Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development


This report from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) explores the role of culture for sustainable urban development, analyzing the situation, trends, threats, and opportunities in different regions and presenting a global picture of urban heritage conservation along with the promotion of cultural and creative industries as a basis for sustainable development in cities. It provides a policy framework to support governments in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, launched by the international community in 2015 through the adoption of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that seek to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and foster environmental sustainability by 2030. The 2030 Agenda recognizes the integral role of culture across many of the SDGs, and culture is directly addressed in Goal 11, which seeks to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” In 2016, the Third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) crafted the New Urban Agenda within the context of the SDGs, ensuring that the crucial role of culture is included in this agenda in the coming decades.

This report includes dossiers which highlight UNESCO’s efforts to promote sustainable urban development through its networks and programs, and an atlas with detailed maps situating the cities of those UNESCO networks. Throughout the report, brief case studies and perspectives highlight local, regional, or country projects, challenges, and opportunities to integrate and respect cultural considerations in urban development. The report is also accompanied by an executive summary, concept note, and high-level recommendations.


Culture Urban Future: Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Urban Development. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 2016.