Looking forward to: World Cities Day

Wcd 2019 eng 2
Source: United Nations

At the end of this month (31st October) we are celebrating the World Cities Day. Designated by the United Nations’ General Assembly in 2013, it is “is expected to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.”

While each year the event passes under the slogan of Better City, Better Life, each year there is a different sub-theme addressed. For the 2019 edition, the message is Changing the world: innovations and better life for future generations.

This year the theme has been picked to explore how urbanization can promote sustainable development. Furthermore, it wants to provoke the interest of the international community to the New Urban Agenda and to enhance cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization in cities.

But why celebrate cities?

Simply put, it’s because there are loads of people living in cities. Actually, it exceeds half the world’s population. As the number is expected to grow twofold by the mid-century, urbanization proves to be one of the most influential global trends.

Naturally, this massive phenomenon is related to both challenges and opportunities. Alongside the issues related to housing, environment, climate change, infrastructure, basic services, food security, health, education, decent jobs, safety, and natural resources, one can also look forward to the myriad of opportunities for sustainable development.

It is widely believed that the battle for achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is either won or lost in cities, as they are drivers of innovation, industry, technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity; creating prosperity, enhancing social development and providing employment.

The World Cities Day strives to educate the public to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. This year’s edition, they want to stress the importance on the role of digital innovations for urban services, to demonstrate new technologies that can create more inclusive cities, present opportunities for renewable energy generation and explore how frontier technologies can promote social inclusion.

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