General goals

General Goals

The UNESCO Chair will act as the central nucleus of the work project support network and help to share studies and experiences amongst city professionals and Universities. This relationship will structure the research carried out on the basis of academic and professional experiences. The aim is to move towards a new culture of better balanced and more supportive and sustainable world urbanization, based on good government and a culture of Peace.

The UNESCO Chair will also develop a solidarity project network linking universities and city professionals in over 100 intermediate cities throughout the world, facilitating the transversal development of knowledge and understanding and helping to share it amongst participants in the project. Intermediate cities contain the majority of the world’s urban population and their mediating role is based on urbanization. They are therefore more aware of urban-rural relations than the largest cities and also more harmonious and favourable to the local and territorial development of the world’s regions.

Although modern-day world urbanization is an evident process, projections and definitions tend to be based on the world’s large cities, megacities and metropolises. The fact is, however, that the majority of the world’s urban population does not live in these types of city. Over 60% of the planet’s urban population lives in cities with less than 1 million inhabitants. These are cities that are much better integrated with and related to their respective territories and that mediate between the urban dimension and global processes and which we therefore refer to as intermediate cities.

In the large and varied reality of the CIMES, it is possible to find many experiences and good practises, and also a wide range of local scale studies. It is a question of working together in a solidarity network, involving their respective city professionals, Universities and local institutions, in order to promote an exchange of experiences and studies. In this way, it will be possible to gather together proposals that will enable us to construct a more human, harmonious, balanced and sustainable urbanization model, in which cities will be regarded as centres of civilization that are open to the rural world and their own territories and populations.

The Chair will present proposals to meet the UN’s Millennium Objectives, particularly focusing on aspects relating to the problems associated with explosive urbanization, because in many regions of the world, the presence of intermediate cities actively contributes to the structuring and organisation of vast territories. This is particularly important as other types of city are not present in every geographic context. For all of these reasons, the contribution intermediate cities may be crucial for promoting a new, and definitively more human, urbanization culture. These cities are called to play a role as symbolic, institutional and functional centres for their respective territories. They must do this through the creation of service nuclei, providing higher level facilities and generating activities that integrate local, urban and territorial development. This is the supportive mission of the UNESCO Chair.