News & events > International Award UCLG - Mexico City - Culture 21 | award winners announced
05 Aug 2016

International Award UCLG - Mexico City - Culture 21 | award winners announced


The winners of the International Award UCLG - Mexico City - Culture 21 have been announced. From a pool of city and individual entries from around the world, several initiatives in Asia and Europe are recognised, including a joint Individual award to Jon Hawkes, the Australian author of the book “The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: culture’s essential role in public planning”.

The Award objective is to recognize leading cities and personalities that have distinguished themselves through their contribution to culture as a dimension of sustainable development. The Award reaffirms the leadership of Mexico City in the relationship between culture and sustainable development, and the commitment of UCLG to place culture as a fundamental dimension of sustainable cities through the Agenda 21 for Culture. The Award has two categories: city and individual.


This category awards a city, or local or regional government, whose cultural policy has contributed significantly to linking the values of culture (heritage, diversity, creativity and transmission of knowledge) with democratic governance, citizen participation and sustainable development.

The 2016 award was made jointly to great city initiatives in Timbuktu and Quebec, with special mentions (among others) to:

  • Busan (Republic of South Korea), for the programme “Historic downtown culture cluster ‘Totatoga’”, which supports local artists’ activities, through the availability of venues, the structuring of sectors, and community activities for citizens.

  • Kaunas (Lithuania), for the project “Cabbage Field Šančiai - Small scale seeks big transformation”, that has mobilized residents in the transformation of a polluted and uncared for place in the Šančiai neighborhood through artistic projects of co-creation about the future of the city.


This category awards an internationally renowned person who has made a fundamental contribution to the relationship between culture and sustainable development. The award is given by the jury, without an open competition process. The selected individuals receive 25,000 Euros. The jury has decided that the individual award be shared ex-aequo by two people (in alphabetical order). Both personalities will receive 12,500 each :


  • Jon Hawkes.  Author of the book “The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: culture’s essential role in public planning”. With this book, Hawkes significantly contributed to transforming the basic structure of public policy making. The core concept that informs his work has become central to many policy development strategies at the local level throughout the world. By proposing culture as a fourth perspective from which to view sustainability (and indeed, all of the key concerns of public policy), Hawkes not only raised culture to the same level as the three traditional dimensions of policy development – economic, social and ecological – he also helped to focus the “sustainability” discourse on culture. For Hawkes, culture “has always been a process rather than a product” and its value “lies in its making far more than in what is made.” Consequently, locally generated cultural action becomes the key to sustainable development and takes place within and between communities. Without a vital and inclusive public culture, imagining a future (what else is planning?) can never be effective or wholesome. Always committed to practical local action, Jon currently works with Melbourne-based organisations, Ilbijerri Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Theatre Cooperative, The Substation Multi Arts Centre and J-Studios, an artist run studio collective.

Websites: ‘The Hawkes Library’ and Fouth Pillar

Download The Fourth Pillar of Sustainability: culture’s essential role in public planning

  • Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui: Sociologist and activist, she is a member of the free independent collective Colectivx Ch’ixi in Bolivia.

You can read the full list of award winners, jury members and further background info here