» Maria Francesca Merloni hosts the UNESCO Creative Cities Network XIII Annual Conference
28.06.2019 - Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors

Maria Francesca Merloni hosts the UNESCO Creative Cities Network XIII Annual Conference

© UNESCO

From 12 to 15 June 2019, Maria Francesca Merloni, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities, has hosted and participated in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network XIII Annual Conference on the role of culture in the sustainable development of cities. It took place in Fabriano, Italy and gathered 480 participants from 145 cities worldwide including 50 mayors.

Sergio Mattarella, President of Italy, Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture, Gabriele Santarelli, Mayor of Fabriano, and Maria Francesca Merloni, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities, opened the Conference. They particularly emphasized culture’s capacity to connect peoples and communities, to foster dialogue and to stimulate positive social, economic and environmental change. In accordance with their commitment to achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the mayors have thus exchanged on the theme of “The Ideal City”, and on how to respond to cities’ community needs through culture and creativity in order to develop innovative and inclusive urban strategies.

City planners and mayors are investing significantly in culture to achieve sustainable cities. Culture has an important role to play in all areas of development be they related to education, inclusiveness, environment and economic growth. Furthermore, culture is a major component required for fully achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations. The conference was the occasion of sharing the first publication of the LAB.2030 Initiative, a platform for experimentation and exchange to support the 2030 Agenda, entitled “Voices of the City: UNESCO Creative Cities moving towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.

By doing so, the Creative Cities network and Maria Francesca Merloni’s action as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities are in line with UNESCO’s mission of promoting culture for sustainable development. Thanks to the poetess and playwright’s cultural action, her hometown, Fabriano, has been named UNESCO Creative City in 2013 for its craftsmanship.

Since the creation of UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2004, the 180 cities from 72 countries cover seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Media Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature and Music. Creative Cities of the network are nowadays emerging as hubs of experimentation that lead to innovative and successful models of sustainable development.




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