Race to Zero Campaign

Accelerating Urban Action for Carbon Free World

Adapting Cities for Climate Resilience

Every October, UN-Habitat and partners organize a month of activities, events and discussions on urban sustainability. This year, Urban October theme is “Race to Zero Campaign”. Urban October Celebration will kick start with World Habitat Day on 4th October 2021 worldwide and end with World Cities Day on 31st October. This year World Habitat Day 2021 theme is ‘Accelerating urban action for carbon free world’ and World Cities Day 2021 theme is ‘Adapting cities for climate resilience’. The purpose of Celebration of Urban October in Pakistan is to accelerate urban actions for a carbon free world. It is also intended to remind that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and towns and adapt to climate change impacts.

       UN Habitat, Pakistan is organizing three events to mark the celebration of the Urban October 2021 in Pakistan as Pakistan is the fifth most vulnerable country to impacts of climate change. Cities in Pakistan are increasingly suffering the effects of climate-related disasters, such as floods, droughts, sea-level rise, heat waves, and storms. Recurrent flooding and extended drought spells for example, are lessening farm productivity, increasing livestock mortality, and contributing to large-scale unemployment. While floods destroy homes and displace people, droughts and increasing conflicts over basic resources also increase people’s vulnerabilities, compelling them to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. Extreme climatic events are disproportionately affecting poor, rural populations who are usually the least prepared to cope with them. Reducing the climate change impacts is becoming one of the top priorities of the government of Pakistan for adaptation and mitigation.

This year World Habitat Day in Pakistan coincides with the convening of the first Project Steering Committee meeting of an Adaptation Fund Project in Pakistan to be held on 4th October 2021 at 11am PKT. The first session of the Project Steering Committee will be dedicated for an expert group discussion on how to make cities more resilient and implement climate-targeted actions including planning for more compact and walkable cities, support in enhancing national building codes, sustainable building and construction practices, promoting clean energy generation in cities and improving waste management and provision of water and sanitation for a carbon free country. The Adaptation Fund Project in Pakistan aims to enhance resilience to water scarcity, caused by floods and droughts at community level, district / city and national / provincial level in Rawalpindi and Nowshera Cities, as reducing the impact of flooding and droughts is becoming one of the top priorities of the government of Pakistan.

The second event of celebration of Urban October will be held on 12 October 2021 as a part of a Global Event on Innovate 4 Cities (I4C) 2021 Conference. UN Habitat will be convening a session with the objective to demonstrate the importance of GHG emission reduction in urban areas and how to support urban slums environment and living condition improvement with greening cities.

The third event is a seminar on Housing Challenges in Pakistan and Lessons Learnt from Success Stories of Korea and other Countries. The principal objective of this Seminar is to bring home the rich experiences and the lessons learnt from the successful interventions in the housing construction sector from Korea and other parts of the world to reinforce the Five Million Housing Program. This will help to achieve desired objective of providing shelter particularly to the low-income strata of the population. This seminar is being organized under an MoU between UN Habitat Regional Office for Asia and the Korean Land and Housing Corporation, with its focused on GHG emission reduction and low emission urban development with environmentally friendly technologies.