The World Cities Day is commemorated annually on 31 October, and it is an opportunity to showcase and promote the interest of the international community in global urbanisation. On this day, we also push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities addressing challenges of urbanisation and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.
Urbanisation provides the potential for new forms of social inclusion, including greater equality, access to services and new opportunities, and engagement and mobilisation that reflects the diversity of cities, countries, and the globe. On this day, all relevant stakeholders use it to showcase their full range of resources, expertise, networks, and programmes that directly contribute to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, notably Goal 11 on sustainable cities and communities.
Cities worldwide are increasingly suffering the effects of climate related disasters, such as: floods, droughts, sea level rise, heatwaves, landslides, and storms. At least 130 port cities with over one million inhabitants are expected to be affected by coastal flooding and the one billion people in urban informal settlements are particularly at risk. Hence, the theme of World Cities Day 2021 is ‘Adapting cities for climate resilience’, and it acknowledges that integrated climate resilience policies and action plans will greatly reduce climate related risks for urban populations.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), believe that introduction and creation of more sustainable, climate resilient societies involves addressing a range of issues including poverty reduction, ensuring basic services livelihoods, the provision of accessible, affordable and adequate housing, investing in infrastructure, upgrading informal settlements and managing ecosystems. We also recommend that young people in urban communities should be engaged in policy and decision making processes in order to promote and contribute to sustainable urban development.
Inclusive and well governed cities greatly reduce climate related risks for their populations. Let’s put our communities at the heart of the cities of the future.