“The celebration of World Habitat Day presents the opportunity to participate in a global debate on the transformative impact of COVID-19 on the housing sector and to explore how to better rebuild societies, leveraging the role of housing as a catalyst for a progressive delivery of human rights and as a basis for people’s well-being. Housing-related issues must be at the center of sustainable and inclusive urban development. COVID-19 has highlighted the housing paradox: At a time when people urgently need shelter, millions of apartments and houses are empty. Inclusive, affordable and adequate housing is the key to the sustainable transformation of our cities and communities ”, expressed the United Nations in 2020.

In 1985 the UN proclaimed the first Monday of October as World Habitat Day, with the aim of guaranteeing that the development of cities is carried out in a sustainable way and that all citizens ensure their right to have decent housing for the protection of their families.

The decision originated from the fact that from that decade on, more and more people living in rural areas left their homes and moved to the cities with the desire to achieve a better life quality. It is estimated that by 2030, 60% of the entire world population will have abandoned the fields, settling on the outskirts of cities and without good planning, so this migration can only bring depressed areas, poverty, crime, unemployment, pollution and diseases.

The theme for this 2021 is “Accelerate urban action for a carbon-free world” and originates from the situation generated by cities, responsible for around 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. “At the urban level, transport, buildings, energy and waste management account for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in cities”, says the UN.