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.

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


The Ministry of Housing and Urban Development organized a conference at the Faculty of Architecture, University Agostinho Neto in Luanda on World Habitat Day. The conference gathered the actors of the National Urban Agenda for reflection and debate on the Sustainable Development Goals of the New Urban Agenda, aligned with the National Programme of Urbanisation and Housing. The event had a participation of 200 people.


Habitat III in partnership with the Government of Botswana held an Urban Breakfast on 7th October in Gaborone. The event  was held under the title "Towards a New Urban Agenda- Inclusive Housing Solutions"96 participants attended the event with representation coming from the National Government, the UN System, Private sector and youth.


The Commonwealth Cavypha-Commonwealth Women's Network will hold an Urban October event on 28 October 2016. The highlights of the event will be presentations of existing government policies on how the election and appointment of local authorities can promote resilient smart cities, social housing and infrastructure programmes to address the needs of the population.  Experts will educate participants on how to participate in protecting the environment in collaboration with governments, private sector, civil society organizations among others for a better city where everyone follow rules and regulations on urban policies to promote a better urban future. The event is expected to attract a participation of approximately 1000 people.


The Global Observance of World Habitat Day was held on 3 October 2016 in N'Djamena, Chad, in an event organized by UN-Habitat in partnership with the Ministry of Territorial Planning, Housing and Urban Development. The event was held under the theme of World Habitat Day 2016 Housing at the Centre, and included discussions on urbanization of Africa and the New Urban Agenda. The event was officiated by Dr. Clos, Executive Director of UN-Habitat and Secretary General of the Habitat III Conference, and Mr. David Houdeingar, the Honourable Minister of Territorial Planning, Housing and Urban Development. For more information, please read http://unhabitat.org/putting-housing-at-the-centre-this-world-habitat-day/

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

The Tehran Municipality will organize the Tehran Golden Adobe Global Award for the Top Urban Management Projects on 30 October 2016 in celebration of the World Cities Day. The award will be given to the best projects and practices in cities and local communities worldwide and aims to value local governments and urban management in order to promote sustainable social and economic development, maintain cities' stability, and advance the citizens' lives. It is a comprehensive, scientific, and non-profit plan which professionally concentrates on introducing and supporting the top international urban management projects as well as exchanging the experiences of the civic management. Annually and concurrently with World Cities Day, Tehran Mayor hands out the award to the most influential city managers or citizens in delivering key urban projects and sustainable urban development. The event is expected to garner over 1500 people participation. For more information please visit http://ccia.tehran.ir/Default.aspx?tabid=205.


The Centre for Climate Change Awareness partnered with Consolata Shrine, Nairobi County Council and the National Youth Service in Nairobi in a cleanup exercise in the city's Waiyaki Way and Westlands central business district. The exercise, carried out on 8 October 2016, involved picking and collection of garbage and litter, in addition to unblocking drainage tunnels. The occasion was used to sensitize people on the need to keep their habitat clean by taking more responsibility. About 200 people were involved in the initiative. For more information email info@centreforcca.org.


Habitat III in partnership with the Government of Malawi held and Urban Breakfast on 3 October on Lilongwe. The event which also commemorated World Habitat Day was held under the title Financing Urban Development in the Context of the New Urban Agenda. More than 100 participants attended the event with representation coming from the National Government, UNDP, the World Bank, and Private sector.

South Africa

On 5th October 2015, eThekwini Municipality joined 50 other cities that participated in a series of Urban Breakfasts to raise awareness of the New Urban Agenda before the Habitat III conference in Quito in mid-October. This was indeed a historic moment as provincial and city political leadership joined civil society stakeholders as they deliberated on pertinent themes related to Habitat 3. The Urban Breakfast was themed "Cities for the People" and garnered over 100 participants.


The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing organized an unveiling and ribbon cutting ceremony at a housing development project in celebration of World Habitat Day. The event took place on 3 October under the theme Housing at the Centre. There were approximately 400 participants at the event.



The Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation and UN-Habitat held World Habitat Day national event on 3 October 2016 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi under the theme 'Housing at the Centre'. The event was graced by the presence of Minister of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of State of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Mr. Rao Inderjit Singh, UN-Habitat Regional Director of Asia and Pacific, Mr. Yoshinobu Fukasawa and UN Resident Coordinator in India, Mr. Yuri Afanasiev. The guests visited the exhibition showcasing India's initiatives in the housing sector, participated in the launch of Habitat III India Report and distributed prizes to the winners of various competitions held on the occasion of World Habitat Day. Mr. Fukasawa and Mr. Afanasiev appreciated the efforts taken by Government of India in promoting affordable housing and sustainable urban development. More than 500 people participated in the event. Please view the launch of the National Report via @YouTube here.

IIMT College of Engineering organized a World Habitat Day event on 3 October 2016 to provide a platform for students to present their innovative ideas through poster making competition on Smart City and applications of Engineering. The program was organized by the Department of Electronics & Communication Engineering.

Amity University Madhya Pradesh organized three events in the city of Gwalior on 3 October 2016 to celebrate World Habitat Day. The events were centered around the theme of Housing at the Centre with the following titles being given to each event: 1) Low cost housing concept presentation 2) Logo designing 3) Model making. The event had 80 participants, for more information please visit www.amity.edu/gwalior/

The Meenakshi School of Architecture in Chennai organized its 3rd Annual Urban Design Conference on 6 October 2016 under the theme Sustainable Cities. The event featured talks, a panel discussion, video presentations and an exhibition in line with the theme. The event attracted a participation of 300 people.

Integral University - Lucknow earmarked 3 October as an important academic event in its academic calendar with a participation of 250 people commemorating World Habitat Day. On this occasion a Seminar on the theme of Built Environment in Changing Cities was organized and presided over by Prof. S. W. Akhtar, the Vice Chancellor of the University, and was graced by the following senior professionals as guests of honour: Mr. M.S. Khan, Chairman - State Environmental Appraisal Committee, G.O.I, Prof. Jagbir Singh, Principal, Faculty of Architecture, APJAKTU, Lucknow and Ar. D.S. Bhui- Sr. Practicing Architect and Urban Designer, Lucknow. The Theme Presentation was made by Ar. Rajat Kant, Sr. Architect and Urban Planner of Lucknow. In addition to this, there were presentations by the students and faculty members of various architecture colleges of Lucknow as well as a panel discussion by senior professionals in the field of Architecture, Town Planning and Civil Engineering on the theme of Built Environment in Changing Cities. The event was coordinated by Prof. Subodh Shankar, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Architecture, Integral University, Lucknow. For more information please visit www.integraluniversity.ac.in.


Myanmar celebrated this year's World Habitat Day, with the government reaffirming its commitment to make affordable housing a priority. UN-Habitat representatives joined members of communities from a slum area in Hlaing Tharyar Township in Yangon's periphery, who had organised a World Habitat Day whose theme was 'Housing at the Centre' celebration to draw attention to their lives. Visiting guests, which included Members of Parliament, NGOs, and academics, were treated to cultural and traditional dances from the Ayarwaddy Region from where many had migrated in the aftermath of natural disasters. Slum community members spoke of their needs and aspirations, including their biggest issue on the lack of security of shelter. Read more http://unhabitat.org/myanmar-celebrates-world-habitat-day/

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka held the national World Habitat Day 2016 celebration on Housing at the Centre on 3 October in Polonnaruwa District. His Excellency Maithripala Sirisena, the President of Sri Lanka was the Chief Guest at the celebrations. The event, which drew the participation of over 2,000 community members, was organized by the Ministry of Housing and Construction. The highlight of the event was the opening of the Sugaladevi Model Village by His Excellency the President in Dimbulagala DS division in Polonnnaruwa, comprising of 24 permanent houses with infrastructure facilities. At the opening ceremony, His Excellency the President stated that 2017 will be declared as "The Year for Alleviation of Poverty" in Sri Lanka and that the Government will give priority towards addressing housing issues in the country. The Minister of housing and construction stressed the importance of introducing environment friendly housing country-wide. He pledged to find solutions to the housing issues in Polonnaruwa district, commencing with 50 housing projects in 2017. The Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction, the Hon. Indika Bandaranayake, Chief Minister of the North Central Province, Hon. Peshala Jayarathne, State Minister of Irrigation and Water Management, Hon. Wasantha Senanayake and the Country Programme Manager of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), Mr Chanaka Talpahewa, also participated at the event. Representatives from key housing and urban sector agencies in Sri Lanka were also present. Mr. Chanaka Talpahewa reading the UN-Habitat Executive Director's message, stated "Adequate housing is a universal human right and should be at the centre of the urban policy. It is part of the right to an adequate standard of living and it means much more than having four walls and a roof." He further stated that the New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goal's target "To ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums by 2030" are both fundamental to ensure a dignified life for millions of people worldwide. The event also featured song and dance presentations by local school children and concluded with the handing over of prizes to school children for art and essay competitions, awards to Construction Industrial development Authority (CIDA) trainees and house ownership documents to residents.


In commemoration of World Habitat Day 3 October 2016 in Bangkok, groups representing urban poor communities in Thailand marched to the United Nations compound where they were welcomed by representatives from UNESCAP and UN-Habitat. Approximately 2000 people presented a petition to be forwarded to the UN Secretary General. Echoing this year's theme for World Habitat Day Housing at the Centre the petition called for the Royal Government of Thailand and the United Nations to support more secure and affordable housing for the urban and rural poor in Thailand. For more information please visit escap-edd-suds@un.org.



Habitat III in cooperation with the city of Brussels and the United Nations Regional Information Centre, hosted an Urban Breakfast at City Hall, Grand Place, Brussels on 6 October 2016. The event was organized under the title the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development and the New Urban Agenda. Attendants received a warm welcome from the Mayor of Brussels, Mr. Yvan Mayeur, who spoke of the need for social inclusion in the fight against climate change. Architect, Mr. Luc Schuiten gave an impressive presentation on the way he believes cities should employ natural materials that embody the ecosystems around us and utilise living products to become more sustainable and resilient. Moderated by Ms. Caroline Petit, Deputy Director of the United Nations Regional Information Centre, the Breakfast hosted a panel discussion: Mr. Kumaresh Misra, Deputy Secretary General of Habitat III, talked about the compelling nature of the New Urban Agenda in viewing urbanisation as an opportunity for economic development that can bring prosperity and accommodate expectations of income, safety, and a better future by working together. Furthermore, Mathieu Fichter, Cabinet DG Regio of the European Commission, emphasised the importance of interconnectivity and learning from each other, as the challenges to cities are not static and can only be overcome by working together, while the inclusion of communities and understanding the concerns for urbanisation by the younger generation was highlighted by Mr Ahmed El Ktibi, Deputy Mayor of Brussels.


The Cork City Council invites all to come and enjoy 'life in the city' this month with plenty to see and do for all ages and interests. Urban October showcases how well designed and managed public spaces have a positive impact on people who live in, visit or work in the city. It also highlights the many groups who are working together to make our city a better place to live and work in. From art exhibitions, food fairs and street music to guided walks, educational seminars and dance lessons, there truly is an experience to suit every taste this October in Cork City Centre. The estimated participation is 5000 people. Some of the highlights of the month include:

Rain Activated Art: Keep an eye out on the footpaths around the city centre during October as quotes and positive messages appear! An invisible spray will brighten up your day, turning rainy days into a reason to smile.

Cork City Centre - Looking Up: Enter their competition by identifying buildings around the city centre and be in with a chance of winning a tasting menu for four to the value of €200 in Greenes Restaurant in the Victorian Quarter.

Family Fun Day in the Old Town: An afternoon of family fun on Cornmarket Street/Coal Quay. There'll be an exciting range of activities, including human table football, face-painting, a scavenger hunt, music bingo and much more. There's something for every member of the family to enjoy.  For more information please visit www.corkcitycentre.ie/urbanoctober


Gesplansa has organized the Canaries Urban Dialogue to celebrate World Cities Day on 31 October 2016. The dialogue will be presenting an opportunity to initiate discussions on urban planning and the challenges of sustainable urban development by welcoming participants to experience and witness successful planning tools and urban interventions. The initiative will showcase affordable housing policy tools and models successfully appropriated by the community, which have helped to preserve and created affordable housing in the Canaries and also contributed to fighting land speculation and gentrification. More information is available at www.commarcagroup.com

UN-Habitat office in Madrid celebrated World Habitat Day with an open event addressing political representatives, academy, civil society, local government, media and communication professionals. The event was held at COAM Madrid. Mr. Eduardo Moreno, Head of Research and Capacity Development at UN-Habitat, was invited to present The World Cities Report 2016 and participate in a round table panel discussion organized to discuss Housing at the center of the New Urban Agenda. Other panelists included José María Ezquiaga, Dean of Madrid´s Architects Collegue; Anselmo Menéndez, a representative from the Ministry of Housing; Raquel Rodríguez, a Professor at Architecture Univertsity, Madrid; Juana López, a Spanish Federation of Cities and Villages representative, María Buhigas, an Urbanist and UN-Habitat consultant, and Pablo Linde, a journalist at ELPAíS and the moderator of the session.


On the occasion of World Habitat Day on 3 October, Habitat III hosted an Urban Breakfast in Geneva, Switzerland. The event was organized under the title Together Towards the Implementation of the New Urban Agenda. The Breakfast provided a final update on the upcoming Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, and discussions on the draft New Urban Agenda. Participants included Mr. Arturo Cabrera, the representative of the Permanent Mission of Ecuador to the United Nations in Geneva and other key stakeholders. The event comprised of a panel discussion with Jean-Yves Barcelo making a presentation about planning, decentralisation, and access to basic services as the primary objectives of the New Urban Agenda. Other speakers included Rosa Mondardini who emphasised that listening to the public was an absolute necessity, and Amie Figueiredo who highlighted rising trends in inter-connectivity between European cities and building smart cities. The event took place at the United Nations Office at Geneva.

United Kingdom Of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

The Sustainable Cities GRP will hold a half-day World Cities 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 and the New Urban Agenda. This conference will: Explore Warwick's research in the cities space; Facilitate networking, discussion and collaboration between researchers and others keen to engage with and consider the new urban agenda and the challenges that cities face; Identify areas where the Sustainable Cities GRP can support the development of new, interdisciplinary research at Warwick. A call to Join the conversation: Students, researchers and all who have an interest in sustainable cities and have a desire to learn more about Warwick's work in this area, and all working in local, regional and national institutions and NGOs that have an interest in addressing the challenges faced by cities are invited to register. To learn how you can get involved, and for more information please visit http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/research/priorities/sustainablecities/newsandevents/calendar/citiesday.



Mr. Santiago Martinez of the Rural Interaction Project planned a public art campaign in the city of Los Cabos (San Jose del Cabo) as part of his own expression and celebration of the World Habitat Day on 3 October 2016. He displayed #HabitatDay on his cart while selling coffee, wore a branded backpack container and posted content on his social media platforms related to climate change, biodiversity, ecology, art, urban development, social issues, social economy.