exhibicion de Danza Africana
  • PAUSA URBANA con Ligmincha Costa Rica: Clases gratuitas de Yoga Budista y meditacion
  • Rutas Naturbanas: Convocatoria publica: primer kilometro de Rutas Naturbanas, Y Chepecletas: Safari Historico con Andres Fernandez: Barrio Amon, herencia espanola y otras historias
  • LIFTING HANDS: Domingo familiar de películas
  • CPSU y Alianza Francesa: Cine Foro documental "Manana" Cyril Dion
  • PAUSA URBANA con la Asociacion de Circo y Arte: Talleres de artes circenses y espectaculo de Circo y Clown
  • CPSU y Alianza Francesa: Cine Foro documental Urbans Roots
  • Rio Urbano: Ríos de San Jose. Dibujando por el Torres
  • Costa Rica Limpia: Tercer Congreso de Movilidad Urbana
  • PAUSA URBANA con la Asociacion de Swing Criollo y Bolero Costarricense: Clases de baile Swing y Bolero, pista abierta de baile y exhibiciones
  • ACCESA: Jornada "Apropiacion Sonora"
  • PAUSA URBANA con el Festival Puro Cuento: Cuentos y StandUp Comedy
  • PLATAFORMA DE INTEGRACIÓN CIUDADANA: Taller de mapeo urbano con Agora PIC
  • CHEPECLETAS y La Peri: PeriSafari a Finca Al Mercat
  • Bicibus: Taller de Ciclismo Urbano
  • SULA BATSU, BID, NNUU, CPSU: Hackaton Femenina Centroamericana: Ciudades Sostenibles
  • ASOCIACION MASAYA: Masaya Puertas Abiertas
  • ACIAMB y CPSU: Panel “Innovacion Urbana para el Desarrollo Sostenible”
  • PAUSA URBANA con Tango Saudade: Clase gratuita (Nivel 0) y milonga abierta de tango
  • ALIANZA FRANCESA: Slam poetico
  • TUC CALLE DE AMARGURA: Disfrutando la Amargura: folclor costarricense.
  • PAUSA URBANA con Ligmincha Costa Rica: Clases gratuitas de Yoga Budista y meditacion
  • CIUDAD PALABRA: Tour por el Cemeterio Central de Alajuela
  • CPSU: Rally Urbano: Tren al Sur
  • RIO URBANO: Ríos de San Jose. Dibujando por el Ocloro
  • Huertos Urbanos Costa Rica: Encuentro de Huertos Urbanos 2017
  • De Lunes a sabado-Carpe Chepe Free Walking Tour de San Jose
  • Los viernes y saabado-CARPE CHEPE: Pub Crawl
  • Los martes- Chicas en Cleta: Cleteada Nocturna
  • Los miercoles- Chepecletas: Cleteada Nocturna

United States of America

The United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia will host the Philadelphia’s World Heritage on 5 October to address the question what it mean for tourism in their neighborhood or community. Philadelphia is the United States’ first World Heritage City. The event will be an opportunity to hear from speakers familiar with neighborhood and community development, historic preservation, and tourism and hospitality. This event is part of GlobalPhilly 2017 in partnership with the United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia Habitat III Program and the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. For more information please visit http://una-gp.org/

Global Forum on Human Settlements will host the 12th Global Forum on Human Settlements & Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements Awards Ceremony (GFHS - XII) on 30-31 October at the UN headquarters in New York City. The event, organized to celebrate World Cities Day, will be centered on “Effectively Planning and Managing Urban Spatial Development to Implement 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and New Urban Agenda”. GFHS - XII will be jointly organized by the Global Forum on Human Settlements (GFHS), the Permanent Mission of the Gambia to the UN, the Permanent Observer Mission of the African Union to the UN (AU), the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment), the Universal Peace Federation (UPF), the World Association of Non-governmental Organizations (WANGO), the Better City Institute (BCI) and many more. The GFHS - XII will consist of closed consultation, opening ceremony, high-level dialogue, sub-forums, recommendations and summaries, exhibition, awards ceremony, field visits and studies. GFHS - XII will address and tackle the following issues:

  • Integrated, polycentric, and balanced territorial development policies, strategies and practices;
  • Safe, accessible, green and quality public spaces
  • Improve city environment and resilience through resource efficiency
  • International Green Model City Initiative
  • Low-carbon city and new energy development
  • Inclusive urban renewal
  • Sustainable tourism
  • Smart city
  • Characteristic town
  • Women and Children in the Rapidly Urbanizing World, and many more

For more information please visit http://www.gfhsforum.org/?_l=en


UN-Habitat, the Mission of Slovakia to the United Nations and A24 will screen The Florida Project, a new incisive film from the studio of Academy Award-winning Moonlight, and host a panel discussion to illustrate the challenge of 'leaving no one behind' and the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals for cities aiming to be sustainable and inclusive. The Florida Project film, directed by Sean Baker and starring Willem Defoe and a group of charismatic children, provides a gripping glimpse of the everyday lives of the poor in sprawling, exurban Orlando. The dystopian landscape of inequality that it portrays offers a searing critique of policies and planning that have deepened segregation and homelessness and, ultimately, child welfare and sex work. The free screening of this film will take place on 20 October 2017 at 6 p.m., followed by a conversation between Director Sean Baker, the Ambassador of Slovakia to the United Nations Mr. Michal Mlynar, the Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat Dr. Aisa Kacyira, and leading urban thinkers Ms. Saskia Sassen and Mr. Richard Plunz on how socioeconomic policies related to affordable housing, decent jobs and transit access go hand-in-hand with urban form. For more info please contact habitatny@un.org

The National Democratic Institute will launch its' global Women Mayors' Network (WoMN) on the occasion of World Cities Day on 31 October 2017. The Women Mayors’ Network (WoMN) is a an international, nonpartisan peer network to support women who are running governments at the urban level and who are #LeadingDifferently. WoMN open to current or former women mayors of nationally significant urban centers. It will offer members a space for networking, and a platform for policy forums, innovation, cross-regional collaboration, and lesson learning. WoMN members will also have access to technical expertise that will enhance and deepen their effectiveness as executive officers. The WoMN will host a biennial summit where members can meet, connect and innovate. By harnessing the reach of its worldwide membership leading a rapidly urbanizing global population, the Network will be a global political force working to build democratic resilience through inclusive and accountable urban government. The website that will be launched that day will be: https://www.ndi.org/women-mayors-network-womn

The global Women Mayors’ Network (WoMN) which was launched by the National Democratic Institute is set to hold its first biennial summit on June 2018. Soon-Young Yoon, the Chair of the board, Women’s Environment and Development Organization (WEDO) and UN representative for the International Alliance of Women, sent out invitations to women mayors in the different countries. The Network aims at providing a platform for the women mayors to meet, connect and innovate. By harnessing the reach of its worldwide membership, the Network will be a global political force working to build democratic resilience through inclusive and accountable urban government. WoMn recognizes the role of women in urbanization considering the fact that 75% of the world’s population will live in cities by the year 2030 and the concentration of women-headed households in urban areas. In response to this, the Network seeks to increase women’s representation in urban leadership.