Agenda 21 for Culture
Agenda 21 for Culture is the first international document that establishes action by cities and local governments to promote cultural development. Its signatories are governments and cities that have committed to cultural diversity, participatory democracy, human rights and creating conditions for peace. The main objective is to build solid bridges between culture and other spheres of activity and governance.
A leader among cities
In summer 2014, the international organization United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) designated Vaudreuil-Dorion as a pilot city to test and participate in the Agenda 21 for Culture update. Only 10 cities in the world were selected for this project. Vaudreuil-Dorion was the only North American city chosen. The UCLG thus recognized not only the importance of culture in Vaudreuil-Dorion, but also the dynamic nature of our cultural mediation initiatives. In 2015, Vaudreuil-Dorion had the honour of being named one of UCLG's 12 Leading Cities; the others were Angers (France), Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain), Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil), Bogotá (Colombia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Jeju (Province of) (South Korea), Lille-Metropole (France), Malmö (Sweden), Mexico City (F.D., Mexico), Milan (Italy), and Talca (Chile). UCLG coaches Vaudreuil-Dorion in the development of its local Agenda 21 by working actively on specific themes, including governance, cultural rights, territory, etc.
Whereas Culture 21: Actions was adopted in March 2015 in continuation of the 2004 Agenda 21 for Culture, and the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, as a pilot city designated by the Committee on Culture of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), contributed to the development and content of that document;
Whereas the citizens of Vaudreuil-Dorion have benefited for years from the positive effects of applying the principles underlying Agenda 21 for Culture;
Whereas the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion is recognized by UCLG as a Leading City in the application of Agenda 21 for Culture, and is located in a region that is part of the Agenda 21 for Culture dynamics;
Whereas the cultural policy of the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, adopted in June 2013, was thought out and drafted with consideration to the main principles of Agenda 21 for Culture and is understood as an action framework with great potential to make culture a central aspect of life in society and to promote its sustainable integration in all aspects of local life;
Whereas a Vaudreuil-Dorion Culture 21 Committee was set up in September 2015 to bring together people from all walks of life to work toward an integrated, across-the-board vision of the City's cultural development and the engagement of all citizens.
Culture is one of the four pillars of sustainable development in our community, alongside the economy, society and the environment. It's a critical component in building a fair, inclusive and prosperous society for present and future generations.
Inspired by comments submitted by citizens in the wake of the declaration by the Les Arts et la Ville network, the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, on behalf of its citizens, recognizes the following principles:
- Culture is memory, for it allows every citizen to know the heritage and the history of our region. It sets out markers that lead us into the lives of our ancestors... their knowledge, skills, day-to-day lives, dreams and imaginings.
- Culture is presence, for it becomes the daily relationship between citizens and their living environment. A relationship that evolves and lets individual differences contribute to the uniqueness of the community. Citizens experiment and interact with fellow citizens and cultural actors to transform the community and make it even more their own.
- Culture is projects, for it is through culture that cultural actors and citizens make society look at itself, assess and critique itself, evolve and open up to new dimensions. The preservation and enrichment of cultural resources, in particular our heritage and the French language, are paramount to sustainable development.
- Culture shapes our identity and allows us to continually reinvent ourselves. It promotes the creation of meaning in our lives through our interactions.
- All persons have the right to access and participate in cultural life, to express their culture, to construct their identity and to improve their living environment.
- Cultural democracy and cultural citizenship concern all individuals and organizations. Corporate citizens have an important role to play in the cultural development and improvement of the quality of life in Vaudreuil-Dorion.
- Education and the opening of spaces for dialogue, in particular through information and communication technologies, play a fundamental role in the emergence of individual cultural citizenship as well as the community's creativity and capacity for innovation.
- Culture is a major driver of social cohesion and an essential tool for fostering harmonious inclusion and integration of every citizen, as well as dialogue and a rich and unifying community life. It contributes to the well-being and development of citizens of all generations.
- Culture invites people to open up to the world through reciprocal exchanges based on mutual respect and care for preserving individual identities.
- The dynamic development of local culture can only be ensured by strengthening citizens' capacity for action and favouring the emergence of visionary leaders.
- Culture is an important driver of economic development, both as an economic sector in itself and through its ability to enhance the attractiveness of a community and the pride of its citizens, and to spur and revitalize local development energies.
Culture is an essential aspect of territorial development and the protection and quality of the built and natural environments. It beautifies living environments and gives them identity, in addition to creating healthy, safe, sustainable and stimulating environments where citizens feel they belong and want to live and thrive. Living environments should be designed for the present and the future, thus ensuring their sustainability, encouraging their use by citizens and promoting their full vitality.
- Culture is a determinant of human health and a driving force for good health in the full sense, not only physical but psychological and social.
- Culture affects all walks of life and all actors in society, because it promotes continuous improvement of the quality of life and well-being of the citizens of Vaudreuil-Dorion. Moreover, it requires the participation of all. That is why we need exchanges, networks, partnerships, decompartmentalization and cooperation, as well as the commitment of one and all--whether as individual citizens or as public, private or civil society organizations--to vitalize local cultural development and give culture a key role in the sustainable development of Vaudreuil-Dorion.
- All persons and organizations in Vaudreuil-Dorion are called upon to sign this declaration and commit, freely and to the extent of their abilities, to take action in this direction.