Housing is a critical public health component, as it not only implies shelter and stability, but having a solid home makes a person or family more likely to be connected to a community and part of a social support network. And in that light, the United Nations recently announced that it has decided to brand a day, October 4th, as World Habitat Day, in order to raise awareness, funds, and support for efforts that contribute to the stability of urban housing around the world.
Shanghai will be the host and poster child for the campaign, with the slogan, "Better City, Better Life." As millions move into cities every week, the demand for "simple, decent and affordable housing," will become that much greater, said the UN.
Better housing can lead to decreased rates of malaria, gastrointestinal diseases, disabilities, and unemployment, according to Habitat for Humanity.
For more information on events happening around the globe on October 4th, check out the World Habitat Day Special Events page. And let's just hope that the day doesn't turn out to be another "token" day, but an opportunity to make real changes in urban planning, housing, and public health.
[Photo by Joe Mabel]