The International World Habitat Day was designated by the United Nations. The resolution designating the first Monday of October as the World Habitat Day was passed by the United Nations in 1985. The day is celebrated each and every year on the first Monday of the month of October. Primarily, the day was created in order to provide an opportunity to all the nations in the world to take a step back and reflect on the state of affairs with regards to town and cities. Specifically, nations need to evaluate whether their citizens residing in cities and towns have adequate and safe shelter as access to safe and proper shelter is a basic right. In addition, the World Habitat Day is intended to serve as a reminder for everyone in the globe that the responsibility to design our cities falls on everyone. The first time the day was celebrated was back in 1986.
Several major cities have had the honor of hosting the celebrations such as Washington, D.C. in 2009, Shanghai in 2010, The Hague in 2007, and others.
Statistics show that over 1.6 billion people in the world are in a housing crisis where they live in houses that are deemed substandard. Another 100 million people are homeless. This shocking statistic is one of the reasons that the UN saw it fit to call the attention of the world towards the crisis and come up with ways of solving the problem.
The UN has been handing out awards to states that have made remarkable contributions and advancements in advancing the proper housing agenda. This award is known as the Habitat Scroll of Honor and has been awarded since 1989 by the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UNHSP).
This year’s (2018) World Habitat Day will be marked on Monday, October 1. The 2017 celebration was celebrated and had a theme that revolved around having house policies that provide affordable homes to everyone. The theme for the year 2018 has not yet been announced but it changes every year. Despite the changes in the themes for every year, there are certain focal areas of the United Nations that are observed such as:
Having social and housing services that are inclusive of everyone.
- The creation of sustainable and affordable means of transport and production of energy.
- The creation and sustainment of a healthy living environment that is also safe for everyone. In this matter, vulnerable groups such as children, women, the disabled, the elderly, and the youth are given priority.
- Creation of jobs to reduce the prevailing high levels of unemployment globally.
- The improvement of slums while at the same time improving urban centers.
- Improved management of waste in urban areas in order to curb the high levels of pollution all over the world.
- The creation of quality and healthy air in urban centers.
- The provision of clean and safe drinking water as well as improvement of sanitation levels.
- The creation, promotion, and restoring of green urban spaces all around the world.