Research presentations to headline fete marking World Cities Day
By Edwin Kis'sanya

A section of Nairobi [Courtesy]

Nairobi residents are set to join the world in marking World Cities Day today as the main event stages in Ekaterinburg city, Russia.

Naipolitans - a group of urban professionals, residents and enthusiasts who have a desire to make Nairobi a better place to live - will spearhead the function at the McMillan Memorial Library, Nairobi from 4 pm.

In a press statement sent to Travelog, the group said the event will include a series of research presentations around citizen science, Nairobians' adaptation to digital mobility trends and socially just urbanization.

"There will also be a panel discussion around these topics and the World Cities Day Resolution 2019 will be made," the group said.

The United Nations General Assembly designated the October 31 as World Cities Day in 2013, to encourage sustainable urban development around the world by promoting the international community's interest in global urbanisation, strengthening cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanisation.

The main goals of the World Cities Day 2019 are to:

·     Increase awareness of how digital innovations can be used for urban service delivery to enhance the quality of life and improve the urban environment.

·     Show new frontier technologies that can create more inclusive cities.

·     Present opportunities for renewable energy generation in cities.

·     Explore how frontier technologies can promote social inclusion in cities.

The general theme of World Cities Day is a "Better City, Better Life," with each year having a different sub-theme to either promote successes of urbanisation or address specific challenges resulting from urbanisation.

This year's theme is "Changing the world: innovations and a better life for future generations" to discuss how urbanisation can be used to achieve sustainable development.

Through the theme, the UN hopes to promote the international community's interest in implementing the New Urban Agenda globally and in enhancing cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanisation in cities.

The New Urban Agenda, adopted by the UN in 2016, represents the world's shared vision for a better and more sustainable future.

The UN notes: "Cities have always been drivers and incubators of innovation, industry, technology, entrepreneurship, and creativity; creating prosperity, enhancing social development and providing employment."

"Cities will have to continue to drive innovation in ground-breaking ways to achieve a lasting impact in communities and to ensure that "no one and no place" is left behind. At the same time, innovation can contribute to inequality and needs to be accompanied by appropriate economic and social regulatory policies. Youth and women need the opportunity to participate and contribute more fully to innovation in cities," says the UN.