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The theme of World Habitat Day is “Cities as Engines of Growth”

According to the UN, this year’s rate of global economic growth is expected to be around 2.5%. This is the poorest level since 2001, with the exception of the initial COVID-19 crisis three years ago and the global financial crisis in 2009.

Given how much cities contribute to national economies, productivity in many nations will determine their destiny.

Access and investment

According to UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ message for the Day, urban areas may encourage inclusive, environmentally friendly, and sustainable growth.

“Much greater investments in sustainable infrastructure, early warning systems, and affordable, adequate housing for all is required to build greater resilience and better protect vulnerable populations,” he said.

As we engage in education, skill development, digital innovation, and entrepreneurship, we must also seek to increase access to essential amenities like electricity, water, sanitation, transportation, and other necessities.

“Local action is vital, and global cooperation indispensable,” he continued.

planet is quickly urbanising

One of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that, by 2030, will lead to a fair, just, and environmentally friendly future for all people and the planet is the quest for more resilient, safe, and inclusive cities.

The percentage of people who live in cities is currently above 50%; by 2050, it is expected to reach 70%. Slum populations already exceed one billion, and they will continue to grow.

The president of the UN’s urban development organisation stated that nations are “far behind” in fulfilling SDG 11 during the official ceremony for World Habitat Day in Baku, Azerbaijan. Data reporting and monitoring at the local and national levels present the biggest obstacle.

Just financing

The Secretary-General urged world leaders to promote multi-level governance and cooperation at the recent SDG Summit held at the UN Headquarters in New York, according to Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

She also called attention to financing, referring to it as “the elephant in the room” and noted that the majority of delegates at the UN General Assembly last month brought up the subject.

She addressed the audience, “As the Secretary General emphasised, we need to restructure the current unsustainable and unfair financial system.

We cannot expect the least developed and small island developing states to execute the SDGs and climate change adaptation strategies if debt payment consumes 70% of their overall GDP.

According to Ms. Sharif, UN-Habitat is collaborating with more than 600 cities throughout the globe and will soon publish a position paper on how to finance sustainable urbanisation.

City October

Since 1986, there has been an annual World Habitat Day celebration.

Urban October has begun, giving everyone the chance to contribute to the worldwide dialogue about the advantages and disadvantages of a world that is getting more and more urban.

On October 31, World Cities Day marks the end of the month.

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