World Cities Day

World Cities Day Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateOctober 31, 2024
2025 DateOctober 31, 2025

World Cities Day

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World Cities Day History

World Cities Day is a global observance aimed at raising awareness about the importance of urban development in fostering sustainable growth, enhancing social inclusion, and improving the quality of life. With over half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, the United Nations General Assembly designated World Cities Day in 2014 to promote international cooperation and innovative solutions for the pressing challenges faced by cities. The observance encourages the sharing of knowledge, resources, and expertise among nations and cities to stimulate positive change and achieve sustainable urbanization.

The adoption of World Cities Day by the United Nations was inspired by the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, which was themed "Better City, Better Life." The observance holds great significance for people in Canada, as around 80% of the country's population resides in urban areas. As one of the world's most urbanized nations, Canada has a vital interest in encouraging sustainable, resilient, and inclusive cities. Issues such as affordable housing, congestion, and environmental stewardship are high on the national priorities list, and World Cities Day offers an opportunity to discuss and share best practices with other cities around the world.

In Canada, World Cities Day is observed through events, conferences, and roundtable discussions centered on the challenges and opportunities in urban development. Municipal governments, urban planners, academics, and other stakeholders come together to explore solutions for sustainable urbanization and foster dialogue on critical issues. Canada's observance of World Cities Day is in line with the international community, with activities occurring annually on the 31st of October. By participating in this global event, Canada reaffirms its commitment to building a better future for its urban residents.

World Cities Day facts

  • The theme for World Cities Day in 2023 was Financing sustainable urban future for all.
  • Globally, over 50% of the population lives in urban areas today.
  • By 2045, the world’s urban population is expected to increase by 1.5 times to 6 billion.
  • Approximately 80% of Canadians live in cities.
  • With a population of over 5.7 million, Toronto is the largest city in Canada and is the provincial capital of Ontario. This bustling city is known for its diversity, with over half its residents born outside of Canada.

Top things to do in Canada for World Cities Day

  • Use the day to educate yourself about urban sustainability and the initiatives taken in Canadian cities. Read articles, watch documentaries, or take virtual courses to understand how cities are adapting to climate change and promoting sustainable practices.
  • Gather your family or friends virtually and organize a trivia night focused on Canadian cities. Create different rounds of questions, including history, landmarks, famous residents, and local culture. Award prizes to the winners.

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