World Cities Day: 31 October 2018


The United Nations has designated every 31st October as World Cities Day. The day is expected to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.

Cities are the epicentre of any country’s economy, market, and cultural identity. They generate wealth and improve living standards while providing the density, interaction and networks that make us more creative and productive. World Cities Day was established on 27th December 2013 by the General Assembly in its resolution, in which the General Assembly “invites States, the United Nations system, in particular UN-Habitat, relevant international organizations, civil society and all relevant stakeholders to observe and raise awareness of the day.”

The theme for 2017 was "Innovative Governance, Open Cities."

On the occasion of World Cities Day 2018, on 31 October, under the theme “Building sustainable and resilient cities”, UNESCO will organize a series of events to highlight the key role of cities in promoting social inclusion and diversity: a Roundtable - Artistic Performances - a Film Screening.

The role of cities as drivers for change has constantly expanded as they become major actors in steering positive social transformations, both locally and internationally. As incubators for cultural, social, economic and political innovations, cities are well-positioned to instill a type of governance that fosters inclusion and diversity, and that defends and protects the rights of its citizens. After all, urbanization is not only about aiming to become a smart and green city, but also about being an inclusive city

Notable speakers at the event will include the Mayor of Sheffield (UK), Magid Magid, a former refugee from Somalia, Ted Terry, Mayor of Clarkston (Georgia, USA), a town described as “the most diverse square mile in America,” and Mayor Teresita de Jesús Luis Ojeda, the young indigenous mayor of San Dionisio del Mar in Mexico.

Live video link with the UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif from the Global Observance of World Cities Day in Liverpool (UK) – one of around 20 global events taking place to celebrate the day.

Find out more about the UNESCO celebration of World Cities Day 2018 in Paris here.

Find out more about World Cities Day here.

A briefing on World Cities Day follows...

As a special note, the new external website for the Centre for Sustainable, Healthy and Learning Cities and Neighbourhoods (SHLC) has been launched on this day, coinciding with World Cities Day.


Discussion topics: 

PDF icon WCDShortBrief.pdf3.48 MB