World Habitat Day

Every October, UN-Habitat and partners organize a month of activities, events and discussions on urban sustainability. This year, Urban October activities will begin with World Habitat Day on 5 October.

The purpose of World Habitat Day is to reflect on the state of our towns and cities, and on the basic right of all to adequate shelter. It is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns. World Habitat Day was established in 1985 by the United Nations General Assembly through Resolution 40/202, and was first celebrated in 1986. It takes place on the first Monday of October.

Previous World Habitat Days

Year Theme Venue
2015 Public Spaces for All’
2012 Changing Cities, Building Opportunities Islamabad, Pakistan
2011 Cities and Climate Change Aguascalientes, Mexico
2010 Better City, Better Life Shanghai, China
2009 Planning our urban future Washington, D.C.
2008 Harmonious Cities Luanda, Angola
2007 A safe city is a just city The Hague, Netherlands
2006 Cities, magnets of hope Naples
2005 The Millennium Development Goals and the City Jakarta
2004 Cities – Engines of Rural Development Nairobi
2003 Water and Sanitation for Cities Rio de Janeiro
2002 City-to-City Cooperation Brussels
2001 Cities without Slums Fukuoka
2000 Women in Urban Governance Jamaica
1999 Cities for All Dalian
1998 Safer Cities Dubai
1997 Future Cities Bonn
1996 Urbanization, Citizenship and Human Solidarity Budapest
1995 Our Neighbourhood Curitiba
1994 Home and the Family Dakar
1993 Women and Shelter Development New York City
1992 Shelter and Sustainable Development New York City
1991 Shelter and the Living Environment Hiroshima
1990 Shelter and Urbanization London
1989 Shelter, Health and the Family Jakarta
1988 Shelter and Community London
1987 Shelter for the Homeless New York City
1986 Shelter is my Right Nairobi

Information on the previous World Habitat Day celebrations is available here.

World Habitat Day – 2020 Sri Lanka

 According to a resolution adopted at the 1985 Annual Session, the United Nations has declared the first Monday in October of each year as World Habitat Day every year since 1986. Accordingly, during the last 33 years, World Habitat Day has been celebrated under various themes related to the field of housing and settlements.

The Ministry in charge of the subject of Housing is the Sri Lankan agency for the United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-Habitat) which implements World Habitat Day worldwide.

Accordingly, without limiting the World Habitat Day for a day, for a week or for a month, the Ministry and its affiliated institutions took measures to realize the theme “Housing for All : A Better Urban Future” and to implement the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour, the government’s policy and make its results available to the public.

Development programmes, community awareness programmes, children’s programmes, entrepreneurship promotion programmes etc. were carried out for this purpose. Followings are some of those programmes.

  • Handing over of other constructed houses including the completed houses under ‘Obata Geyak – Ratata Hetak’ programme to the public, / commencement of identified new houses (island wide).
  • Conducting children’s programmes on the theme of World Habitat Day (An island wide art competition).
  • Carrying out enterprise promotion programmes for urban low income earners – street food, handicrafts, apparel and other design promotion programmes (covering the whole island)
  • Conducting community leadership workshop for urban underprivileged people (evaluating and encouraging community leaders)
  • Awareness programmes, lectures and workshops, counseling programmes, community participation programmes
  • Providing funds for the supply of electricity to the Guru Gammana project at Ranpokunugama, Attanagalla, Gampaha and for renovating internal roads.

Despite all arrangements made to celebrate the World Habitat Day National Programme on 05.10.2020 at Temple Trees, it was canceled on 04.10.2020 due to the Covid pandemic.

World Habitat Day – 2021 falls on 04.10.2021 and programmes on that regard will be planned in the future with the participation of relevant institutions.