In 2022-2023, the 5th edition of the International Award UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21 recognises cities and individuals for their relentless efforts and dedication towards the guarantee of cultural rights in times of crisis and their outstanding work on the relation between culture, sustainable development and caring societies.

The objective of the International Award UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21 is to recognize leading cities and personalities that have distinguished themselves through their contribution to culture as a dimension of sustainable development. The Award has two categories: city and individual.

After more than two years since the pandemic outbreak, there is an impressive collection of cultural policies, programmes and projects that have been organised by cities and local and regional governments, often in partnership with civil society and/or other actors (networks, universities, activists, collectives, foundations, national or international institutions, etc.). The Award has been an exceptional opportunity to place the way out of the pandemic crisis within a framework of protection and promotion of cultural rights, and to ensure that no-one, and no territory, is left behind.

Drawing on the successful four first editions of the Award and considering the recent specific context worldwide, this year the 5th edition of the Award aimed at recognising cities and personalities who have excelled in the promotion of cultural rights in the context of the Covid-19 crisis and post-pandemic recovery, and/or that have promoted culture as an important part of the caring system.

As from May 2022, 101 submissions from cities and local and regional governments from all corners of the world were received. The International Jury held its final meeting in June 2022. The Jury expresses the sincerest gratitude to all cities and local or regional governments who have dedicated efforts and time in this process. The final results were announced on 15 June 2022 during the Executive Bureau of UCLG held in Seville.



In the category “City / Local or Regional Government”, the International Jury decided that the winners are:

BUENOS AIRES (Argentina), with the project “Abasto Cultural Neighbourhood: economic boost and urban regeneration”;

DUBLIN (Ireland), with the initiative “‘AWE’ – Cultural Engagement through Accessibility, Wellbeing and Evidence”.


Additionally, the Jury decided to give special mentions to the following projects:

BANDUNG (West Java, Indonesia), for the project “Hutan Menyala (Glowing Forest)”;

BUSAN (Republic of Korea), for “Busan Galmaetgil, a cultural value promotion project manifested through urban trails”;

IZMIR (Turkey), for “Izmir’s Project on Boosting Up Culture as Key for Resilience and Development”;

JINJU (Republic of Korea), for “The Art Delivery Project”;

OUAGADOUGOU (Burkina Faso), for the project “Cultural Development of Greater Ouaga, City of Wellbeing and Social Cohesion”;

TEVRAGH ZEINA (Nouakchott, Mauritania), for the project “HEYA Nouakchott: Tevragh Zeina, Creative City”.


In the category “Individual”, the International Jury decided that the winners are LOURDES ARIZPE and DAISY FANCOURT.


The 5th edition of the Award is committed to giving visibility to dozens and dozens of initiatives from all continents that have responded to the challenges faced by humanity, including the post-pandemic recovery, the climate emergency, and the aggravation of inequalities worldwide.

Specifically, the 5th edition of the International Award UCLG – Mexico City – Culture 21 has recognised the best actions in this field, promoting them with the labels “Innovative sparks” and “Planning with care”. These projects will also become good practices in the “OBS”, the database of UCLG Culture Committee on cities, culture and sustainable development.

The Jury and the organisers of the 5th edition of the Award congratulate and express their sincerest gratitude to cities and local governments that are supporting cultural initiatives and infrastructure, encouraging collective reflection upon the relationship between cultural rights, democracy, freedoms, peace, equality, public space and wellbeing, and promoting international cooperation and solidarity, with initiatives that make evident that culture is a pillar of people’s lives, and it is central in the recovery of this and other crises, and beyond. The full communiqué of the Jury is available here.

The International Award Ceremony will take place in Mexico City in September 2022. Awards for both categories will be presented on 27 September 2022, in the framework of the celebration of Mondiacult 2022, the most important international conference of UNESCO on cultural policies, after 40 years of its first edition. All members of UCLG are cordially invited to attend