From 9 to 11 September 2021, the City of Izmir, Turkey will host the UCLG Culture Summit. Mayors and local leaders, academics, activists, civil society organizations, cultural networks and key stakeholders involved in the global debate on culture and development will gather in Izmir to discuss the place of cultural policies for sustainable development.

The covid-19 crisis has made evident the profound need for culture that cities and communities have. People have turned to culture to reinforce the sense of belonging in communities and cities, inventing new forms of participation, recognizing what brings us together and by creating meaning and solidarity. The pandemic has also shown that cultural actors need better working conditions, which were already precarious and difficult in the old normality. Life after pandemic will have to place cultural life at the centre of development. The cultural policies of cities and local governments will be more central than ever. This is why the title of the Summit is: Culture: Shaping the Future.

The Summit is a global event that contributes to the Pact for the Future of Humanity that UCLG launched in November 2020, to be approved in November 2022. The Summit is also framed by the 5th anniversary of UN’s New Urban Agenda (2021) and the future organisation of the UNESCO Conference “Mondiacult+40” (2022). Previous editions of the UCLG Culture Summit were organized in Bilbao (2015), Jeju (2017) and Buenos Aires (2019).

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