Relatively new on the UN’s list of International Observances, World’s Cities Day was first celebrated on 31 October 2014.
The aim is to raise awareness about global urbanization and ways in which we can contribute to sustainable urban development, encourage inter-nation cooperation with regards to realizing opportunities, and meet the challenges of urbanization. Under the general theme of ‘Better City, Better Life’, each year is dedicated to a sub-theme. For 2015, it’s ‘Designed to Live Together’ with the Day being commemorated in Milan, Italy. We present to you, four light-hearted ideas to celebrate your favourite city, and get to know it better.
1. Go on a wild picture chase
What better way to get to know your city better than a good old-fashioned treasure hunt. Young, old, shutterbugs, design nerd, foodies... everyone’s invited. You can host the game, devising clues that lead teams across the city’s most iconic and hidden gems ranging from monuments and parks to restaurants and rail networks. Have participants click a picture at each spot and upload it to a community Facebook page. If you want in on the action, register your friends and family for similar events in your city. For instance, Mumbai-based travel company Some Place Else recently organized a treasure hunt across the south.
2. Take a trip
Confident that you’ve seen everything there is to see on your home turf? In that case, skip town and explore a whole new city or rediscover your most memorable travel destination. Try some place off our Short Trips for Long Weekends; a list that highlights some of the coolest Indian and international design cities.
3. Pay it forward
Enjoy yourself, but respect the core aim of this day: to facilitate better living across the global urban community. Visit the UN-Habitat website to learn more about overall themes that range from water and sanitation to climate change and youth. Research the key areas that need improvement within your city, and get engaged – start a weekend art camp for the less fortunate youth, join an urban environmental programme, get in on the global conversation with the World Urban Campaign.