The UCLG Culture Summit: the world's most important gathering on cities, culture and sustainable development

The UCLG Culture Summit: the world's most important gathering on cities, culture and sustainable development

Since its founding Congress in Paris (2004) and especially after the approval at the Congress in Mexico City (2010) of the declaration "Culture, the fourth pillar of sustainable development", UCLG has always placed culture at the centre of its political agenda. Following the success of the first two UCLG Culture Summits (Bilbao, 2015; and Jeju, 2017), and taking into account the growing importance of culture in the framework of sustainable cities, UCLG's Executive Bureau decided to convene a third UCLG Culture Summit in 2019.

The Autonomous City of Buenos Aires (Argentina) will host the third UCLG Culture Summit on 3-5 April 2019. The City of Buenos Aires has been a pioneer in the development of cultural and creative industries in Latin America, which today represent almost 10% of its economy. It is also a founding member of the UCLG Committee on Culture and has contributed extensively to its work, from the drafting of the Agenda 21 for Culture and its approval in 2004 to the present day. Currently, the City of Buenos Aires co-chairs the Committee, along with Mexico City and Lisbon. Hosting the third edition of the UCLG Culture Summit in the City of Buenos Aires will allow the City to continue and reaffirm the commitment it has made since its inception to UCLG's Committee on Culture and to the guiding principles and objectives.

The 3rd UCLG Culture Summit will bring together more than 500 people from all over the world - from cities, local governments, experts, and academics, to cultural agents and sustainable development actors. Cities are leading the way towards the recognition of cultural factors as a key dimension of sustainable development, and therefore the Summit will be entitled "Culture in Sustainable Development. Cities lead".

From local implementation to international debate

The Summit will be a forum for the exchange of knowledge, peer to peer learning and the creation and strengthening of the networks that work with cultural policies for local economic development. Throughout three days, the Summit will combine plenary sessions and workshops, Networking hubs and visits to cultural landmarks of the host city.

In every city in the world, there are extraordinary initiatives that succeed in expanding liberties and improving people's lives through cultural processes, whether in the field of heritage, creativity or diversity. The Summit will reinforce messages on the role of culture in sustainable development at the local level, with concrete examples of policies, programmes and projects.

The Summit will also give visibility to international debates on culture, cities and sustainable development, which are conditioned by recent agreements such as the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the New Urban Agenda and the Declaration of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments. It will address the place of cultural aspects in global sustainable development agendas, as well as how to strengthen the position of culture in their implementation.

Throughout the various sessions, the following key issues will be addressed in particular:

  • • Culture in the SDGs: Towards 2030
    • A gendered perspective in cultural policies
    • Implementation of Culture 21 Actions
    • Social Transformation and Culture
    • Independent Culture

The full programme is already available in the dedicated site of the Summit.

The Summit: The venue for UCLG’s political debate

For the first time, the UCLG Culture Summit will host some of UCLG’s Policy Councils, which usually take place in the framework of UCLG’s Executive Bureau and World Council. In this context, three of UCLG's four political councils will become Summit sessions and will discuss the cultural component in each of them.

The session “Right to the city: Implementation of cultural rights in the city: what is it about?" will open a direct dialogue aimed at all UCLG cities and local governments based on the experiences of the actors working with the manual Culture 21 Actions, promoted by UCLG. The session “Opportunities for all, culture and peace, Generational Dialogues and Creativity: Strategies for Youth” will include initiatives related to youth, education for non-violence, inclusion and the culture of peace, and the session "Sustainable Cities: Experimenting with creativity in public space" will present initiatives on how we inhabit public space through culture and creativity.

UCLG’s fourth and final Policy Council, "Territorial and multi-level governance, and sustainable financing", will take place in Montevideo (Uruguay) on 6 April, together with the other official sessions of UCLG's 2019 Executive Bureau.

Don't miss this indispensable summit!

The UCLG Culture Summit is a unique event. It is the only event that brings together cities, local governments and other key actors committed to the effective implementation of policies and programmes on culture and sustainability at the local level.

In order to facilitate registration and the dissemination of all relevant information related to the Summit, UCLG's Committee on Culture has provided a website dedicated to the meeting, which includes general information about the Summit, presents programme information, provides logistical information, and offers a detailed explanation of the registration process at the Summit:

Registration is open until and including 15 March 2019. We invite all our members and collaborators to keep the dates of the Summit, April 3-5, 2019, in their agendas, and advise them to register as soon as possible, as the number of participants is limited to 500 people.

More information: