- Asia and the Pacific
- Arab States
- Latin America & the Caribbean
- North America
The government of Benin organized a “National Habitat Week” from 4th to 10th 2008 at Lokossa, a town in Southern Benin. Some of the activities scheduled included a debate on harmonious cities the World Habitat day 2008 theme and the presentation of both the Secretary General and the Executive Director’s statements.
Burkina Faso in 2008 marked World Habitat Day with a week of special activities from 4 to 11 October with strong backing from the Government to ensure that awareness was raised on the state of the country’s urban development.
The Government of Burundi, a country marked by 10 years of conflict, used World Habitat Day celebrations in 2008 to commence the construction of major public works projects, including a new canal to improve water and sanitation delivery. At colourful ceremonies, dancers and government figures alike broadcasted the message about harmonious cities widely to ensure as broad an outreach to the public as possible.
The Concerned Minds for Habitation Securities (COMIHAS) organized a week-long programme,that started with a call-in programme on national radio, Radio Environnement in Yaounde. The programme ran from 29 September to 4 October 2008. During the programme, quizzes about World Habitat Day, UN-HABITAT, COMIHAS and general knowledge on environmental issues were sent out to the public. On 4 October, COMIHAS organized a community service event with members of the environmental club of Government Bilingual High School, Essos-Yaounde at Mimboman neighbourhood in Yaounde. The climax of the programme was a celebration of World Habitat Day on 6 October at Government Bilingual High School, Essos-Yaounde, which featured a speech by the UN-HABITAT Programme Director, a sketch by Environmental Club members, a paper presentation on the theme of Harmonious Cities and awarding of prizes to winners of the World Habitat Day radio quiz.
The Government and UN-HABITAT lined up five days’ activities in the towns of Ndjaména, Sarh, Abéché and Doba to mark the World Habitat Day. These included: exhibitions, youth activities including football and basketball matches as well as concerts. Also held was a press conference by the Minister of Housing, a day long conference by the Habitat Programme Manager(HPM) and the Mayor of Ndjamena. On the actual day of World Habitat Day, a speech by the Housing Minister, statements by the UN Secretary General and the UN-HABITAT Executive Director were read.
|Democratic Republic of Congo|
The Groupe d’Action pour le Droit (GAD), a non-governmental organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, was selected to host the World Habitat Day 2008 in Goma town. The World Habitat Day was marked by raising awareness on urban issues like the access of women to land. There was also a demonstration on how to produce combustible briquettes, an alternative to charcoal, to help save the trees in the Virunga National Park in North Kivu Province.
The local Habitat Programme Manager(HPM) displayed posters in the main venues of the capital and distributed printed materials and T-shirts to government partners.
In Ghana, a durbar was organized where speakers talked about what a harmonious city means to them and what their organizations are doing to make their city harmonious. Speakers were selected from various organizations across society and age groups. Other activities that took place included a round table discussion, a float through the principal streets of Accra with placards and television coverage, articles in newspapers and an exhibition.
The Kariobangi South Welfare & Slums Housing Association in Nairobi marked the World Habitat Day and Global Poverty Day by hosting football matches between a team of elderly women and Nairobi East councillors. The first match took place on October 4 at KCC playground next to KCC Factory in Kariobangi South Location, while the second was on October 18. The second served as the main activity to mark the Global Poverty Day.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s speech, read by UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie was broadcast on national television on Monday October 6. Other World Habitat Day activities were celebrated towards the end of October, since the first Monday of October in Lesotho always coincides with the country’s national celebration of independence. The main issues observed were culture and its impact on the city of Maseru, and solid waste management and its impact on the city’s environment.
A march was organized in Monrovia on October 6, by student and youth groups, members of the slum dwellers and the tenants associations and partner associations, from Broad Street to the Monrovia City Hall. This was followed by a workshop at the Monrovia City Hall on the Theme: Urbanization in Liberia, Challenges and Prospects. President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's message was delivered at the workshop as well as the statements of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka.
Over 200 participants drawn from the universities, public and private sector, foreign missions, international companies and other UN-agencies joined in the celebration for World Habitat Day in Libya.
In a speech read on her behalf, the Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, noted that the number of urban slum-dwellers worldwide has broken the 1 billion mark, terming this a historic turning point. She added that makes it clear that the urbanization of poverty is arguably one of the biggest challenges facing development today.
Dr. Ahmad Al-Muktar Al Tumi, chairman of Urban Planning Agency in Libya gave the keynote address touching on the pertinent issues on urban planning and development while Professor, Dr. Adnan Ali Husnein from Al Hosn University in the United Arab Emirates gave a special lecture on urban heritage. He said more awareness need to be created on the significant historical values that the many Libyan cities possess.
The event was composed of a morning activity and an afternoon celebration where in the morning a city walk progamme to the historical red castle (Assai Al Hamra) and old town (Medina) were organized with the Urban heritage of Libyan cities being the adopted local theme based on the global theme of Harmonious Cities.
The national commemoration of World Habitat Day in Malawi was held on 6th October in a township called 'Area 24' in the Capital City Lilongwe. The activities included: a Press Release, a Press Conference and a Public Debate. The public debate, based on the theme harmonious cities, was broadcasted live on national radio. The activities at venue of the commemoration included an exhibition by the Water Users Association, drama and dance highlighting the theme of in 2008’s World Habitat Day and official speeches.
|The Lilongwe Water Board and the Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (ESCOM) printed on their water and electricity bills respectively the World Habitat Day messages in English and vernacular languages.|
Action Aid Malawi supplied hundreds of World Habitat Day T-shirts.
A local observance of the day spearheaded by the Blantyre City Assembly and the Concerned Youth Organisation was held in Blantyre.
The Ministry of Regional and Local Government, Housing and Rural Development, decided that instead of giving money to the 13 regions for the World Habitat Day, it will build a community center in the informal settlement area of Okahandja. Alternative and locally available building materials were used to construct the center, while community members who were trained specifically for the task were responsible for the construction.
The event was held in October. The Minister handed out certificates to trainers of trainers and officially handed-over the brick making machines to communities. These machines were purchased by UNDP through a one-off grant from the Democratic Governance Thematic Trust Fund (DGTTF). Since inception of the pilot project, UN-HABITAT through its Habitat Programme Manager(HPM) has been providing technical and advisory assistance.
On the occasion of the World Habitat Day, the Rural People Encouragers Network, (Rupen) of Ahoada in Rivers State of Nigeria organised activities that were held from September 30 to October 6, 2008. These activities included the repair of houses in the Ubarama, Odieke Ubie and Ekpena communities and a debate that was held at Ahoada. Notable people invited to attend the debate included the District Police Officer of Ahoada and the Ahoada East and West Local government chairmen.
On 6 October 2008, WEP in collaboration with the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Federal Road Safety Commission, the Police and members of the Federation of the Urban Poor (FEDUP) numbering over 500 participated in the “Walk for Harmonious Cities’’ organized by WEP. The walk started from Area 1 under the bridge through Area 2, 10, International Conference Centre, Radio House, Nigerian Television Authority and ended up at the headquarters of the Federal Capital Development Authority.
The President of the Global Grassroot Youth Forum in Nigeria invited two schools to raise awareness on World Habitat day through football matches, dance, debate, table tennis and swimming competitions. The organization moved from school to school to create awareness about safeguarding the habitat and about the works of the UNHABITAT. High point of the Habitat celebration was the presentation of certificates and trophies to the winners.
Also on the cards was a Jumat service at the central Mosque. Prayers were offered for the continual survival of the Habitat, as well as a Sunday habitat service held in over 20 Churches across Nigeria with the main service at the famous Hope Waddell Parish of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria. On Monday 6 October, various activities including lectures, paper presentations were read, TV broadcasts as well as a press conference and a gala night were held. Messages from the United Nations Secretary General and UN-HABITAT Executive Director were also read.
Harpsichord, a Nigerian firm specializing in organizing seminars, workshops, conferences, concerts and other events, invited 20 primary and 20 secondary schools in Akwa Ibom State to participate in an essay competition and a seminar held at Ibom Hall in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state. The topics for the essay was 'Housing & Urban Development in Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria' for primary schools and 'Affordable Housing; An Avenue to Attaining the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria’ for secondary schools.
On behalf of Linda Bihire the Minister of Infrastructure, Eng. Albert Butare, the Minister of State in charge of Energy stated his country's commitment to transform slums in his national communiqué. He said that Rwanda's Vision 2020 aims at increasing habitation of city dwellers from 18 to 30 percent and increasing rural habitation to 70 percent that include almost 22 percent inhabitants in decent settlements (Imiduguddu). In the Vision 2020, Rwanda aims at developing City Master Plans for 18 cities and increasing accessibility to safe water and electricity.
As part of preparations for World Habitat Day 2008, the local Habitat Programme Manager(HPM) held a meeting with the New Minister for Housing, Lands and Human Settlements Development to brief him about UN-HABITAT activities in Tanzania.
The minister wrote to all identified stakeholders and invited them to participate in a public event which was held in one of the slums or upgraded areas in Manzese. At this particular World Habitat Day event, there were some exhibitions, public address of various representatives and a site visit was done a day before the eventful day. The Minister arranged to visit various projects/programme which implemented to different stakeholders including visiting the Citywide Slum Upgrading office for briefing, Community Infrastructure Upgrading Programmes and slum areas to see the real situation on the ground.
The Youth Initiative for Aids Prevention (YIAP- UGANDA), a local community based organisation working in Mukono district, hosted a youth football, netball and dancing competitions in Mukono district on September 27-28, as they fundraised to rehabilitate 30 houses for orphans and widows in the Ntenjeru sub county. One of the guests expected was Mr Wali Christopher, one of Uganda's delegates to the World Habitat Day celebrations in The Hague, Netherlands in 2007.
In Uganda, Foundation for the Rural Housing (FHSE-UGANDA), a non-profit making National Non-governmental Organisation, organized a pre-UN World Habitat Day event that involved the construction and launch of a rural model house at Rubongi Sub county in Tororo District, Eastern Uganda. The beneficiary of this model house was a widow within the project area.
This year’s World Habitat Day was celebrated in Matero Township, a planned low cost settlement north-west of Lusaka. Matero, one of the oldest townships in Lusaka with a population of more than 40,000 people, was selected to host this year’s observance because of the successful implementation of a ZMK 20 billion ($6 million) water reticulation project in the township. The project is a joint venture of the Zambian and Chinese governments. Officiating at the WHD celebrations, the Minister of Local Government and Housing, Hon. Sylvia Masebo advised Matero residents to look after the water infrastructure and to the seek expert advice from the council before carrying out any development. She informed the gathering that the government was in the process of upgrading some unplanned settlements.
The Combined Harare Residents Association joined Zimbabwe and the rest of the world in commemorating the World Habitat Day and focused on quality, accessible and adequate service delivery and sustainable city development and planning.
The Government of Zimbabwe and key stakeholders including members of parliament, councillors, engineers, architects, housing co-operatives and quantity surveyors met to discuss housing needs in Zimbabwe with a view to finding solutions for any loopholes that may exist in the housing regulations and policies. The meeting also discussed cheaper models to provide water, sewer, roads and electricity.
Emergency Architects Australia (EAA) marked the World Habitat Day events to run in conjunction with World Architecture Day and The Sydney Architecture Festival. The celebrations held at Customs House, Circular Quay, Sydney, were a collaboration between Australian Architecture Association, Royal Australian Institute of Architects New South Wales(NSW) Chapter , NSW Architects Registration Board, UNSW Faculty of the Built Environment, NSW Government Architect and Sydney City Council. EAA presented a large scale working model, details of projects to date and information on UN World Habitat Day events around the world.
|Cambodia||A spot show on national TV relating to the theme was aired. Also planned was a banner show along main streets in the cities and a press release to all the local media. The Municipality and NGOs organized a half day event to celebrate the event. |
Manipur University's Department of Housing and Urban Development observed World Habitat Day at State Guest House the Chief Town Planner N Gitkumar and the Department Director M Joy. Manipur University professors and experts spoke on the occasion.
The Trust for Regeneration of Environment and Economy (TREE) in collaboration with the department of Architecture celebrated the World Habitat Day 2008 in Bhubaneswar, the state capital of Orissa on the theme "Harmonious Cities" through various competitions, including poster painting and collage. There were special lectures, bulletins and films shown to mark the day.
A local organisation, BHAGIDARI JAN SAHYOG SAMITI in collaboration with several partners held World Habitat Day 2008 celebrations in New Delhi. The main objective of the programme was a seminar to draw attention to the problems and issues in Hamornious cities the theme for World Habitat day this year. Focus was on environmental sustainability, equity, gender parity, pro-poor growth and participatory governance. Some 2000 participants including policy makers, government officials, academics, journalists, other professionals, and community representatives attended. A parallel seminar took place on Solutions to human settlements and urban problems.
A national event, GlobalBuild, was organized by Habitat for Humanity India and held between September 29 and October 6. The event was designed to provide a grassroots level, hands-on house building opportunity to volunteers from around the world in aid of a community of migrant and poor families desperately in need of simple and affordable housing. These families live in a slum within the Bhalaswa Resettlement Colony in New Delhi.
On World Habitat Day, the Krityanand Unesco club in Jamshedpur organized a one-day conference and training programme under the theme "Harmonious Cities”. The overall purpose of the programme was to ensure environmental sustainability of urban areas.
BMTPC also organised a Painting Competition for the Differently Abled Children. Besides, a Design Idea Competition for Low Cost House suitable for rural areas providing cost-saving, energy & time efficiency and disaster resistant construction techniques for architecture, engineering, planning students/ practicing engineers, architects /consultancy firms/government, public & private sector institutions was also organised.
To mark the World Habitat Day 2008, the Institute for Regional Development Studies at Kanpur, India, organized an interdisciplinary and theme-oriented panel discussion to raise awareness about the problems of slums, degrading urban environment and massive rural-to-urban migration and over-urbanisation in the developing world. A diagnostic spatial-functional approach was used to promote integrated and balanced socio-economic urban growth. The panel consisted of academics of various disciplines, community representatives, youth and planners.
|The City Managers’ Association of Orissa observed the World Habitat Day in Orissa, India. The main objective of the event was to enable city managers - both elected and officials - understand the essence of World Habitat Day. The association released a newsletter focusing on best practices in the urban sector and organised a discussion on the theme, Harmonious Cities. It will developed a background paper / literature and case studies for dissemination among members, officers of local authorities, senior government officials, citizens, politicians, NGOs, local urban experts and media representatives. |
|The Institution of Engineers (India) Kolkatta celebrated World Habitat Day in 2008 with a lecture by Suresh Chand Thukral, Fellow member of the institution, on the topic ‘How to achieve Harmonious Cities’, at Jammu Centre of the Institution, New Delhi. The topic focussed on Human Habitation and Valuation of Tangible Assets. A lecture on the topic "Need of living in Harmony" was given as well. A write up on the World Habitat Day was sent for publication in the two leading daily news papers of J&K State. |
Urban Environment & Sustainable Development Organization of Tehran Municipality celebrated for the first time, the "World Habitat Day" in 6 October, 2008, by presenting special programs on the theme "Harmonious Cities". The celebration, a conference on the urban environment, was an excellent opportunity for experts, local government and academics to discuss the urban environment and harmonious cites. A "Green children's festival" was also organized, separately.
UN-HABITAT’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific joined the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to host a World Habitat Day symposium entitled, Establishing Harmonious Cities in East Asia. The symposium on 6 October was supported by the Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City, the Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation, Fukuoka International Association, Fukuoka Asia Urban Research Center, and the UN Association of Japan Fukuoka Head Office. And in keeping with a tradition established here, the 8th World Habitat Day children’s drawing contest was organized with schools in the region. The contest backed by the Fukuoka Prefecture, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka International Exchange Foundation, Kyushu Electric, Co., Ltd. The winners work will be published in the 2009 UN-HABITAT Original Calendar.
The Ministry of Housing and Local Government of Malaysia held a pre-launch to the World Habitat Day celebration in August 2008 where a local celebrity was appointed as the ambassador for the Ministry's programmes. A short video was played to introduce the programmes for the celebration, namely article writing competition, photography competition. The winning photos were showcased at an exhibition in November. Residents of apartments of the People's Housing Programme (PHP), one of Malaysia's initiatives to provide affordable and quality living to people of the lower income group, were also involved in cleaning up the surrounding area and tree planting activities
Pag-IBIG Fund, one of the recipients of the 2006 Scroll of Honour Award, promoted awareness of the theme of Harmonious Cities through Ms. Vilma Q. Flores, Vice President of North Luzon Group, with her radio program over DWBL on AM Radio Philippines, a regular Saturday feature supported by Federacion Internacional de Abogadas (FIDA), Philippine Chapter. The theme was also promoted by Xevera Subdivision, an economic-housing complex that literally rose from the ashes in Barangay Calibutbot, Bacolor, Pampanga, under the leadership of Delfin Lee, a developer who, through harmonious relationships among the private sector, government sector and various non-government organizations, has come up with a sustainable project that will help decongest highly-urbanized areas.
The Ministry of Housing & Common Amenities and the Ministry of Urban Development & Sacred Area Development jointly organized the World Habitat Day 2008 under the theme “Harmonious Cities” with emphasis on rapid urbanization and its implications on the environment, growth of slums and urbanization of poverty. A comprehensive programme was planned with the participation of relevant stakeholders. The main target areas were addressing environmental implications related to rapid urbanization, mobilization of housing finance for low income categories, improvement of living conditions in underserved settlements, tenurial rights and awareness creation among school children and general public on technological advances in the fields of cost effective construction, alternative construction materials & energy sources.
In Bangkok, Thailand, seven free online Quick Guides were launched for World Habitat Day. They are intended to help policymakers deal with the key issues of housing urban poor in the Asia-Pacific region. The Quick Guides, developed jointly by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and UN-HABITAT, are in response to the unprecedented growth of slums and squatter settlements in the region that now house over 500 million people. See also, http://www.housing-the-urban-poor.net
|Belgium||In Brussels, the capital of Europe, two World Habitat Day events were planned. The first was a collaboration between the UN-HABITAT Liaison Office to the EU and Belgium and the International Union of Tenants (IUT), which also marks International Tenants day on 6 October. A conference themed “Decent and Affordable Housing for the European Cities” was held at the European Parliament. The second event organised by UN-HABITAT Brussels Office was the European celebration commemorating World Habitat Day at the UN House in Brussels, supported by the Embassy of the Republic of Angola in Belgium. Statements of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and UN-HABITAT Executive Director Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka were delivered. Attending and speaking at both events were Ambassadors, members of European Parliament, representatives of the European Commission, Civil Society and local and international journalists, some of whom spoke on the global and European challenges of sustainable urban development and solutions adapted to harmonious urban development in our towns and cities. |
The UN-HABITAT office in Poland organized a one-day conference in Warsaw entitled "Environmentally Harmonious Cities: Coping with urbanisation and climate change". Three panels of the conference focussed on: developing and implementing a long-term environmental vision for the city: challenges, approaches and tools; the responses of local authorities and civil society in tackling climate change: integrated policy development and innovative practices in Poland, and environment, health and harmony: the health dimension in sustainable urban development.
The event was held under the patronage of two Polish ministries: Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Infrastructure.
On World Habitat Day, WorldWide Networking Argentina organised a forum "Social Habitat for an Urban and Rural World" which was held at the House of Representative conference hall in Buenos Aires Argentina. The forum took place from 10 to 1 o'clock and the issues discussed included human assent socially, economically and environmentally sustainable integral solutions to the housing problem. A press conference was planned and was addressed by Margarita Beveraggi - President of commission of house of deputies of the nation, Estela Belizan - Coordinator Human Settlement , María Costa Pinto - Director information center of United Nations and Cristina Lescano - Coordinator ''Taken Uninhabited Houses'' District Work El Ceibo will participate.
The local Habitat Programme Manager (HPM) joined efforts with networks and institutions including the National Institute for women -INAMU, Municipal Consultancy and Promotion Institute -IFAM, Ministry of Security, Ministry of Housing and Human Settlements -MIVAH, Women and Cities Network and municipalities in organizing a forum that will emphasize the role of the local governments towards attainment of harmonious cities for women.
The organizers aimed to generate constructive discussions through demonstration of initiatives and good practices in the region on the role of local governments facing the insecurity and urban violence with gender and sustainable urban development perspective.
Habitat School at Universidad Nacional de Colombia, celebrated World Habitat Day 2008 by hosting an international seminar ‘Popular Habitat: Reasons for Existence and Perspectives on the Creation of an International Laboratory of Popular Habitat’.
Better known by its Spanish name, Escuela del Habitat, the institution is one of the six schools of the Faculty of Architecture in Medellin.
For twenty years, local and Latin-American professionals, technicians, civil servants, community leaders and academics were trained or involved in the discussions of local development and practically all its related themes, in the development of an international cooperation agreement with the Institute for Housing Studies at Rotterdam. The international programme also provided opportunities to establish not only Dutch – Latin relations but also south- south cooperation.
In Colombia, the Habitat World Day were celebrated around the discussion of the construction and accomplishment from the right to the city and its relevance to obtain harmonious cities. An event of academic type was realized with the Faculty of Law of the Pontifica Universidad Javeriana with the participation of some universities, the national government, the local governments, the private sector, the civil society and the NGO’s.
In 2008’s celebrations in Mexico were held in the city of Chihuahua. A video conference with all the Habitat Programme Manager(HPM)s in the region and a regional celebration was held.
Habitat for Humanity of Yuma, Arizona, a strong advocate for moving families from substandard living to the American dream of home ownership, observed World Habitat Day Monday by launching its Build on Faith campaign. In her speech read during the launch, the board chairman Kathi Marcus, defined Habitat for Humanity Yuma as an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat for humanity has built more than 250,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people.
Albany Technical College volunteers - students, faculty and staff worked with Flint River Habitat for Humanity to build a home in the Woodland Oaks subdivision in south Dougherty County and painted the new Habitat offices on Pine Avenue. According to Habitat for Humanity, more than 1.6 billion people are suffering from some sort of shelter deprivation in the world. Without access to adequate shelter, clean water or sanitation, upwards of 10 million people die each year from preventable diseases. Many of them are infants.
In New York City, the UN-HABITAT office and the non governmental organization, Committee on Human Settlements jointly hosted a breakfast forum at Fordham University, followed by an afternoon forum in the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium. These meetings brought together regional experts to focus on how the city is pioneering new methods to promote harmonious cities, through collaboration of government, nonprofit organizations, and private corporations.
The Virginia Commonwealth University of Richmond, Virginia in the United States organized an ice cream social event World Habitat Day to raise awareness of World Habitat Day and raise money for charity.
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) organised a free audio training session on The Human Right to Housing, for the World Habitat Day. The human rights system provides an important framework for connecting civil rights issues with economic and social justice. This webinar will share basic information about the human rights framework and its applicability to domestic issues of affordable housing and homelessness.
In Florida, USA, the Florida Coalition for the Homeless and the Florida Supportive Housing Coalition organized the second joint statewide conference, titled 'A Home for All: Bringing the Pieces Together', focusing on the housing and community needs of Florida's most vulnerable populations. The conference provided opportunities for participants to meet national experts, discuss critical issues with State and federal representatives and network amongst a broad spectrum of professionals sharing in the vision of a home for all Floridians. Other highlights included a city-wide bus tour of supportive housing programs, an awards ceremony and reception, as well as an opportunity for participants to receive 14 hours of Continuing Education Units.