UCLG Culture Summit was held on 18-20 March 2015 in Bilbao, Spain and organized by UCLG World Organization. On the first day of the UCLG Culture Summit Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General, and Ibon Areso, Mayor of Bilbao delivered the opening speeches. Mayor Areso, who is also the President of the UCLG Committee on Culture, mentioned that art is at the same time an economic element.  The Mayor emphasized that Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum which is a magnificent museum, is the symbol of the transformation of the city of Bilbao and he concluded his speech by thanking to UCLG.

Joseph Roig, UCLG Secretary General, extended his thanks to Bilbao Municipality and emphasized the role of culture in sustainable development. Mr. Roig stated that the guests could hear different experiences of different cities for three days, and mentioned that there are more than 550 cities who are using Agenda 21 For Culture as a tool in their daily lives.

Gültan KIŞANAK, Mayor of Diyarbakır and UCLG-MEWA Co-President, stated that they have been restorating the Armenian and Assyrian Churches in order to sustain multiculturalism in Diyarbakır, and that they see culture as a bridge, and they applied to UNESCO to include the Diyarbakır City Walls in the World Heritage List.

In the parallel session held under the topic of International Award UCLG-Mexico City – Culture 21 that was organized on the same day, Hasan ÜNVER, Mayor of Nevşehir, talked about the Cappadocia Transformation Project and the biggest underground city in the world that was discovered during the transformation process. In this session, Hasan ÜNVER won general approval of the participants as he, himself as a mayor made the speech of cultural activities of his city.

In the second day of the Summit, Salih Efiloğlu, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Head of Press and Public Relations Department, mentioned that they are implementing a virtious human-centered cultural policy, and stressed the importance of the restoration activities. Mücahit Sami Küçüktığlı, Konya Metropolitan Municipality Head of Culture and Social Affairs Department, who made speech on the fourth session of the second day, talked about the culture center that they have built. He also talked about Mevlana Culture Valley, the  School of Civilization Project, and other restoration activities.

UCLG Culture Summit will be concluded with the meeting that will be held on 20 March 2015 and the second summit will be held in 2017.

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