World Habitat Day observed across the world

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Who: World Habitat Day
Where: Across the world
What: Observed
When: 5 October 2015

First Monday of October: World Habitat Day
The World Habitat Day was on 5 October 2015 observed across the world with the theme Public Spaces for All. The 2015 World Habitat Day campaign aims to recognize the challenges and issues around Public Spaces.

The origin of World Habitat Day dates back to 17 December 1985, when the UN General Assembly designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day through its resolution. It was first celebrated in 1986.

Objectives of World Habitat Day 2015

  • Raise awareness about the need for well designed and managed public spaces and streets.
  • Develop processes and tools to promote ensure public spaces are conducive and safe for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities.
  • Enhance community cohesion and safety for all citizens through activity and events held in public spaces and streets.
  • Contribute to a policy dialogue that focuses on the broad range of issues related to integration public spaces and streets into city planning.
  • Identify policy formulation and capacity development issues in which the UN system, in particular UN-Habitat, can offer significant contributions.
  • Identify key stakeholders in urban areas and actively engaging them in discussions that offer solutions to sustainable development, especially regarding the topic of Public Spaces and streets
  • Contribute to implementation of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 11 Target 7.

Maintenance of Public Spaces
Public spaces are places which are accessible and enjoyable by all without a profit motive and take on various spatial forms, including parks, streets, sidewalks, markets and playgrounds. These public spaces have often been overlooked and undervalued, but are increasingly being considered as the backbone of cities.

Good public spaces enhance community cohesion and promote health, happiness, and well-being for all citizens as well as fostering investment, economic development and environmental sustainability.

Well designed and managed public spaces and streets are a key asset for a city’s livability and economy, as they:

  • Increase property values
  • Multiply retail activity
  • Enhance safety
  • Foster social cohesion and equality
  • Improve health and well-being
  • Improve the environment
  • Make the city more attractive
  • Promote more effective and efficient transportation and mobility