30.11.2016 - UNESCO Venice Office

Cities leverage UNESCO Designated sites to contribute to sustainable development

Fredericks – Royal Palace of Turin

The capacity-building workshop on “Managing multiple designated areas related to UNESCO conventions and programmes for sustainable urban development” is convened in Turin, Italy, from 1 to 6 December 2016. The workshop will aim at advancing the institutional and professional capacities of managing authorities and relevant operators of World Heritage properties, Creative Cities and Biosphere Reserves, in order to support achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.

The workshop is part of the ‘International Academy on Sustainable Development’, launched in 2015 on the occasion of the 3rd World Forum on Local Economic Development in Turin and the International EXPO 2015 in Milan. The first edition committed to the management of food-productive landscapes in UNESCO Designated sites, successfully brought together key stakeholders involved in the management of over 30 sites from across the world.

The second edition of the workshop is jointly organised anew by the Research Centre Silvia Santagata – Ebla (CSS-Ebla) and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy), with the support of the Fondazione CRT, Compagnia di San Paolo, and the Turin International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO). The workshop is focused on the links between urban and rural heritage, cultural productions and creativity, so as to define place-based solutions for sustainable local development in urban and peri-urban areas. Accordingly, the programme includes 3 subtopics:

Urban heritage as driver of change

Heritage cities can act as drivers of local and inclusive economic development, playing a crucial role for promoting cultural diversity, social inclusion and engagement towards sustainable practices. New approaches toward urban heritage conservation and management are a major challenge to build up sustainable development policies, in line with the UNESCO Historic Urban Landscape Recommendation, the Policy for the integration of a sustainable development perspective into the processes of the World Heritage Convention, and other relevant standards.

Cities as incubators of creativity and innovation

Cities, with their physical and social capital can work as networks for incubating and disseminating sustainable development practices based on creativity and innovation. Cultural and creative industries, such as design, gastronomy, arts and crafts, media, music, etc. play a relevant role both for economy of the contemporary society and for the expression of cultural diversity. Tourism itself, as a major object of urban policy and a growing economic sector, could be a powerful driver for sustainable development.

Cities and rural areas as cooperative systems

Cities associated to productive landscapes or natural protected areas could play as functional nodes in which to generate sustainable development by means of innovative integrated management and governance systems. Rural-urban connections are becoming a key issue in determining the quality of life of communities, both in economic and environmental terms, providing opportunities for sustainable income-generating activities, recreational areas, good and healthy food and other ecosystem services.

“Special attention is paid to the governance and management issues posed by areas hosting multiple UNESCO designations, and to crosscutting issues such as community involvement, tourism, territorial branding and partnership for fundraising.”, said Giovanna Segre, President of CSS-Ebla. “The Academy has an innovative approach as it brings together stakeholders from UNESCO global networks  that have sustainable development goals at an objective to identify, to share and to discuss management policies and practices.”

The 2016 workshop aims at further developing the participants’ capacities by means of combining presentations, tutorials, team work and site visits. The field work will focus on selected case studies in Turin, namely: the Residences of the Royal House of Savoy World Heritage property, the Collina Po Biosphere Reserve, and the Torino UNESCO Creative City for Design. The training course based at the UN Campus in Turin will debate the main challenges, priorities and opportunities posed by sustainable development in relation to the different categories of concerned designations. Training sessions will enable knowledge and experience sharing among participants, with contributions by lecturers from UNESCO, the academic world and other experts.

A final publication including the materials and case studies presented during the training course and side activities will be released.

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