The first Monday of October was declared as World Habitat Day by the United Nations (UN). This year, the day falls on 7 October 2019.
World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the UN’s General Assembly through Resolution 40/202. The first time it was celebrated was in 1986.
The purpose of World Habitat Day
The purpose of the day is to reflect on the state of each country’s towns and cities. It also aims to help us reflect “on the basic right of all to adequate shelter.”
Observing the day is aimed at reminding the world that everyone is responsible for shaping how our cities and towns look in the future. Every year, the UN focuses on a new theme in order to bring attention to their mandate.
The organisation’s habitat mandate is to promote sustainable development policies that ensure adequate shelter for everyone.
The theme and aim for 2019
The theme for 2019’s World Habitat Day is: “Frontier Technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth.” The UN built this year’s theme from 2018’s “Municipal Solid Waste Management.”
The aim of last year’s theme was to focus on managing garbage. For 2019, the focus is to promote the contribution of innovative frontier technologies to sustainable waste management.
The organisation wishes to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 11. The goal is to have inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities.
The UN explained:
“Going beyond solid waste this includes all waste produced by human activity (solid, liquid, domestic, industrial and commercial), which continues to have a devastating impact on climate change, public health and the environment.”
The organisation stated that they believed technology had the potential to improve people’s lives and work. They hoped it would push efforts so “achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and address climate change.”
The UN added:
“Frontier technologies, such as automation, robotics, electric vehicles, renewable energy technologies, biotechnologies, and artificial intelligence can transform the social, economic and environmental spheres. They can offer better, cheaper, faster, scalable and easy to use solutions for every-day problems, including waste management.”
The organisation hoped to use frontier technologies to aid in achieving sustainable waste management. This would be done while mitigating any negative economic, social, and political effects.
Mexico City was chosen as the place for Global Observance of World Habitat Day. Countries across the world are expected to hold celebrations for the day.
Some of the countries who will be holding events are the capital of Cameroon, Yaounde, Kenya’s Nakuru, and Vancouver in Canada.