What and When is World Cities Day?

World Cities Day encourages people to find ways to improve their cities for the better.
World Cities Day encourages people to find ways to improve their cities for the better.

Cities are part of the modern civilization, every nation on the planet has a city or two from which all the main activities and decisions that influence the growth and sustainability of the state are undertaken. There are about 4,416 cities in the world with billions of inhabitants who work and live in them. Every year the world celebrates an International Cities Day that is held on October 31st every year. The United Nations created the celebratory day on December 27th, 2013 through its resolution A/RES/68/239.

Purpose of World Cities Day

Cities are the heart of the nation; they provide the seat of the government and are the avenue through which a country conducts its relations with the outside world. World Cities Day was created so that people would get the opportunity to appreciate their cities and find ways of improving them for the better. The other aim for the day's creation was to actively spearhead the common interests of all the nations involved as the world steers towards urbanization and the gradual transformation of the modern world into one massive global village. World Cities Day also provides a platform for collaboration between nations as well as the address of the critical obstacles that each country faces on its road to urbanization of its cities.

World Cities Day Themes

The general theme that was adopted by the United Nations for World Cities Day was "Better City, Better Life." However, every year there is different new sub-theme for World Cities Day that is selected on the back of the existing urban problems that countries have undergone in the past year. Each World Cities Day is staged in a different location every year. The first one was held in Shanghai, China in 2014 with the first theme being "Leading Urban Transformations." The next World Cities Day was held in the city of Milan, Italy in 2015 with the theme being "Designed to Live Together." The 2016 celebration was observed in Quito, Ecuador based on the theme of "Inclusive Cities, Shared Development." The 2017 celebrations were staged in Guangzhou, China with the theme being "Innovative Governance, Open Cities." The 2018 edition will be staged in the United Kingdom in the city of Liverpool with the theme of the event being "Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities."

Importance of World Cities Day

World Cities Days are more than just the formal celebrations and the venerations of cities; they go beyond the annual meetings of guests. They provide avenues for information swap. Cities that find it hard to get over an obstacle and therefore can find solutions by borrowing a leaf from the cities that have been able to find a way around the problems they face. The day also spurs the governments involved to increase funding towards research in finding ways to sustain the ever-increasing population in their cities; this is critical when it is considered that recent projections estimate that by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will be residing in cities. Being prepared for this kind of influx early enough is what World Cities Day is all about, providing a place where all the people involved with planning can brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other with the aim of coming up with the best ideas that would help their cities in the future.


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