The United Nations has designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. This year the day falls on October 4. The day is intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.
After floods, fires and record breaking temperatures in 2010, human habitation has become an even more pressing concern. In Pakistan alone millions of people had their home consumed by rising flood water. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), floods have affected 20.25 million people in the country.
As people continue to flock to urban centers, cities in both developed and developing countries, are increasingly feeling the effects of climate change, resource depletion, food insecurity, population growth and economic instability.
According to the UNHCR statistics there are 36 million displaced people and more than one billion people around the world who are without a simple, decent home. Another widely reported study has claimed that global warming is already causing 300,000 deaths a year.
World Habitat day underscores the importance of sustainable urban planning. We can no longer push responsibility for habitation down the road for future generations to deal with. We need to consider housing that can manage the effects of climate change while substantially reducing the environmental impacts.
We need to share the best solutions as widely as possible so that we can do a better job of planning a strategy of global coexistence with our environment.
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