UN: UNESCO report says culture vital to cities sustainability

New York, US (PANA) - The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has released a new report highlighting the power of culture as a strategic asset for creating cities that are more inclusive, creative and sustainable.

The report, entitled: "Culture: Urban Future Report", was launched Wednesday at the ongoing UNHABITAT III Conference on Green and Clean Urban Spaces', holding in Quito, the historic Ecuadorian capital, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A UNSECO statement, made available to PANA at the UN headquarters in New York, said the report stressed the need for culture to be fully integrated into urban strategies to ensure their sustainability, as well as a better quality of life for residents.

Ms. Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, in the report’s executive summary, stated: "With over half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, the road to sustainable development passes through cities in every corner of the globe."

She said "cities bring creative and productive people together, helping them to do what they do best: exchange, create and innovate."

She also noted that "the ground-breaking report brings together two years of research, showcasing analyses and recommendations to foster the role of culture in sustainable development. Goal 11 of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable."

"Thanks to a global survey supported by nine regional partners, scholarly insight, and NGOs and urban experts’ contributions, the report offers a global perspective on urban heritage safeguarding, conservation and management, and the role and promotion of creative and cultural industries as a means to generate sustainable urban development," Ms. Bokova said.

She added: "Culture lies at the heart of urban renewal and innovation. Culture embodies the soul of a city, allowing it to progress and build a future of dignity for all, a philosophy that is the core of UNESCO’s work. A human-centred city is a culture-centred space."

On his part, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Ms. Francesco Bandarin, explained that culture is not only a trait of human civilization, but a source of empowerment for our future, noting that, "it has the power to open minds of women and men, it is a powerful tool for dialogue, mutual understanding, even for peace."

He said that, "The Culture for Sustainable Development Initiative" will continue to orchestrate events such as the one held in Hangzhou, China, last December, which brought together international players to share best practices and experiences that will help preserve and redevelop urban spaces.

"The initiative will advocate a culture-based approach to urban planning and development additionally through the New Urban Agenda, which will be adopted this week by the Habitat-III conference," he added.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 19Oct2016

19 october 2016 15:18:19

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