The Bartlett Development Planning Unit


Professor Le-Yin Zhang presents at World Habitat Day 2023

25 October 2023

DPU’s Professor Le-Yin Zhang was invited to attend World Habitat Day 2023 in Baku, Azerbaijan earlier this month. The theme for this year’s World Habitat Day was ‘Resilient urban economies. Cities as drivers of growth and recovery’.

Group of people on stage at the World Habitat Day event in Baku, Azerbaijan

The aim of this year’s World Habitat Day was to convene various city stakeholders to discuss the ways in which cities can be primed for growth and recovery following the global intersecting negative economic shocks of COVID-19 and global conflicts. 

During her time in Baku, Professor Le-Yin Zhang was a panellist in a roundtable which focused on how to strengthen local government finance and delivered a lecture at the second Azerbaijan National Urban Forum to a group of young professionals entitled, ‘The carbon governmental state: what, why and how’, discussing how a state can set clear objectives, and how best to use governmental techniques and technologies to achieve the goal of decarbonisation and related objectives.

In 1985 The United Nations designated the first Monday of October of every year as World Habitat Day to reflect on the state of our habitats, and on the basic right of all people to adequate shelter. The day is also intended to remind the world that we all have the power and the responsibility to shape the future of our cities, towns, and environments.

It is also intended to remind the world of its collective responsibility for the future of the human habitat.

Professor Le-Yin Zhang said:

This was my first visit to the country and region. So, in addition to taking part in official activities and discovering new initiatives and thinking on local finance, I also learnt a lot about the city and beautiful country.  As an added bonus, it was lovely to see our former DPU colleagues Katja Schaefer and Anna Soave again after nearly a decade and find out about the new UN-Habitat country office they have set up in the city of Baku. A rewarding trip on all fronts.