Dear Colleagues and Mayors,
We are delighted to be the host city for the 2018 World Conference of the League of Historical Cities, an esteemed network promoting permanent and multifaceted exchanges, as well as friendship and trust between Historical Cities.
Bursa is a city that has blended its rich historical, natural, and cultural values. It is a city that has a strong entrepreneur spirit, where civilizations were established and history is made. Bursa has always been a center of attraction throughout its 8,500 years of history, which has provided a diverse culture and values from the Lydian, Bithynian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman civilizations; in addition to its unique natural beauty, which reflects Bursa’s modern urbanization skills. Bursa on the one hand has preserved its traditional values and brought them into modern times and on the other hand created its future with an inspiration from its past.
Bursa is one of the founding members of the Turkish Historical Cities Association and Turkish Healthy Cities Association, and has pioneered their development. Bursa is also a member of European Historic Thermal Towns Association and a part of European Historical Thermal Towns Destination. During the 38th World Heritage Committee meeting in 2014, with its Khans Region, Orhan Gazi Complex and surroundings, Sultan Complexes, and Cumalıkızık Village, Bursa was inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List as the 998th World Heritage Site.
The League of Historical Cities, with 115 members from 65 countries and regions has an important role in preserving and developing historical cities, promoting historical heritage, and sustainable tourism. The activities of the League to share knowledge and experiences between cities, increase their welfare, promote cooperation for culture and tourism deserve admiration. We are proud to be a part of such activities.
I believe the activities of the League with all its members, including İstanbul, Ankara, Şanlıurfa, Osmangazi, Konya and Bursa from Turkey, will inspire other historical cities throughout the world.
I invite you to Bursa, which is an open-air museum, to witness the magnificent harmony of history, nature, and modernity.
Alinur AKTAŞ Mayor,
Bursa Metropolitan Municipality
Dear Mayors and Colleagues in Historical Cities,
As the Chair City of the League of Historical Cities, I am extremely pleased that the 16th World Conference of Historical Cities will be held in Bursa, Turkey, the birthplace of the Ottoman Empire.
I would like to express my deep respect and thanks to the host city of Bursa and everyone involved for their work in preparing for the conference.
This year’s theme is “The Impact of Globalization on Culture and Way of Living.”
As globalization progresses, improvements in daily life conveniences continue along with vast changes of the surrounding environment. This comes with a quandary that all historical cities face of two often opposing choices; on the one hand historical cities should pass down properties and traditions to succeeding generations and on the other they should promote safety and security in residents’ daily lives while promoting tourism to vitalize the local economy.
40 years ago, Kyoto City made the Declaration of Kyoto as a City Open to the Free Exchange of World Cultures. It embodies the city’s ideal of being a place “where peoples of any country may assemble freely and in peace, regardless of race, creed or social system, for the purpose of cultural exchange.”
It has also been 30 years since the 1st World Conference of Historical Cities was held and since then world conferences have been held in cities around the world where participants can share ideas and opinions on how to solve the difficult problems faced by historical cities.
I believe that through these conferences we can increase initiatives that aid in realizing the sustainable development of historical cities and world peace through new advancements gained by the gathering of knowledge in areas such as culture, economics, and environmental conservation from each historical city.
I look forward to seeing you all in Bursa in September.
Mayor of Kyoto