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Work together to build sustainable and resilient cities that provide safety and opportunities for all: UN Chief on World Cities Day
The United Nations designated World Cities Day is observed each year on the 31st of October to 'promote the international community's interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world'.

This year, the theme for the observance is "Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities" with focus on better life as to 'address specific challenges resulting from urbanization' as well as 'become resilient and develop their capacity to absorb the impact of hazards, protect and preserve human life and limit damage to and destruction of public and private assets while continuing to provide infrastructure and services after a crisis'.

On behest of the UN, the main event of the observance this year is being in Liverpool in the United Kingdom to discuss how to build resilience to storms, floods, earthquakes, fires, pandemics and economic crises.

The UN Chief, Antonio Guterres, in his message stated, "This year's World Cities Day focuses on resilience and sustainability. Every week, 1.4 million people move to cities. Such rapid urbanization can strain local capacities, contributing to increased risk from natural and human made disasters. But hazards do not need to become disasters. The answer is to build resilience -- to storms, floods, earthquakes, fires, pandemics and economic crises."

"Cities around the world are already acting to increase resilience and sustainability. Bangkok has built vast underground water storage facilities to cope with increased flood risk and save water for drier periods. In Quito, the local government has reclaimed or protected more than 200,000 hectares of land to boost flood protection, reduce erosion and safeguard the city's freshwater supply and biodiversity. And in Johannesburg, the city is involving residents in efforts to improve public spaces so they can be safely used for recreation, sports, community events and services such as free medical care," he added.

He urged, "On World Cities Day, let us be inspired by these examples. Let us work together to build sustainable and resilient cities that provide safety and opportunities for all."

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