Remarks of Secretary Shaun Donovan, World Habitat Day Opening Ceremony
The Secretary-General message on World Habitat Day 5 October 2009
The theme of this year's observance of World Habitat Day, Planning our Urban Future, is meant to underscore the urgency of meeting the needs of city
dwellers in a rapidly urbanizing world. Read More
Statement of the Executive Director, UN-HABITAT, on the occasion of World Habitat Day 2009.
We have chosen the theme, Planning our Urban Future, for World Habitat Day 2009 for a simple but very important reason: In many parts of our world
urban planning systems have changed very little. Read More
Washington gears up for World Habitat Day
Representatives from 30 U.S. organizations partnered with U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and UN-HABITAT to plan celebrations of
World Habitat Day on October 5, 2009. Read More
UN-HABITAT AND U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT RECOGNIZE WORLD HABITAT DAY
Planning for our Urban Future is 2009 World Habitat Day Theme
WASHINGTON - On Monday Oct. 5, 2009, housing providers and advocates from throughout the world joined UN-HABITAT, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, The Rockefeller Foundation, Habitat for Humanity and others at the National Building Museum in Washington D.C. to mark World Habitat Day.
UN Ambassador Susan Rice, Melody Barnes, Director, Domestic Policy Council, Jon Bon Jovi, Dr. Judith Rodin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation and Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity were amongst nearly 800 people joining HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Dr. Anna Tibaijuka, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-HABITAT in saluting people and communities that are leading the way in developing innovative, sustainable communities.
"World Habitat Day is an opportunity to highlight some of the most promising sustainability ideas being explored across the globe, while also creating a platform for international partnership," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "We can and we must embrace a greener future that focuses on building communities in the most holistic way possible so that we can shape a more sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous future for generations to come.
"During World Habitat Day, it is my mission - a mission begun almost ten years ago - to ring the bell for a more secure urban future for all through effective, participatory, public planning," said Dr. Tibaijuka. "If our cities are to be truly sustainable and harmonious, we must improve the lives and well-being of everyone, especially the urban poor. We must not continue to consume natural resources at rates that deny opportunity to our children and grandchildren."
"The Rockefeller Foundation is delighted to support World Habitat Day and its call for urban innovations," said Dr. Judith Rodin, the Foundation’s president. "As billions of people crowd into cities and metropolitan regions, a global urban age has dawned. It’s time for new ideas, actions, and ways of working together. The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to shape solutions in infrastructure, finance, governance, and planning that will help cities grow more resiliently, equitably, and sustainably."
World Habitat Day 2009 comes at a moment of remarkable change and worrying uncertainty globally and in America. The annual event occurs when the home, a source of economic security for millions of families around the globe, has been eroded. Also, for the first time ever, more than half of our global population lives in metropolitan areas. By 2030 almost 5 billion people will live in urban areas.
"The U.S. population is expected to grow by another 50 percent in the first half of this century," said Donovan. "At the same time our wastewater systems are over a century old, schools in dire need of repair, an inefficient transportation system, and a housing policy with too little emphasis on affordable rental options. The challenge of this moment is clear, to build communities in the most holistic way possible - sustainably, so that we can meet the needs of today without compromising the futures of our children and grandchildren."
World Habitat Day 2010, will be hosted by Rio de Janeiro.