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Habitat Day celebration formally begins

Posted 4 October, 09:52 pm

The World Habitat Day 2015 celebration has formally begun today.

Mr. Shambhu KC, Joint Secretary Physical Planning and Urban Development at the Ministry of Urban Development formally opened the World Habitat Day 2015 celebration today amidst an exhibition focusing on ‘public spaces’ at the premises of the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC).

The theme for World Habitat Day 2015 is Public Spaces for All.

The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day. 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.

Highlighting the importance of public open spaces, Rabi Shah, Deputy Director General at the DUDBC under the Ministry of Urban Development stressed on the need to increase public open spaces for the safety of people during disasters.

Various programs have been planned on the occasion of World Habitat Day this year. A half-day workshop on the theme ‘Public Spaces for All’ will be jointly organized by DUDBC and UN-Habitat in Nepal on 5th October 2015 at DUDBC conference hall. On the same day Kathmandu Metropolitan City along with other partners is organizing a day long (7AM – 7 PM) campaign ‘Ktm Walks’ along Kilagal Nardevi stretch and in Itumbahal to promote walkability and different uses of public spaces.

According to a study done among cities around the world, out of 40 cities, only 7 allocated more than 20% of land to streets in their core and less than 10% in their suburban areas.

This year, the government has also announced to allocate budget to arrange one open space for every 25,000 population in the Kathmandu Valley.

In a message on the occasion of World Habitat Day 2015, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme – UN-Habitat’s Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos mentioned that the streets and public spaces have often been overlooked and undervalued, but are increasingly being considered the backbone of cities. The Sustainable Development Goals also aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

UN-Habitat in Nepal urges all stakeholders and the general public to celebrate this day and promote establishment and promotion of public open spaces.

Read more about World Habitat Day at: www.unhabitat.org/whd