The world’s largest gathering of cities for culture closed in Jeju, Republic of Korea. Over three days, the second UCLG Culture Summit has gathered over 700 participants, representing local governments, international organisations, national governments, non-governmental organisations and networks, artists, academics, and other professionals.
UCLG-Eurasia was represented by Rasikh Sagitov. He delivered a speech before the participants at the session “Cities, Heritage and Sustainability” and told about the activity of UCLG in the cultural field.
During the Summit, representatives of the cities of Taichung, Lyon, Busan, Daegu and Strasbourg, along with several experts and organisations active in the cultural field (Kseniya Khovanova-Rubicondo, an advisor to the Council of Europe; Francisco d’Almeida, the Co-Director of Culture et Développement; Kotaro Nakamura, Director of the School of Art and Design, San Diego State University; and Jeong-hoo Kim, Professor, University College London) discussed the place of cultural policies in urban neighbourhoods.
The final day of debates at the Culture Summit also involved a debate in which representatives of major international cities, including Buenos Aires, Bogotá, Rome, Istanbul and Bilbao, and civil society activists, including Lucina Jiménez, Jon Hawkes and Katherine Watson, discussed the role of cultural rights and local partnerships for culture in improving local sustainable development.
Speaking at the Closing Plenary, UCLG President Mpho Parks Tau, said “Local and regional governments are essential in ensuring a better future for all, everywhere. And cultural life and cultural rights are part of the cities we want”. He added that "“We must strive for people-centred cities that allow residents to co-create the city they want”".
Maria Victoria Alcaraz (Buenos Aires, representing the Co-presidencies of the UCLG Committee on culture) stated at the Closing Plenary that “sustainable development cannot happen without local policies explicitly addressing heritage, diversity and creativity”.
The Governor of the Jeju Special Self-Governing Province, Won Hee-ryong(the President of the Asia-Pacific section of UCLG (UCLG-ASPAC) and the Vice-President of UCLG), highlighted how traditional and contemporary culture are essential ingredients in the quality of life enjoyed by citizens of Jeju, this being a model that other cities and regions in the world could draw inspiration from. On his own words: “the wind of change is blowing all over the world (…) our goal is to achieve UN 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and great efforts are required, efforts to count on the involvement of all cultural actors in cities and territories”.