Shanghai, China/Nairobi, Kenya (31 October 2022) – This year, the Global Observance of World Cities Day takes place in the city of Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. The theme of the day is ‘Act Local to Go Global’ focusing on the need to promote local action to accelerate the achievement of 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Global celebrations are held in hybrid format, in person for participants in China and online for international guests.
The President of the People’s Republic of China sent a congratulatory letter to the guests of the Global Observance of World Cities Day 2022. His message was read by the Party Secretary of the Shanghai Municipality, Chen Jining.
The World Cities Day closes the Urban October month on 31 October each year. It serves to advocate for urban development and push forward greater cooperation between national governments and cities to address urban challenges. Today, more than half of all people live in urban areas – by 2050, over two-thirds will do so. Cities generate over 80 per cent of global GDP – and account for over 70 per cent of carbon emissions. Action in cities to mitigate and adapt to climate change is critical. “On this World Cities Day, we recognize the critical role of urban areas in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Next year marks the mid-point to the deadline to reach the SDGs,” wrote UN Secretary-General António Guterres in his message for the World Cities Day 2022.
"We have only about 87 months, 380 weeks or 2600 days left to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The best way to do so is by ensuring our cities and communities are sustainable. Time to act is now,” said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat.
Discussions at World City Day will focus on localizing the Sustainable Development Goals. UN-Habitat, the UN focal point for local regional governments and the custodian of the New Urban Agenda, has been advocating for the localization of SDGs since the endorsement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agency’s work on localizing the SDGs is guided by a partnership-based territorial approach, human rights, and multilevel governance.
Keynote speakers at World Cities Day include the Mayor of Shanghai, Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of the People’s Republic of China, UNDP Assistant Administrator Haoling Xu. Video statements for World Cities Day were sent, among others, by President of the UN- Habitat Assembly Martha Delgado, UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Li Junhua, former host of World Cities Day 2021 and Governor of Luxor in Egypt Mustafa Alham, UN Resident Coordinator in China Siddharth Chatterjee, and Executive Secretary of UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana.
The global celebrations of World Cities Day are hosted in a different city each year. World Cities Day was first celebrated in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China in 2014. This year, it comes home to Shanghai. The event also includes the launch of the 2022 Shanghai Manual, a catalogue of urban case studies and best local practices. This work is a result of the longstanding multilateral cooperation between UN-Habitat, the Bureau of International Expositions, and the Shanghai Municipality. This year, the manual presents 21 case studies from 15 countries across the globe.
Article republished from UN-Habitat (CC)