We celebrate Urban October sharing innovation and looking towards the future, 2019


Local and regional governments once again commemorate Urban October with World Habitat Day and World Cities Day, reminding us once again that the future of humanity is at stake in cities.

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) joins the Urban October initiative, a campaign organized by all cooperation actors on the international scene, UN Habitat and partners, to foster dialogue on sustainable urban development.  Throughout the month there will be a wide range of activities, events and discussions under the premise that “cities are the challenge and the opportunity to make the 2030 Agenda a reality”.  In the official UN-Habitat’s wording: “Cities are centres of economic growth and development but also face demographic, environmental, economic and social challenges.”

World Habitat Day 2019 will be celebrated on the 7th of October under the slogan “Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth”. Under the slogan “Cutting edge technology as an innovative tool for transforming waste into wealth”, World Habitat Day 2019 will be celebrated on 7 October. The event will be officially hosted by Mexico City, in which the contribution of state-of-the-art technologies to achieve SDG 11: inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities will be analyzed. It is a crucial day to showcase how local and regional leaders are driving transformative public service delivery, in particular by generating waste management policies, among other initiatives to improve the lives of citizens.

Waste management is one of the key service areas in which cities and regions play a significant role in being able to properly treat and re-use waste. According to the Third Report of Local and Regional Governments, “Towards the localization of the SDGs”,  waste is growing faster than any other source of environmental pollution, especially in developing regions, affecting greatly the health of the population.

On the last day of Urban October there will also be a call for “Changing the world: innovations and better life for future generations” on World Cities Day, whose official celebration will be hosted by the city of Ekaterinburg (Russia) and will be an opportunity to think on our common urban future and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to accelerate the achievement of all of the universal development agendas.

Local and regional governments have always been drivers and multipliers of innovation, industry, technology at the service of citizens, entrepreneurship and creativity, creating prosperity, improving social development and providing decent employment. As the sphere of government that is closest to the people, they are the leaders who respond directly to the needs of citizens and it is precisely this political leadership that can contribute to their communities with the knowledge and necessary tools to reduce their environmental footprint. They must be taken into account to set the urban policies of the future at the global level. 

Therefore, in UCLG we represent the interests of local leaders for development and solidarity because we must consider local realities and communities in the process of implementing the SDGs. The global agendas will never be met if we don’t bring all spheres of government on board.

Urban October is just a prelude to the debate that will take place at the World Summit of Local and Regional Governments, our UCLG Congress from 11 to 15 November, where regional and local leaders will be inspired to bring their views to the world’s main challenges and their contribution to the SDGs along with civil society, partners, the private sector and other cooperation stakeholders.

Happy World Habitat Day!

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#WorldHabitatDay #UrbanOctober #WorldCitiesDay #Local4Action #Listen2Cities