UNESCO World Forum “Culture and Food: Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Development”

UNESCO World Forum “Culture and Food: Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Development”

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Culture and food stand at the crossroads of tradition and innovation. Organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the Municipality of Parma, the Government of the Italian Republic and with the support of the Emilia Romagna Region, the World Forum will analyze the  linkages between food, culture and society, as well as the evolving landscape of food security and food systems, and their pivotal role for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Food has always shaped our relationship to our environment, from the first agricultural communities to the fully-fledged industrial societies of the twenty-first century. Transmitted from generation to generation, the long-established processes of food collection, preparation and service are part of our cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, and are a source of cultural identity and pride, where each cuisine reflects a unique history, lifestyle, values and beliefs. Yet culinary practices have not remained static. Instead, they have crossed continents and acted as gateways to cross-cultural dialogue.

Nowadays, food culture continues to spark encounters, communication and exchange, adapting and innovating. Cities today are living environments, where traditions, cultures and behaviours influence one another, where intangible cultural heritage and creativity blend to give birth to new social practices around food. Popular media also sparks new ideas around food, healthy lifestyles and local produce through a multitude of food blogs, culinary festivals and celebrity TV chefs.

Food culture can provide solutions for the overlapping challenges of population growth, climate change and increasingly diverse societies. It provides inspiration to tackle challenges related to sustainable agricultural and fishery practices; education for behavioural changes and food security.  Promoting food diversity, behavioural change to ensure sustainable consumption and waste practices and lifestyles are key components of the global strategy to achieve the SDGs.

Bringing together over 150 participants and speakers, the World Forum will:

  • take stock of existing research and policies, measures and practices in the area of culture and food with key stakeholders;
  • identify key opportunities and challenges;
  • explore innovative pathways to achieve the SDGs.

The UNESCO World Forum will put culture and food in the spotlight through a number of side-events and interactive sessions from a wide range of audiences, including practitioners, international experts, government representatives, IGOs and NGOs.

The UNESCO World Forum will take place from 12 to 13 September 2019 in Parma (Italy), a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy, and will be hosted by the Emilia Romagna Region and the Municipality of Parma.


Venue:  Auditorium Niccolò Paganini
Viale Barilla, 27/a – 43121 Parma, Italy – Tel. +(39)0521.391373

For further information on the event, please contact unescoparmaforum@unesco.org

Where to sleep

Here you will find the list of accommodation facilities in the city: where to stay in Parma

For more information you can contact the tourist office at 0521218889 (every day from 9am to 7pm)

How to get to Parma

Parma is located in northern Italy, in the region Emilia-Romagna, halfway between Bologna and Milan. An ideal position to reach in a short time tourist attractions such as Venice, Ferrara, Verona, Turin as well as Cinque Terre, Portovenere and Portofino in Liguria and resorts along the coast of Romagna such as Rimini, Riccione and Cervia.

Situated along the motorway A1 Milan-Bologna and along the A15 Parma-La Spezia, Parma has two motorway exits:

1. exit “Parma Ovest”, next to the link-up of A1 and A15, about 10 Kms from the city, direction Milan;

2. exit “Parma” from A1.

Once you get out of the motorway, you can park your car in the exchange parking North and reach the city centre by bus: line 21 on week days and on Sundays and on festivities line 2.

From the Airport Giuseppe Verdi, only 5 kms away from the heart of the city, the historical centre can be easily reached by taxi or by bus n. 6.
Parma railway station is linked to the main Italian towns and to the most important European cities.


Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi 1, 43121 Parma

+39 0521 218889


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