What: Culture and sustainability


We believe culture can act as a powerful catalyst for local transformation.
It can be a key element to sustainable and territorial development – a mission that also requires the cultural sector to build alliances beyond itself.
Using culture as a way to build new processes of urban regeneration, we – as citizens – can act to make our city a better place to live in and to shape its future the way we dream it of. Because: the city is us.


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“Culture, Cities and Identity in Europe”, the study commissioned by the European Economic and Social Committee and carried out by Culture Action Europe and Agenda21 for Culture-UCLG. Can culture help us overcome the systemic, political and identity crises currently shaking the European Union? What role can culture and cities play in strengthening social and territorial cohesion, engaging in dialogue and building…


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Throughout history, the term “common” has been used with different, sometimes contradictory, meanings. Recently, it has gained in popularity to define and accompany the theorisation and fabrication of new political paradigms. Put simply, the idea of “common” groups the ensemble of material and immaterial objects that are or should be held “in common”. However, as we will see in this short…


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TTIP has been stuck in technical negotiations since those started three years ago. Negotiators hope to reach a deal before the end of 2016. However, political agendas on both sides of the Atlantic and the recent EU referendum in the UK suggest a longer process is most likely. The postponement of negotiations is made even more probable by the recent…


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The Reflection Paper “Belonging and Becoming: A cultural response to the White Paper on the Future of Europe and the accompanying reflection papers” proposes a first answer to this question, reflecting the voices of over 500 cultural players throughout Europe. A QUICK OVERVIEW The Cultural Sector’s assessment of the 5 Scenarios Guiding principles and actions for a 6th Scenario A cultural response…


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The importance of cultural policies at a local level is increasingly recognised as key in shaping sustainable change in our societies. However, there is still a long road ahead for a coherent and comprehensive European strategy to emerge in this domain. In “Polis and the people: Looking into the future of urban cultural policies”, Culture Action Europe (CAE) explores the…


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How engaged people in culture and citizenship can come together to enhance the life of those living in the city? 100 participants from Athens and abroad worked together for one full day to be part of a process where common possibilities are more important than individual ones. Athens, November 20 2015


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ARE ARTISTS AND INTELLECTUALS SUFFICIENTLY PART OF THE POLITICAL DISCOURSE TODAY? SHOULD THEY BE? DO ARTS THRIVE IN DEMOCRACY? AND VICE VERSA DO DEMOCRACIES THRIVE VIA THE ARTS? DO ARTISTS AND INTELLECTUALS NECESSARILY NEED TO CONSIDER THEIR IMPACT ON SOCIETY? SHOULD ARTISTS LIVE OFF THEIR ARTS? HOW? WE, THE PEOPLE OF CULTURE, LET OUR FRAGMENTATION REDUCE OUR IMPACT ON SOCIETY….


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We are facing the failure of the sustainable development model from an environmental, social, economic and individual perspective. A possible new model is that of sustainability: The sustainability revolution. Portrait of a paradigm shift is the essay of Andras Edwards (2005) which summarizes the paradigmatic change needed to achieve sustainability. The revolution requires new cultures, new social organizations, new economic…


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Tools and methodologies which may be used for addressing imbalances and asymmetries in partnerships. Development of peer ethics and peer protocols in different types of situations and partnerships


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PilotCities2015_EUROPE The “Culture 21 Actions” toolkit providing guidance for cities aiming to evaluate, design and implement cultural policies contributing to sustainable development was adopted at the first United Cities and Local Governments’ Culture Summit, held in Bilbao on 18-20 March 2015 under the title “Culture and Sustainable Cities”. The ‘Culture in Sustainable Cities. Learning with Culture 21 Actions’ programme, jointly…


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You will find here “Culture 21: Actions”, the reference documents issued during the First Culture Summit of UCLG, organised in Bilbao in March 2015 . It reaffirms UCLG’s commitments  to the relationship between citizenship, culture and sustainable development and serves as an addition to the Agenda 21 for Culture, by providing more practical orientations to local governments.


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Below is a collection of Culture Action Europe’s documents produced between March 2014 and February 2015, in the context of Creative Europe first year work plan. CAE would like to thank the European Cultural Foundation for its support in developing this research and editorial work.


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