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World Cities Day 2023: Theme, History and Significance – News18

Published By: Nibandh Vinod

Last Updated: October 31, 2023, 07:00 IST

World Cities Day is celebrated annually on October 31. (Image: Shutterstock)

World Cities Day 2023: This year the international day focuses on the theme of “Financing sustainable urban future for all”. Notably, ‘Better City, Better Life’ has been the general theme of the day since its inception.

WORLD CITIES DAY 2023: With an aim to promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, every year World Cities Day is celebrated on October 31. The day serves as an opportunity to encourage cooperation among nations in addressing the challenges of urbanization. In addition, it contributes to sustainable urban development across the globe.

It is worth noting that the development of cities or urbanization has existed since the times of the Indus Valley Civilisation. In the modern sense, such development began during the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century. In a bid to find jobs, the rural population started settling around the places near factories, leading to the birth of modern cities.

World Cities Day 2023 Theme

Every year, World Cities Day is celebrated with different themes. This year the international day focuses on the theme of “Financing sustainable urban future for all”. The theme centres on how to unlock transformative investment in urban planning and achieve sufficient fiscal decentralization. It must be noted that “Better City, Better Life” has been the general theme of World Cities Day since its inception. However, last year, the day was celebrated with the theme of “Act Local to Go Global.”

World Cities Day: History

In its resolution 68/239, the United Nations Organisation established World Cities Day on December 27, 2013. Therefore, on October 31, 2014, World Cities Day was celebrated for the first time. It was the second United Nations Conference on Human Settlement in 1976 that influenced the decision of the UNGA to establish World Cities Day.

Now with an aim to promote the development of sustainable cities in line with SDG 11 goals, the UN-Habitat programme was established the following year. It is necessary to keep this in mind, as later in 2014, UN-Habitat launched Urban October. This annual programme emphasises urban challenges.

World Cities Day: Significance

It is believed that urbanization is a marker of economic growth at the national level. However, such urban development’s face challenges like social, economic, demographic and environmental problems. In addition, displacement of original inhabitants, deforestation, issues of healthcare, proper food supply, pollution and animals losing their habitats are the most visible challenges to rapid urbanization. This international day helps in addressing urban challenges by bringing together all stakeholders of local and global urban development.

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