Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) highlighted the importance and urgency of sustainable urban development at the commemoration of World Habitat Day 2020 in Surabaya, East Java on Monday.
“We are in Surabaya city to convince the world that the New Urban Agenda in 2036 cannot be delayed any longer. Currently 55 percent of the world’s population live in cities. In 2050 the number is expected to increase to 68 percent. The highest rate of increase occurs in Asia and Africa,” the head of state remarked.
This year’s World Habitat Day under a theme Housing for All: A Better Urban Future, was held to raise international awareness about urbanization trends, as well as challenges and visions for sustainable urban development.
The event also promotes international cooperation and contributes to global efforts to build fair, prosperous and sustainable cities, and improve the quality of life for people and the environment.
By 2030 Indonesia is predicted to have a population of nearly 300 million, with 63.4 percent of them living in urban areas.
Therefore, according to the president, urban management issues and the new urban agenda are very important, emphasizing that if these matters are not prepared and handled seriously, the rapid growth of population could trigger a number of problems.
Overpopulation and poverty, declining environmental quality and availability of public spaces, as well as basic infrastructures, especially clean water and sanitation, and housing, are among the urban problems the world will face.
“However, if we handle it well, I am sure that urbanization can be a tremendous opportunity for the progress of a nation. Urbanization can be a center for creativity and innovation, spur economic growth and improve the quality of life and welfare of people,” Jokowi added.
The World Habitat Day is commemorated globally on the first Monday of October every year.
The first commemoration was held in 1986 following the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution 40/202.
Some major cities in the world that hosted the event included New York City (United States), Brussels (Belgium), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), and Indonesia’s capital city of Jakarta.
Reporting by Indonesia Window