Culture 2030: The role of culture for sustainable development

Culture 2030: The role of culture for sustainable development

Social responsibility and use of data


Culture 2030 Indicators is the UNESCO document that puts together a set of indicators to support Administrations and project managers to make smarter choices for developing cultural projects. Even if, in 2015, among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development had not been included a goal concerning culture, the Culture 2030 document has clearly shown that cultural factors are far from negligible. In fact, cultural factors affect 14 of the 17 SDGs (goals) proposed by the Agenda.


The 22 indicators of Culture 2030 are qualitative-quantitative, economic and descriptive – and can be applied at both the urban and national levels. The indicators give precise elements to the two roles entrusted to culture and its organizations: of GUIDE to the construction of new imaginaries and of FACILITATOR of innovation through processes, skills but above all social inclusion.



The 22 indicators are divided into 4 groups:

– Environment & Resilience
– Economy & Prosperity
– Knowledge & Skills
– Inclusion & Participation




Also, gender equality is always underlined as a very strong indicator of sustainable development in the cultural sector. For each indicator the document provides a data sheet that specifies the objective through qualitative-quantitative data and, sometimes, inserts some lines of analysis.


Learn how to use data and contextualize them


The document therefore suggests to use data and learn how to contextualize them in order to understand where we want to go, to design and finance effective actions that meet the actual demand of the stakeholders. The effort of collecting and evaluating data is substantial but inevitable in order not to waste further precious resources. It is undeniable, data help us to verify what is economically unsustainable and has little chance of lasting.


The Venetian Cluster projects have embraced this vision especially in the USEFALL project (but also in the recently completed REFREsh and RUINS projects).


The projects


The aim is to find coherence between economic, cultural, social and environmental development. UNESCO emphasizes the importance of the relationship with the social and environmental sphere with a more participatory and fair perspective. The vision of cultural planning must be expanded and must stimulate the involvement of the community and the territory, we have not the possibility of going in a different direction with respect to the needs of our citizens but we must strive to walk in the same direction.


To identify the right direction, we need to use an approach that is not dictated by our habits but by a set of complex multi-value and territorial elements such as the one proposed by UNESCO.


Moreover, the goals of the 2030 Agenda are unattainable if not with the contribution of cities, the first place of verification and innovation of culture, as well as the first test-bed for activities of participation and social inclusion.

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