So, how much do you know about
the European Capitals of Culture?
Declaration of Cuenca Council Extraordinary Plenary on March 9th 2007 ,in unanimous proposal of the Speakers Committee of approval of a Manifesto for the Candidacy of Cuenca as European Capital of Culture in 2016 so it may be endorsed by all those citizens and institutions that wish to support Cuenca 2016 Project.
For the first time Cuenca sets forth to become the protagonist to build the future from a Project with a regional dimension and International projection that must make us feel proud. of being from Cuenca. We intend to open a collective government process for the city that is able to activate citizen participation, making that the project is shared by all the region citizens.
We have a good opportunity to confront our social problems with other Spanish and European cities, and to cooperate in the search of solutions. We will work for a model of city that invites to think and work and not only to consume and observe. This model must be lasting, open, plural and capable to benefit all citizens.
The candidacy is thus a strategic stake for economical, social and cultural development based on sustainability criteria. As a future challenge we state the need to widen our economy strongly established in the service sector towards a more diversified, in which creative production, from new technologies, generates an important part of the produced wealth and of employment creation. We must not forget that in order to reach this sustainable development we must take into account our nearby rural areas.
We are aware that this objective will only be possible if we make it compatible with a more dynamic vision of culture, more active and with more citizen participation in its design and management, and with a higher presence of local and regional European institutions
It must also be a proposal that values our past, which takes into account our present and that stake for the future, joining harmonically tradition and modernity.
During the last years Cuenca has been declared World Heritage by Unesco like Toledo and the Mediterranean cave painting; we have a rich common heritage to which we have put into value, .with an identity element with capacity to impulse the development of the region.
On the other hand, our city has a series of characteristics that identify it as unique within a set of Spanish cities that apply or may apply to the candidacy of European Capital of Culture 2016: its character of landscape city in which popular architecture has merged with the natural environment where it is settled, the extension and natural richness of its surrounding territory, perfectly preserved and which pretends to assure its maintenance through corporate bodies that our European, national and regional regulation will consider to that effect.
We also have an important cultural infrastructure and equipments which we want to expand and improve involving programmes of international prestige that will position Cuenca as a reference for Religious music and abstract art. We are also a city that outstands in rural tourism where we should strengthen our international side.
Castilla la Mancha is showing its dynamism and its development capacity and today is characterized as a leader society in business birth rate and longevity. To also conceive culture as a good linked to a company is fundamental to guarantee the success of our project.
The regional proposal is a distinctive mark of our candidacy, to which cities and villages of the region can add up to, and will contribute with dynamism, speciality in the offer and a wide range of popular festivals which to some extent have made us what we are.
Thus, we are in good conditions to convince Europe and Spain that we are suitable for our candidacy and we are going to do it generating spaces that drive cultural creation and intercultural dialogue, with active participation of regional and city institutions, and of citizens whose access to international platform networks for cooperation we will promote from institutions in order to strengthen and enrich them and with them the city as a whole.
All this so we can converge with Europe and meet the future with the compromise, participation and social and cultural integration of all citizens.