WHD2012-460x256Manila, October 1 2012 — This first Monday of October, United Nations is celebrating the World Habitat Day 2012 with the theme: Changing Cities, Building Opportunities to promote proper and inclusive planning of cities to address urban challenges and to benefit from the opportunities in cities as centers for economic activities.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon called for the commit to work together for integrated, holistic management of the urban environment for the benefit of people and the planet. He also stated that:

“Better planned and better functioning cities can help guide us to the future we want: cities where everyone has adequate shelter, water, sanitation, health and other basic services; cities with good education and job prospects; cities with energy-efficient buildings and public transport systems; cities where all feel they belong.”

The UN-Habitat Executive Director Joan Clos, emphasized that UN-Habitat wants to underscore the need to plan our cities better because unplanned growth of cities leads to chaotic development and urban sprawl. When well planned, cities can continue to afford opportunities to both the current and future residents. This dovetails with the new UN-Habitat campaign, I am a City Changer, which seeks to involve all in making their cities a better place to live.