In late November UNESCO published the 2016 edition of its “Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Cities, Culture: Urban Future”, one of the case studies of which is dedicated to the town of Dilijan. The case study notes the re-emergence of the town as a centre of education and culture through the establishment of UWC Dilijan in 2014 and a number of other projects implemented here.
In its heyday Dilijan was widely known, firstly in the Russian Empire and later in the Soviet Union, as a spa town favoured by artists for its sloping wooded hills and favourable climate. However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Dilijan saw a long period of severe hardship, which continued until recently. Owing to the numerous educational and cultural initiatives emerging in Dilijan, the town is currently the fastest-growing urban settlement in Armenia. This, in turn, drew the attention of the Culture for Sustainable Urban Development Initiative by UNESCO, leading them to explore the town. This ground-breaking report presents a series of analyses and recommendations for fostering the role of culture for sustainable development. Drawing on a global survey implemented with nine regional partners and insights from scholars, NGOs and urban thinkers, the report offers a global overview of urban heritage safeguarding, conservation and management, as well as the promotion of cultural and creative industries, highlighting their role as resources for sustainable urban development.
“With over half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, the road to sustainable development passes through cities in every corner of the globe”, writes Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO in her foreword to the 2016 edition of the “Global Report on Culture for Sustainable Cities, Culture: Urban Future”.
Launched by UNESCO in 2015, the Culture for Sustainable Urban Development Initiative seeks to demonstrate the link between the implementation of the UNESCO Culture Conventions and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, an ambitious, universal agenda for creating a more peaceful, prosperous and equitable world.