World Habitat Day 2020: Current Theme, History, Significance, Slogans and Wishes

Every year on the first Monday of October, World Habitat Day is observed. This year, it will be observed on October 5 and the theme for World Habitat Day 2020 is 'Housing For All- A Better Urban Future'.
Created On: Oct 5, 2020 12:46 IST
Modified On: Oct 5, 2020 12:53 IST
World Habitat Day 2020
World Habitat Day 2020

Every year on the first Monday of October, World Habitat Day is celebrated to remind the world that as humans we hold the power and responsibility to shape the future of cities and towns.  This year, the day will be observed on October 5 and the theme for World Habitat Day 2020 is 'Housing For All- A Better Urban Future'. 

Housing For All- A Better Urban Future

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown to contain its spread, the authorities told the citizens to stay home. However, this is impossible for those people who do not have a home. 

COVID-19 has made us realize that home is much more than just a roof. It makes us feel safe allowing access to basic necessities, hygiene amid the outbreak and providing us with enough room for physical distancing. 

As per a blog post by the United Nations, a home must be located in a place having the access to public green and open spaces, employment opportunities, health-care services, schools, childcare centres and other social facilities.

As per reports, before the COVID-19 pandemic began, around 1.8 billion people were already living in slums and informal settlements worldwide. Approximately 3 billion people lack basic handwashing facilities, which is one of the most important measures to curb the coronavirus disease. Thus, it can be said that millions of people across the globe experience poor health due to lack of basic services. 

COVID-19 has highlighted the need for 'Housing For All'. It is the basic human right and is the catalyst for all the other fundamental rights. Through 'Housing For All' only we can achieve 'Right to the City for All'. 

World Habitat Day: History

In 1985, the United Nations General Assembly declared that the first Monday in October every year would be celebrated as the World Habitat Day. The purpose of this great day is to recognize the basic rights of all humanity to adequate shelter and to encourage grassroots action toward ending poverty housing.

This Day was first celebrated in the year 1986 with the theme “Shelter is My Right” and Nairobi was the host city. Other themes since then are: “Shelter for the Homeless” (1987) and the host city was New York;  “Shelter and Urbanization” (1990) and the host city was London; “Future Cities” (1997) and the host city was Bonn; “Safer Cities” (1998) and the host city was Dubai; “Women in Urban Governance” (2000) and the host city was Jamaica; “Cities without Slums” (2001) and the host city was Fukuoka; “Water and Sanitation for Cities” (2003) and the host city was Rio de Janeiro; "Planning our Urban Future" (2009) and the host city was Washington, D.C.; "Better City, Better Life" (2010) and the host city was Shanghai; "Cities and Climate Change" (2011) and the host city was Aguascalientes; "Housing For All- A Better Urban Future" (2020) and the host city is Surabaya.

What activities are performed during the World Habitat Day?

World Habitat Day is celebrated in several countries such as India, China, Poland, Mexico, Uganda, Angola and the United States. A number of activities across the globe are organized to examine and investigate the problems of rapid urbanization and its impact on the environment and human poverty. These include award ceremonies, including the “Habitat Scroll of Honour” award, which is considered one of the most prestigious human settlements award in the world. A new theme is selected every year for this day celebration as decided by the United Nations. This selection is based on ongoing issues based on the topic of habitat. The aim of the selection of the themes is to focus on UN-Habitat’s mission to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate and appropriate shelter for all in the world. These themes stringently encourage the UN-Habitat’s focal areas, which are as follows:

• Secure and healthy living environment for all, especially for children
• Adequate and sustainable transport and energy
• Establishment of greenery in urban areas, including replanting of trees
• Pure and safe drinking water as well as sanitation
• Fresh and unpolluted air for breathing
• Enough jobs for people
• Improvement in urban planning and slum promotion
• Better waste management by recycling of waste material

What is the Logo for World Habitat Day?

The logo for World Habitat Day depicts a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of an olive tree encapsulating a circle. A figure of a person with her/her arms stretched out is placed within the circle. This figure looks like as if standing in front of a triangle. Below this image, the words “UN-HABITAT”, are mentioned. The slogan “Shelter for All” is written in capital letters and sometimes reflects next to the logo.

World Habitat Day 2020: Wishes

1- Homes define our existence. They are an extension of who we are. Wish you a very happy World Habitat Day.

2- Everyone in this world has a right to a safe, decent and affordable housing. Warm wishes on World Habitat Day.

3- Mother Earth is our home. On this World Habitat Day let us come together and strive towards making it more beautiful and sustainable. Happy World Habitat Day.

4- Join the global movement, go into the world and make a difference. Save our homes, save our planet.

5- Remember to cherish the natural world on this occasion because not only are we a part of it, we also depend on it. Wishing you a happy World Habitat Day!

World Habitat Day 2020: Slogans

1- Biggest issue and problem that our mother Earth is facing is habitat destruction. Take part and help save it. 

2- On this occasion of World Habit Day we must all remember our first and foremost duty to save the environmental beauty.

3- Our aim is to convince the world’s leaders that our cities, towns and villages need to be healthy, safe, just and sustainable.

4- We cannot save our world with the same practice that we used to do when we created it. Change your lifestyle and save the world.

5- Our biggest issue is the same biggest issue that the whole world is facing, and that’s habitat destruction

Some Facts about World Habitat Day

  1. World Habitat Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.
  2. Every year UN-Habitat calls upon its partners in central government, local government, civil society, the private sector and the media to take part in organizing activities to raise awareness and stimulate debate on the selected theme of the year.
  3. The “Habitat Scroll of Honour” award, which was launched by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UNHSP) in 1989, is considered to be the world’s most prestigious human settlements award. The objective of this award is to acknowledge initiatives that make outstanding contributions in areas such as shelter provision, focusing the pain and suffering of the homeless people, leadership in post-conflict reconstruction, and developing and improving the human settlements and the quality of urban life.

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