Sustainable Development Goal 11 formulates the ambition to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable .The premise for prioritising cities and urbanisation is that urbanisation provides the potential for new forms of social inclusion, including greater equality, access to services, new opportunities, engagement and mobilisation that reflects the diversity of cities, countries and the globe.
However quite unfortunately, inequalities in cities have grown since 1980. The world's largest cities are also often the most unequal. This year's World Cities Day's theme is 'Innovative Governance, Open Cities', being embraced by the action and implementation of the New Urban Agenda which is putting the topic of inclusive cities as one of the main pillars for the urban shift by aiming at building a symbiotic relationship between urbanisation and development for sustainable development.
The background or premise for designating a day as such was quite simple. The main idea and premise for designating a day as such was to build up an inclusive society. To emphasise the world's urban challenges and to engage the international community towards the New Urban Agenda, Urban October was launched by UN-Habitat in 2014. In October 2016, the HABITAT III Conference, held in Quito, adopted a new framework in order to set the world on a course towards sustainable urban development by rethinking how cities are planned, managed and inhabited. The New Urban Agenda will set the pace on how to deal with the challenges of urbanisation in the next two decades, and is seen as an extension of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, agreed on by the 193 Member States of the UN in September 2015.
The United Nations General Assembly has designated the 31st of October as World Cities Day, by its resolution 68/239 .The Day is expected to greatly promote the international community's interest in global urbanisation, to push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanisation, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.
The general theme of World Cities Day is Better City, Better Life, while each year a different sub-theme is selected, to either promote successes of urbanisation, or address specific challenges resulting from urbanisation. This year, the United Nations has selected the theme Innovative Governance, Open Cities to highlight the important role of urbanisation as a source of global development and social inclusion.
Compiled by Law Desk (UN.ORG).