League of historical cities
2021 world conference
Kazan / Russia


Theme of the 17th World Conference of Historical Cities:
“Historical and cultural heritage as the basis of national and regional identity”.

Dear friends!

The capital of the constituent Republic of Tatarstan, the hospitable city of Kazan, has been chosen as the venue for the next 17th World Conference of Historical Cities. It is a great honor and responsibility for us.

For the first time in the history of the League of Historical Cities, the World Conference will be held in Russia. And not just simply in Russia, but in the center of Eurasia, which our city has always been considered to be. Kazan stands on the route that connected the East and the West more than three thousand years ago. It was a meeting point for cultures, traditions, lifestyles of the West and the East.

Among the world megacities, Kazan is a monument of a unique scale, which has preserved the historical center in some essential ways and surrounded itself with magnificent suburban ensembles.

For generations and over 1,000 years, our people have been passing on a caring attitude towards their cultural heritage treated as the spiritual, cultural, economic and social capital of irreplaceable value. Our citizens are our main wealth; they are active, creative and friendly. Kazan loves and knows how to welcome its guests. We will create all conditions to host successfully the 17th World Conference of Historical Cities.

The Conference is included in the Federal and Republican action plans for the preparation and organization of the Republic of Tatarstan 100th anniversary celebration.

Our city, as well as the League of Historical Cities, is a combination of different cultures and traditions, unique architectural monuments, rich historical heritage. Kazan is one of the apt examples of how people of different nationalities and religions live peacefully in one city, in an atmosphere of friendliness and tolerance. Ethnic and religious diversity in the capital of Tatarstan has been preserved for more than a century.

The World Conference of Historical Cities provides us with a great opportunity to share our ongoing initiatives aimed at preserving the traditions, customs, language, culture and history of the regions. We have something to show the participants of the Conference, and we are ready to organize many interesting events so that all our guests can learn from our positive experience.

One of the most unforgettable and colorful events of the summer of 2021 will be the National Costumes Parade. Representatives of 115 nationalities living in Kazan will march along the central streets of the city, and the Parade will end on one of the squares where it will be possible to participate in festivities and taste dishes of different cuisines from of the world. We invite our guests from the League of Historical Cities to bring also their national costumes and take part in celebrations.

We hope that the 17th World Conference of Historical Cities will become not only a bright event in the life of each participant, but also a platform for active discussions and the development of new strategies of maintaining national identity for future generations.

Kazan has everything: new ideas, new impressions, the past, the present, and the future. And we are ready to share all this with the Conference participants! Welcome to Kazan!

Mayor of Kazan Ilsur Metshin

Dear Mayors and colleagues of Historical Cities,

The 17th World Conference of the League of Historical Cities will be held in Kazan, Russia for the first time in history. Kazan is a beautiful historical city as well as a model city where different religions and cultures peacefully coexist.

Since the World Conference of the League of Historical Cities was established in order to make a great contribution to world peace, I am very much delighted as the Chair that the World Conference will be held in such a great place like Kazan. I would like to express my deep respect and gratitude to the Mayor of Kazan and to everyone involved for their contribution and support.

The 17th World Conference focuses on the theme “Historical and Cultural Heritage as the Base of National and Regional Identity.” The world has been globalized and people actively travel across borders not only for sightseeing but also for business, employment, study and migration.

Additionally, the drastic increase in the volume of information as well as in its distribution speed have made it much easier for us to assimilate elements of cultures and ideas from other countries into our daily life. However, my concern is that it has also become difficult for us to maintain an original culture of each region and that we may lose our regional identities and uniqueness.

Particularly in regional cities or suburbs, we all have to consider how to protect intangible heritages such as folk traditions, traditional arts, costumes, festivals and food that we have cherished for a long time, and how to revive them as the creative industries. Localism enables us to make the development of local communities as well as to have well-balanced relations among regions.

I am grateful if you, as leaders of historical cities who are responsible in city planning and fostering people for the future, would attend the conference in Kazan to share your knowledge and experiences with us, regardless of the size and population of your city and the number of world heritage sites your city has.

I hope that we can reaffirm at the conference the fact that the succession of cultural heritages would enhance attractiveness and prosperity of our cities, and I also hope that our initiatives for creating sustainable historical cities would be further promoted.

I am looking forward to seeing you all in Kazan in June.

Sincerely, KADOKAWA Daisaku
Chair of the League of Historical Cities/Mayor of Kyoto