Cuenca, Ecuador

Recovering ancient cultural knowledgeThe city is located in a valley surrounded by unique mountain formations. Due to its cultural and historical richness, Cuenca was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.Vision and motivationIn accordance with the Organic Code of Territorial Organization, Autonomy and Decentralization (COOTAD), Cuenca’s vision is to strengthen its citizens’ social memory and human development.Its objective is to guarantee free access to knowledge, including science, technology and cultural exchange. This knowledge is the fruit of inherited experience and wisdom, intrinsic to nature and human culture.Challenges and goalsThe city aims to boost economic development by reinforcing its cultural assets, specifically by organizing community projects for all age groups that revive and update ancient knowledge, values and artisanal practices. The intangible heritage of the Andean region has been lost: it now needs to be recovered and restored.Plan and implementationCuenca develops projects designed to build civic values and reinforce cultural and historic memory (e.g. by reintroducing ancient plant species and reviving culinary traditions and handicrafts). It promotes and disseminates them through publicity and educational campaigns. The municipality offers courses for craftspeople; workshops designed to revive traditional skills; business skills courses; and digital training for the elderly.The regional planning strategy (PDOT) includes the following provisions and facilities:a library network and lecture series;cultural communication: the conceptualization and promotion of culture, arts and interculturalism;a circle of knowledge: making tablets available to students at public schools;cultural centres; anda municipal education system offering civic education for cultural entrepreneurship.
City population
City GDP per capita
Less than USD 10,000
Average number of years of schooling
Palacios Ullauri Mr Pedro Renán
Focal point
Ms. Ana I. Maldonado Jaurequi