International celebrations for World Habitat Day this year will be held in Embu, Kenya on Monday 1 October.
Hosted by the Government of Kenya, the day's events will be held at the Embu Municipal Stadium.The event will be opened by the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Dr. Joan Clos; the Minister for Housing, Hon. Soita Shitanda; Ambassador George Owuor, Permanent Representative of the Kenya Mission to United Nations Office in Nairobi (UNON) and the Mayor of Embu, Cll. Peter Muriithi Nyaga.
The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. This year the day falls on 1 October. It will be an occasion to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, the basic right of all, to adequate shelter, basic urban services and urban mobility. The day also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
UN-Habitat has chosen the theme "Changing Cities, Building Opportunities" for this year's event because cities are the engines of growth. It is in the cities that million realise their dreams of a better life. Even if they fail, cities still attract thousands more seeking the same goal. Some achieve this by either getting jobs or by starting businesses which benefits employers and employees thus creating jobs.
Under this year's theme, UN-Habitat wants to underscore the need to plan our cities better because unplanned growth of cities leads to chaotic development and urban sprawl. When well planned, cities can continue to provide opportunities to the current and future residents. This dovetails with the new UN-Habitat campaign, I am a city changer which seeks to involve all in making their cities a better place to live.
The latest edition of our flagship report, The State of World's Cities 2012 -2013:the prosperity of Cities, calls for new thinking on how we can advance towards the urban future, particularly in seeking for shared and holistic prosperity.
By concentrating on urban future, this year's event aims to focus international attention to the impact of rapid urban growth and opportunities that cities can offer.