The 2023 World Cities Day China Observance took place in Shanghai from October 28 to October 31, under the theme “Financing Sustainable Urban Future for All.” It was jointly organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, the Shanghai Municipal Government, and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). The global home event was held in Istanbul, Turkey.
This year marks the tenth anniversary of the establishment of World Cities Day. Over the past decade, the China home events for World Cities Day have been held successively in Shanghai, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Xuzhou, Tangshan, and Fuzhou.
Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice Premier of the State Council, visiting the exhibition with cases of urban construction and development.
Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Vice Premier of the State Council, He Lifeng, attended the opening ceremony and presented awards to the first prize-winning cities of the Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities (Shanghai Award). Before the opening ceremony, He Lifeng visited the exhibition with cases of urban construction and development. He Lifeng pointed out that President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to sustainable urban development and has provided guidance on the establishment of the Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities (Shanghai Award) on multiple occasions. He has specifically congratulated the 2022 World Cities Day Global Observance and the 2nd Global Conference on Urban Sustainable Development through a congratulatory letter. The Chinese government is actively advancing the new type of urbanization with people at its core, in accordance with President Xi Jinping's important directives. China is willing to share its solutions and experiences with other countries and work together to promote global sustainable urban development.
Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee
Chen Jining, Secretary of the Shanghai Municipal Party Committee, attended relevant activities and delivered a speech at the opening ceremony. He pointed out that Shanghai will take President Xi Jinping’s important discourse on urban work as a guide, adhere to the path of urban development with Chinese characteristics, accelerate the transformation of the development mode of megacities, and take greater strides in the construction of the people’s city. Shanghai will always adhere to the people-oriented principle, leave the best resources to people, and provide high-quality supplies, making efforts to enhance urban functions, advancing the construction of "five centers" and strengthening the "four major functions". Shanghai will accelerate the green and low-carbon transformation and achieve harmonious coexistence between human and nature. Efforts will be made to improve the efficiency of urban governance and explore a Shanghai model for urban modernization and sustainable development.
Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development
Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Ni Hong, attended and delivered a speech at the opening ceremony, stating that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the United Nations establishing World Cities Day. The establishment and awarding of the Global Award for Sustainable Development in Cities by UN-Habitat will effectively guide global urban development and propel the advancement of 'Building inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities' to new heights. Standing at a new starting point, efforts will continue to be jointly made with all parties to promote global sustainable urban development, making cities a place for gathering happiness, green spaces, cultural windows, cutting-edge technology, and a harbor of security.
Maimunah Mohd Sharif
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-Habitat
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UN-Habitat, Maimunah Mohd Sharif, attended and, in her address, expressed that returning to Shanghai on the tenth anniversary of the successful establishment of World Cities Day holds extraordinary significance. The "Belt and Road" initiative in China, along with exemplary cases from various cities, demonstrates outstanding practices centered around people, providing crucial references for global urban development. We must reaffirm the commitment of “Better City, Better Life”, engage in dialogue, establish partnerships, explore innovative solutions, and collaboratively build a sustainable future for cities.
What is World Cities Day
World Cities Day is the first international day established by the United Nations with a focus on cities, and it is also the first international day initiated by the Chinese government. The origin of World Cities Day is originated from the 2010 Shanghai World Expo in China. The Shanghai Declaration was announced during the 2010 Shanghai World Expo Summit Forum, proposing to designate October 31st as “World Cities Day” to ensure the sustained ideals and practices of the Shanghai World Expo. In December 2013, the 68th United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution, deciding to designate October 31st as World Cities Day starting from 2014.
World Cities Day upholds the overarching theme of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, “Better City, Better Life”, and introduces an annual theme based on current hot topics related to urban sustainable development.
Translated by He Huiling