Transforming cities into culturally and socially inclusive places through community action and participation

© UNESCO/Rayssa Coe
Students in a school from the Open School Programme in Brasília

UNESCO’s work pertains mainly to a rights-based approach to urban development.  The primary objective of a city is to fulfil a social function and guarantee the enjoyment of cities as places of sustainability and social justice.

In order to ensure such social justice, social strategies alone would be inadequate: Rights-based approach can generate political will which can put the interests of the marginalized stakeholders to the city on an equal level. The linkage between rights and urban issues is indivisible, especially considering that the greatest threat to good urban governance is the failure to understand the boundaries of rights and responsibility.

The International Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination is an initiative launched by UNESCO in 2004 in order to stimulate and facilitate sharing of knowledge and practices in the struggle against racism and all forms of discrimination among local governments. A common Ten-Point Plan of Action spells out the areas in which the Coalition is committed to work (housing, employment, participation, education, etc.) It can therefore be seen as a concrete initiative to counteract racism and discrimination at the local level and thus help to foster urban inclusiveness and diversity.

Tuesday, 18 May 2010
Activities to include:

  • Multimedia presentation (whole day)
    • CD-ROM from Beijing Office, entitled: “The Rhythm of Suzhou – Urban Transformation and Culture Preservation”
    • Four CD-ROMs from the Brasilia Office on the concept of the right to the city and the idea of a better city, better life by “bridging” examples from different parts of the world
      1. Urban structure and access to public services
      2. Blending of diverse cultures
      3. Empowering vulnerable communities in the city
      4. Best practices: The Local Solidarity Governance Project in Porto Algere, Brazil
    • Video footage of traditional sports – Trex –Games
    • Video footage on WTA Partnership on Gender Equality

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