The World Bank has described urbanization as ‘the defining phenomenon of
the 21st century’. 90% of urban growth is happening in the developing world
and over 50% of urban dwellers are youth. Two billion new urban inhabitants
are expected in the next 20 years.
In the face of such an evolution and the potential risk of alienation of a
growing number of urban populations, new models for viable, diverse,
peaceful, creative and vibrant cities are needed in the developing world.
The Colloquium was attended by over 800 people from 65 ACP and EU countries,
including high-level policy makers, artists and professionals, senior
officials, MEPs and representatives of European civil society and the media.
The initial reactions of participants indicated that, at the professional
level, many of the participants have initiated contacts and even joint
projects and, at the political level, the potential of culture for
development has been seized and several decision makers in ACP countries have
already declared their intention to intensify their work on cultural