The important role of cities and local governments in arts and cultural policy has been a focus of attention lately. In May the UN published its zero draft of the New Urban Agenda, which will guide how urban policies are developed worldwide over the next 20 years and is due to be adopted this October. In response, the Committee on Culture of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) issued a position statement this month – co-signed by IFACCA – that addresses the place and potential for culture in sustainable urban development (amongst other things). Last month, the European Economic and Social Committee published a new study Culture, Cities and Identity which addresses the impact of culture on cities and how it can be used as a tool for regeneration and development. Interarts also recently held the first in a series of activities for their project, LAIC (Culture and arts in support of social cohesion in Latin American cities) which explores how culture might contribute to creating more open, tolerant, sustainable and safe cities in the region.
We too are doing our part to examine the role of cultural policy at the local level, and the relationship between that and national cultural policies. This week we launched a new survey in partnership with the Committee on Culture of UCLG which looks at the various mechanisms, policies and forms of collaboration that exist between different tiers of government around the world. We are also very pleased to announce that there will be a dedicated session at the World Summit on Arts and Culture that will explore the role of cities and local governments as agents of change. This session will feature a number of speakers with firsthand experience of leadership at the local level, including Karsten Xuareb, Executive Director of the Valletta 2018 Foundation (Malta), and Leônidas José de Oliveira President of the Municipal Foundation for Culture for Belo Horizonte (Brazil).
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