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It will soon be October, an important month for those of us who work in housing, habitat and urban issues. Every year, World Habitat, UN-Habitat and a wide range of stakeholders from around the world celebrate Urban October. Urban October is a series of events and conversations about our urban present, and future. Governments at different levels, Non-Governmental Organisations, community-led groups, universities and other stakeholders discuss, debate and share common challenges and learn from one another.

Why is Urban October important? It is estimated that by 2050 nearly 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities. This has a huge impact on our present and future, how we work and where we live. Urbanisation can bring many challenges but also opportunities, and it is therefore important to develop the capacity, knowledge and tools to respond to this global issue.

Fortunately, there are exciting and innovative projects that are helping to create cities and neighbourhoods that are more sustainable, liveable, and equitable for all residents. Our World Habitat Awards are a window to that depository of excellent ideas and provide case studies in very different contexts. For example:

  • In Dakar, Senegal, urbaSen and the Senegalese Federation of Inhabitants are working with women-led self-organised groups to improve their living conditions and protect residents from weather-related events (such as floods), whilst working with the government to understand and respond to the needs of the poorest residents of the city.
  • In Glasgow, Scotland, Homes for Good has challenged the status quo of affordable private rental housing (traditionally fraught with poor quality and service) to offer a friendly service, personalised support and good quality and attractive homes to people on the lowest incomes.

World Habitat will be joining the Urban October conversation on:

Monday 2 October:  we will join our former world Habitat Award Gold Winners Habitat3 in Barcelona, to celebrate the continuous success of their awarded programme ‘Vivienda para las Entidades Sociales’. We will look at examples of public and private sector collaboration and the trajectory of the programme since winning a Gold Award in 2019.

Tuesday 17 October: you can join us and UN-Habitat for an online event showcasing our 2023 World Habitat Awards winners, from Senegal to Scotland, passing by Namibia, India, Spain, Mexico and France. We will be talking about solutions to current urban challenges: From lack of affordability to climate change, empty homes, a lack of infrastructure among others. Learn about good housing practice, common challenges and effective solutions from housing practitioners.

World Habitat supports and participates in Urban October to help bring these successful initiatives to the mainstream, to show that it is possible – and feasible – to do things differently, to challenge the status quo and to help shape a better urban future for all.

Find out more about Urban October and the wide range of events over on the UN Habitat webiste.

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