European Conference of Ministers of Culture for more building culture. Davos Declaration adopted

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From 20 to 22 January 2018, Europe's ministers of culture met in Davos, the highest town in the Alps at 1,560 metres, at the invitation of Swiss President Alain Berset.

In the run-up to the World Economic Forum (WEF), they adopted the "Davos Declaration on Building Culture", which outlines ways in which a high level of building culture can be anchored politically and strategically in Europe. As an interdisciplinary field of action, building culture is of great importance for integrated and sustainable urban and regional development.

Gunther Adler, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety and also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Foundation for Building Culture, adopted the declaration on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany. He said: "The Davos Declaration brings building culture more into focus internationally. We thank the Swiss government for its initiative. We will support our partners in carrying the Davos Declaration beyond the conference and into the wider world - nationally, European and internationally. And we want to bring cultural heritage and building culture into the 'Urban Agenda for the EU'." Reiner Nagel, Chairman of the Board of the German Federal Foundation for Building Culture, was involved in the event as a member of the drafting group.

The Davos Declaration highlights the central role of culture for the quality of living space. It reminds us that building is culture and creates space for culture. Taking a holistic approach, it emphasises the shared responsibility of politics and society for the built environment and calls for a European policy of high building culture.

The built environment has a significant influence on the well-being and quality of life of its inhabitants. It is crucial for social interaction and cohesion, for creativity and identification with the place. The high-quality further development of the existing settlement area and the careful treatment of the landscape are among the central challenges of today's society and of future building culture.

By organising the Conference of Ministers of Culture on the occasion of the European Heritage Year, Switzerland is paying tribute to the importance of building culture, which includes building heritage as well as contemporary planning and building.

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