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Urban October: 31 Days of Promoting a Better Urban Future

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27 October 2018
Urban October: 31 Days of Promoting a Better Urban Future
Urban October, celebrated by UN-Habitat every year, is a time for raising awareness, promoting participation, generating knowledge, and engaging the international community on sustainable urban development. 

The month commences with the World Habitat Day which promotes sustainable urban development policies that ensure adequate shelter for all, and ends with the World Cities Day. The latter promotes the international community’s interest in global urbanization and enhances cooperation among countries and cities in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization.

In light of that, UN-Habitat Lebanon organized a series of events under the theme of Managing Municipal Solid Waste throughout the month of October.

The onset was in Tripoli on the 27th of October where UN-Habitat, in collaboration with the Municipality of Tripoli, Utopia and Lavajet held an awareness campaign on the reduction of plastic bags in the midst of the Clothes market in Beb El Tebbaneh and distributed, for each plastic bag carried by the shopper, a reusable one in return. After handing her a re-usable bag, one enthusiastic lady said, "Next time I visit the market, I’ll carry this reusable bag instead of carrying several non-reusable plastic bags".

The second event took place on the 30th of October in Old Saida and in collaboration with DPNA and the Municipality of Saida. It featured around 15 local NGOs that advocate for sorting from the source in order to better familiarize the locals in Old Saida with the concept. The feedback was beyond successful as the attendees showed great enthusiasm towards the idea of sorting and expressed eagerness to start sorting as soon as possible.

Programme Manager of UN-Habitat Lebanon, Tarek Osseiran, highlighted the importance of synergy and collaboration between UN-Habitat and municipalities and NGOs, especially on the issue of sustainable and resilient communities. Concluding his speech, he said, “UN-Habitat will always be committed to supporting local municipalities and NGOs, and we will continue this journey together”.  

The final event of Urban October entitled “Urban Breakfast”, took place at UN-Habitat premises in Beirut on the 31st of October.  The purpose of the event was to shed light on the best practices of solid waste management in Lebanon. Accordingly, Ali Haidar from Compost Baladi presented smart solutions for organic waste management in urban areas while Rami Assaf, from VGNI, discussed recent case studies for municipal solid waste management in Lebanon.