Key themes

Towards a Global Culture 2030 Goal

Years after the adoption of new global agendas (in particular, the UN 2030 Agenda (including the SDG – Sustainable Development Goals) and the New Urban Agenda), the Summit will review the progress made but will also discuss the necessary steps to strengthen, in the long term, the global constituency on culture and sustainable development. Whereas references to culture are included in global agendas, culture is not yet recognised as the fourth pillar of sustainable development. Where should efforts focus in the next few years? The discussion will involve both stakeholders active in the campaigns on culture and sustainable development and other relevant agents, including UN agencies, civil society organisations and academics from other fields.

Cities and challenges

How are cities in different world regions working to fully integrate culture in their sustainable development strategies, programmes and projects? What progress can be observed? What are the challenges? Following the adoption of Culture 21 Actions in 2015, city leaders and experts working on the ground will share their experiences and discuss lessons learned and challenges identified. Specific themes included in Culture 21 Actions (climate change, the impact of tourism or the relation between cultural and education policies) will be examined in parallel sessions, enabling detailed project presentations, group reflection and practical guidance.

A gender perspective in cultural policies

Although gender is one of the key components of all approaches linked to sustainable development, the gender perspective is often absent from, or hardly visible in, cultural policies. The Summit will organize several sessions, including a plenary session on the meaning and the practicalities on a gender perspective in cultural policy. The Summit will analyse the current situation and will make suggestions to strengthen and to improve this perspective.

Social Transformation and Culture

Issues relating culture to integration, equity or inclusion are also important challenges shared by cities around the world. The Summit will organize several sessions that will relate culture and social transformation, addressing issues such as the construction of youth identity and the inclusion of vulnerable neighbourhoods in urban policies.

Independent culture

The identity of cities, far from being able to be synthesized, is based on a multiplicity of cultural expressions. The independent cultural sector is a stage for all these voices. It also becomes an engine of economic development for cities. The self-management character of this sector, as well as the relevance of its offer at the local level in each community, demands that we think about its sustainable development and about the challenge that it implies for the public sector. What are the most suitable tools to promote and to strengthen the independent culture of each city? This theme will be included in the sessions and the organizations that represent this sector will be the main protagonists in this debate.

The Summit is also underpinned by an aim to foster learning on a wide range of issues related to culture and sustainable cities. The parallel sessions will be designed to allow presentation of experiences, introduce on-going work and provide advice on needs and opportunities. The Summit will be a real place for peer-learning and networking among cities, local governments and other stakeholders.


The draft titles of the parallel sessions are:

  • Culture 21 Actions: results from the Pilot Cities
  • The impact of tourism in cultural policies
  • Culture, mobility and public space: Creative Mobilities
  • Heritage, culture and Climage Change
  • Culture and Education, with specific emphasis on Target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals,
    and as contribution to the UN 2019 High Level Political Forum
  • The Capitals of Culture


The Summit will also host parallel events and workshops. Participation in these events will be possible only by invitation.

  • Towards "Culture2030Goal": critical vision from academics
  • Preparing "Culture2030Goal": the strategies of global networks of civil society
  • The International Award "UCLG Mexico City Culture 21": evaluation and new frames
  • Local cultural policies and gender: where should we begin? What steps follow?
  • Implementing Cultural Rights in Your City: Where should we begin?
  • Does resilience have anything to do with cultural policies?
  • The cultural policies in the cities of the Global South


Should you be interested in presenting a specific case or issue in a specialised session, write to us (before 15 January 2019):