World Cities Day

World Cities Day Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date31 October 2024
2025 Date31 October 2025

World Cities Day

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World Cities Day History

World Cities Day is a global observance aimed at promoting awareness of issues facing urban areas and the importance of well-planned, sustainable cities for the future. The event serves as a platform for discussing, sharing, and promoting innovative solutions to address these challenges. The United Nations designates each year a different theme for participants to follow, encouraging a comprehensive approach to urbanisation and a heightened focus on creating inclusive, equitable cities.

Though initially established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2013, World Cities Day has quickly garnered international recognition and participation, including from the United Kingdom. With rapid, inevitable urbanisation taking place across the globe, this annual event provides an opportunity for UK cities to engage in the global conversation concerning emerging urban issues, such as climate change, health, and housing. Acknowledging the importance of balanced planning and development, World Cities Day also offers a key platform for policy and decision-makers to emphasise economic growth, environmental protection, and social progress within the British context.

In the United Kingdom, World Cities Day is typically celebrated with a range of events and activities throughout the country. Urban planners, architects, researchers, and policymakers often attend conferences, seminars, and workshops where they share experiences, exchange best practices, and formulate recommendations to improve the quality of life in urban areas. World Cities Day is observed annually on 31 October and serves as an opportunity for the UK to further its commitment towards addressing contemporary urban challenges, fostering global solidarity, and ultimately promoting the creation of thriving, sustainable cities.

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.
  • The UK is home to several cities that have won awards for being green and sustainable, showing their commitment to the causes promoted by World Cities Day. These cities include Bristol, Nottingham and Sheffield.
  • As the capital city of Wales, Cardiff is famous for its impressive Cardiff Castle, vibrant waterfront, and the Millennium Stadium. It's one of the youngest capital cities in Europe, only being declared the capital of Wales in 1955.

Top things to do in the UK for World Cities Day

  • Try your hand at cooking popular dishes from different cities in the UK. Experiment with regional recipes and enjoy a multicultural culinary experience in your own kitchen.
  • Choose books set in different cities across the UK as part of a city-themed book club. Engage in virtual discussions with fellow readers to share insights and recommendations.

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