World Habitat Day 2016 was inaugurated on 3 October 2016 under the theme Housing at the Centre. It marked the official beginning of Urban October month of celebrations, events and activities.
The purpose is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns.
The 2016 World Habitat Day campaign aims to raise awareness about the need for affordable housing for all in urban areas, towns and cities.
Access to adequate housing is a global challenge growing fast with urbanization. Around one quarter of the world’s urban population continues to live in slums and informal settlements.
An increasing number of urban dwellers, especially the poor and vulnerable groups (women, migrants, persons with disabilities and HIV, elder, youth and LGBT) are living in precarious conditions, addressing their housing needs informally, lacking access to basic services and living space, isolated from livelihood opportunities and vulnerable to forced evictions or homelessness.
Every day, as people are born in or move to urban centers in search of opportunities, the demand for housing grows. Globally, a billion new houses are needed by 2025 to accommodate 50 million new urban dwellers per year.
Habitat III, the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development will take place in Quito, Ecuador, from 17 – 20 October 2016.
To find out more about events taking place around the world to commemorate this month please visit: http://www.urbanoctober.org/events.asp?pcd=2
Official Message from the UN Secretary-General:
On this World Habitat Day, I urge national and local governments, city planners and communities everywhere to keep “Housing at the Centre”. Guaranteeing dignity and opportunity for all depends on people having access to affordable and adequate housing. I look forward to a successful Habitat III Conference that will help us advance our sustainable development agenda for the benefit of all humankind.