UNESCO has released their long awaited Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development that focuses on the need to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” The report was officially launched on the 18th of October 2016 at the Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador. Complementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations, the report presents wide-ranging research from top experts across the globe in more than 100 case studies that clearly support the idea that culture must play an essential role in the future development of sustainable cities.
Arterial Network were approached to coordinate the regional study Area 1 covering Sub Saharan Africa that includes over 40 countries. In addition to this extended research study, Arterial Network’s Cultural Policy Task Group member, Dr. Jenny Mbaye of the Centre for Culture and the Creative Industries at City University of London (UK) also contributed an article titled ‘Culture as a resource for sustaining urban life and livelihoods.’
Described as ‘groundbreaking’ for its scope, the report marks a firm commitment from UNESCO to support governments in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda with consolidated analyses and recommendations. Humans have become a predominantly “urban species” for the first time in recorded history, according to the report’s introduction. This shift in natural habitats comes with its own set of complex difficulties that can be more easily navigated when invoking cultural and artistic frameworks to imaginatively problem-solve.
According to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO: “Cities have become living laboratories for determining how some of the most pressing challenges we face are negotiated, managed and experienced.”
The twelve recommendations to come from the report are as below:
- Enhance the liveability of cities and safeguard their identities
- Ensure social inclusion in cities through culture
- Promote creativity and innovation in urban development through culture
- Build on culture for dialogue and peace-building initiatives
- Foster human scale and mixed-use cities by drawing on lessons learnt from urban conservation practices
- Promote a liveable built and natural environment
- Enhance the quality of public spaces through culture
- Improve urban resilience through culture-based solutions
- Regenerate cities and rural-urban linkages by integrating culture at the core of urban planning
- Build on culture as a sustainable resource for inclusive economic and social development
- Promote participatory processes through culture and enhance the role of communities in local governance; and
- Develop innovative and sustainable financial models for culture
To download the full report, click here.
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