World Habitat Day Message: Harmonious, Greener Urbanization
NEW YORK, New York, October 6, 2008 (ENS) – By the end of this year, more than half of the world’s population will live in urban areas for the first time in human history, and it is no coincidence that climate change is now at the forefront of international debate, the top United Nations habitat official said to mark World Habitat Day.
Anna Tibaijuka serves as executive director of UN-HABITAT, the agency which promotes socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities and adequate shelter for all. “Cities consume upwards of 75 percent of all energy and contribute to an equally substantial amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Cities must therefore be an integral part of any mitigation efforts,” she said on World Habitat Day, which is observed on the first Monday in October each year.
The theme of this year’s World Habitat Day is “harmonious cities,” and the global observance this year is being led from the Angolan capital, Luanda.
The Angolan capital city of Luanda is undergoing rapid urbanization. The celebrations in Angola are intended to show the world how, after nearly three decades years of conflict, the country is progressing in the establishment of harmonious cities through improvements in urban infrastructure and services, and a new urban development strategy.