Monthly Archives: November 2017

INTACH Cities for Culture

1.INTRODUCTION

The Agenda 21 for Culture is the first document with worldwide mission that advocates establishing the groundwork of an undertaking by cities and local governments for cultural development. It was agreed by cities and local governments from all over the world to enshrine their commitment to human rights, cultural diversity, sustainability, participatory democracy and creating conditions for peace. It was approved by the 4th Forum of Local Authorities for Social Inclusion of Porto Alegre, held in Barcelona on 8 May 2004 as part of the first Universal Forum of Cultures

2.PREMISE

Brief background to Agenda 21 for Culture

The initial idea to form guidelines for local cultural policies was brought during the first World Public Meeting on Culture in September 2002 in Porte Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul. This document was comparable to what the Agenda 21 meant in 1992 for the environment. Two years later on 8 May 2004, the final document was approved in Barcelona and consequently submitted to the UN-HABITAT and UNSECO in September, 2004.

However, from October, 2004, the world organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) assumed the coordination of the Agenda 21 for culture.

UCLG Culture Summits

The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) is an umbrella organization which represents and defends the interests of local governments on the world stage, regardless of the size of the communities they serve. Their mission is to“be the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government, promoting its values, objectives and interests, through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community”.

The UCLG Culture Summit is the main meeting point at global level of cities, local governments and other stakeholders that are committed to the effective implementation of policies and programs on culture and sustainability. The UCLG organized its first culture summit in Bilbao, Spain 18th-20th March, 2015 with the title “Culture and Sustainable Cities” while, the second summit was organized recently 10th-13th May, 2017 in Jeju, Special Administrative Province, South Korea with the title “Commitments and Actions for Culture in Sustainable Cities”.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are officially known as the “Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” are a set of 17 “Global Goals” which were adopted by world leaders in September2015 after the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These goals have specific targets which are aimed to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity over the next 15 years.

Amongst the 17 Global Goals, it is the eleventh goal and, specifically Action Point 4 that is of significance from culture sector perspective.

 The Eleventh Goal

The Eleventh goal of the SDG is to“Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” includes an action point to Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage. This action point is where INTACH can contribute in promoting and realizing Agenda 21 in India, and as a result contribute to the International discussion on SDG 2030.

3.UNDERSTANDING SUSTAINABILITY

Sustainable development has been defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It calls for a concerted efforts towards building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet”.Source: United Nations

Three Pillars of Sustainability

For sustainable development it is crucial to harmonize three core elements: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection. These elements are interconnected and all are crucial for the well-being of individuals and societies.

Fourth Pillar of Sustainability

To create a new culturally sensitive urban development model, the role of cultural practices and values in sustainable development must be explicitly recognized, supported, and integrated into planning and policy in a systematic and comprehensive way.

"<em
Fig1: The three roles of culture (represented in orange) in sustainable development (the three circles represent the three pillars). Culture added as a fourth pillar (left diagram), culture mediating between the three pillars (central diagram) and culture as the foundation for sustainable development. The arrows indicate the ever-changing dynamics of culture and sustainable development (right diagram). Source: Dessein et al., 2015″

4.UNDERSTANDING THE AGENDA 21 FOR CULTURE

The mission of the Agenda 21 for Culture is to promote Culture as the Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Developmentthrough the international dissemination and the local implementation of Agenda 21 for culture. Thenetwork of UCLG is spread across Europe, Latin America, Africa, North America, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and West Asia. However, no Indian city is a part of this network.

The agenda has a total of 67 articles, divided into three sections – Principles (16 articles), Undertakings (29 articles) and Recommendations (22 articles). Thematically, it can also be divided into five sections – Culture and Human Rights; Culture and Governance; Culture, Sustainability and Territory; Culture and Social Inclusion; and Culture and Economy.

 

Agenda 21: Actions

The Agenda 21: Actions is an international guide and tool that promotes knowledge, facilitates the exchange of good practices, and strengthens a global network of effective and innovative cities and local government.

In order to provide achievable and measurable international guidelines and standards, the UCLG has conceived nine “Commitments” to provide guidance for the work of the local governments linked to the Agenda 21 for Culture. These commitments aim to promote processes of self- evaluation leading to the better fulfillment and more effective implementation of public policies and strategies.

The “Commitments” are as follows, each with their own Action Points:

  1. Cultural Rights;
  2. Heritage, diversity and creativity
  3. Culture and education
  4. Culture and environment
  5. Culture and economy
  6. Culture, equality, and social inclusion
  7. Culture, urban planning and public spaces
  8. Culture, information, and knowledge
  9. Governance of culture

 

 5.INDIAN CITIES FOR CULTURE

INTACH Heritage Academy proposes “Indian Cities for Culture” on the lines of the Agenda 21 for Culture, its nine Commitments and their Action Points. These Commitments will aim to be a Chapters Guide which will promote knowledge, facilitate the exchange of good practices, and strengthen the Chapter network of effective and innovative cities and local government.

This is an ambitious program to run over the next three years. It will provide an integrated action plan and a larger mission that will connect all INTACH Chapters, Technical Divisions and the Headquarters. It aims to  be one program

For more detailed information, please see – Agenda21_for_Culture