Review: 2017

The Workshop conference PEACE.CULTURE.CITY 2017 brings delegates from European cities together with representatives of citizens’ initiatives, the scientific and academic world, culture and international organisations. In joint workshops, they will be discussing the tasks, opportunities and challenges for urban cultures of peace.

The three-day event has been organised by MEMORARE PACEM. Association for a Culture of Peace, in conjunction with the City of Dresden. Further cooperation partners are the European Committee of the Regions and the Association of German Cities.

Peace culture as a communication task

Urban communication stands at the focus of the PEACE.CULTURE.CITY 2017 conference: Peace culture is to be explored as a communication task for neighbourhoods, education, culture and politics.

Cities are spaces of intense communication. Their structures and their identity develop in the interactions of citizens with each other and with the world around them. Prerequisites for an urban culture of peace are public discourse on equal footing and democratic debate. But how can peaceful communication in our cities succeed – against the background of increasing social disparities, cultural fragmentation, political tension, global challenges and media upheavals? How can the inhabitants of our cities bring their voices to bear in democratic opinion formation and decision-making? How must urban communication be designed in order to avoid sudden crisis and violence? How can a municipal culture of peace be learned in exchanges with each other? How does productive communication develop between citizens on the one hand and municipal institutions and local politics on the other? Those are the kind of questions to which the International Dresden Dialogue 2017 is seeking answers.

Starting point of a consultation process

The workshop conference builds upon the results of preparatory workshops held in Dresden over the past two years. It is at the same time the starting point for a longer-term consultation process: It is not sufficient merely to proclaim an urban culture of peace; it must be implemented practically in international exchanges, critical discussion and trans-border cooperation.