Forum: Culture a solution to challenges of urbanisation
The week-long forum brought more than 18,000 participants from 168 nations to discuss the latest trends in sustainable urban development.
Participants at the World Urban Forum said they are convinced that culture is an integral part of the solution to the challenges of urbanisation and achieving the New Urban Agenda and urban environment, in turn, has an influence on culture.
In a declaration read at the closing ceremony of the 10th World Urban Forum in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, the participants said culture is a core component of local identity including heritage, creativity and diversity and urbanisation needs to be planned, designed and managed to enhance this.
The week-long forum brought more than 18,000 participants from 168 nations to discuss the latest trends in sustainable urban development and address challenges facing rapid growth of cities.
"Culture is considered by some constituencies as the fourth pillar of sustainable development and must be a stronger strand of global solidarity. Culture and heritage are essential in the context of peoples' empowerment as well as their universal access to services," said Maimunah Mohd Sharif, UN undersecretary-general and UN-Habitat executive director, as she read out parts of the declaration document.
"We believe that cities are incubators of social, economic, environmental, political and cultural progress. They are equally the guardians of cultural heritage and identity which must be safeguarded to pass on to future generations," she said.
The New Urban Agenda acknowledges the importance of culture, cultural diversity and cultural heritage in all its forms as resources that enrich humankind.
The participants said they recognise that an increasingly urbanised world constitutes a transformative force which can be harnessed and steered for more sustainable development. The document stressed that cities have the opportunity to take the lead to plan and design as well as manage transitions towards inclusion, resilience, sustainability, economic growth and shared prosperity.
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