World Cities Day | 02 Nov 2022

For Prelims: World Cities Day

For Mains: Urbanisation and related issues

Why in News?

World Cities Day is celebrated on 31st October every year to highlight the need for international cooperation to promote global urbanisation and address its challenges.

  • According to the United Nations, seven of every 10 people in the world will live in cities by 2050.

What is the History of World Cities Day?

  • Theme for 2022:
    • Act Local to Go Global.
  • History:
    • On 27th December 2013, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) established World Cities Day through a resolution.
    • The first celebration took place in 2014.
    • The second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements in 1976 influenced the UNGA’s decision to establish World Cities Day.
    • The UN-Habitat programme promotes the development of sustainable cities in line with SDG 11 goals.
      • The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the United Nations agency for human settlements and sustainable urban development.
    • It conducts the annual Urban October programme for this purpose which begins on the first Monday of the month and ends on 31st October with World Cities Day.
  • Significance:
    • World Cities Day helps address the challenges related to urbanisation by bringing together all stakeholders of local and global urban development.
    • Urbanisation is a marker of national economic growth.
      • Such development, however, faces social, economic, demographic and environmental challenges.
      • Some of the most visible challenges to rapid urbanisation are displacement of original inhabitants, felling of trees, animals losing their habitats, issues of healthcare, food supply and pollution.

What are the Related Initiatives?

Way Forward

  • Even though Indian cities are in the grip of explosive motorisation due to car-centric growth, there are opportunities in its fundamental strength in high usage of public transport, walking and cycling in most cities of India.
  • The time had come for active policies to make sustainable modes work for all income levels and the rich.
  • Transport sector policies have become more progressive and inclusive in India. But implementation and investments are slow in the sector.
  • India also needs active policies to retain its compact urban forms to reduce travel distances and promote transit-oriented development along with mixed use and mixed income development to make cities more accessible and liveable for all.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question:

Q. With reference to the role of UN-Habitat in the United Nations programme working towards a better urban future, which of the statements is/are correct? (2017)

  1. UN-Habitat has been mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities to provide adequate shelter for all.
  2. Its partners are either governments or local urban authorities only.
  3. UN-Habitat contributes to the overall objective of the United Nations system to reduce poverty and to promote access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1 only
Ans: (b)

Source: DTE