West Lake, Hangzhou, China (© A. P. Hirama, 2012)

Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in an urban environment. With exponential urbanization and demographic growth, it is expected that 70% of humanity will live in cities over the next 30 years. In the framework of the implementation of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNESCO has launched the Culture for Sustainable Urban Development Initiative, to raise awareness on the contribution of culture to sustainable development, through:

♦ A Global Report on Culture and Sustainable Urban Development, which will provide strategic analyses and recommendations based on data provided by partner institutions from around the world.

♦ An International Conference on “Culture for Sustainable Cities” (Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China, 10-12 December 2015), which addressed key issues related to this topic.

♦ The Global Report and the International Conference will contribute to the common UN endeavor to launch a New Urban Agenda on the occasion of the Habitat-III Conference (Quito, Ecuador, October 2016).