Culture has the power to make cities more prosperous places safe and sustainable, according to the World Culture Report: Urban Future, UNESCO will launch on October 18 in Quito (Ecuador). The report shows that the implementation of development policies that take into account the protection and promotion of culture and heritage, as advocated by the UNESCO conventions, benefits the cities.
Francesco Bandarin, Assistant Director General for Culture at UNESCO, willpresent the report at an event to be held at the 3rd Conference of the United Nations on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III), following which adopt a New Urban Agenda.
The current trend shows that the urbanization of the planet continue to increase in scale and speed, particularly in Africa and Asia, which in 2050 will respectively 54 and 64% of urban population. In addition, according to the latest projections, by 2030 there will be 41 megacities in the world with at least ten million inhabitants each. This rapid and massive urbanization can exacerbate some urban problems, leading to more slums and less access to public spaces, as well as a greater negative environmental impact. The potential consequences of this process are unemployment, inequality, discrimination and violence.
Culture: Urban Future defends the full integration of culture in urban policies to ensure sustainable and provide better quality of life for its residents.
In the words of Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, "culture occupies a central place in urban renewal and innovation. This report provides a wealth of ideas and concrete evidence demonstrating the power of culture as strategic for creating more inclusive, creative and sustainable cities resource. "
Adopt policies to strengthen cities is crucial at a time when the United Nations works to make the Sustainable Development Agenda reality by 2030, in particular to meet the No. 11 Target , which calls for cities and nclusivos, secure, resilient and sustainable settlements.
The report analyzes the situation, problems and opportunities in each regional context and presents a global picture of the conservation and safeguarding of tangible and intangible heritage and promotion of cultural and creative industries as a basis of sustainable urban development . It also stresses the challenges weighing on urban areas registered in the World Heritage List, that is, more than a third of the 1,052 registered sites, particularly in terms of conservation and management of tourist flows.
The report cites more than a hundred case studies and details the impact of culture in cities, including many in conflict and post - conflict. Thus, following the destruction of famous sites such as the Temple of Al-Askari in the city of Samarra (Iraq), perpetrated in 2006 or ancient mausoleums of Timbuktu (Mali), in 2012, the efforts of reconstruction and rehabilitation demonstrated the ability of culture to restore cohesion between communities and improve living conditions, opening the way for dialogue and reconciliation.
The report also identifies some innovative strategies used to promote the preservation of historic housing, essential areas to maintain the identity and well -being of communities. For example, in Quito (Ecuador), public subsidies were given to the inhabitants of residential buildings of the historic center with a view to restoring, keeping residents in their original neighborhoods and thus prevent residential gentrification, or "gentrification".
The role of creative industries to spur economic growth in the long term also appears in the report, which illustrates the case of Shanghai (China), member of the Creative Cities Network of UNESCO since 2010. The city is now one of the major creative centers of the world, and more than 7.4% of its population working in the creative industries sector.
Among the main recommendations of the Report include measures to: recognize and promote cultural diversity of cities, integrating culture into strategies to counter urban violence, invest to include culture in urban planning and include cultural heritage and creativity in the urban approach.
World Report has been made possible by financial support from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) and the municipal people's government of Hangzhou (China).
This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat.