2016 Edition

Florence is getting ready to host the second edition of Unity in Diversity, the mayors’ summit which gathered mayors from all over the world for the first time in November 2015.
Starting from what has now become a platform subscribed by the mayors of over 60 countries, we decided to focus on Cities’ Resilience for this edition.

In specific, being 2016 the 50th anniversary of the flood which destroyed the city on November 4, 1966, the second edition of the summit will be dedicated mostly to the cities that face daily issues related to the coexistence with water and rivers, but not only: climate change, cultural and natural heritage protection, natural and energy resources will be the topics mayors will discuss together with high profile international speakers. As we all bear in mind that most conflicts are generated by natural and energy resources control, a special focus will be dedicated to endangered cultural and natural heritage in conflict areas, as well.

Today more than ever we have the urge for rapid and incisive actions so that resilience will not be just a spontaneous quality of a single community but a real long term strategy for cities.
For the safety of our planet, therefore for our future, our joint commitment has to be a shared and established principle of action.

For those reasons we want to keep working in the belief that inspired Unity in Diversity, that is to say that cities and mayors are the first to deal with everyday issues and that local governments can play a strong role in the growth of a community firstly, therefore of a Country. While dialogue between nations involves a more complex system, dialogue between cities and local institutions can be facilitated by the tools of local governance.

The summit will be held in Florence from November 2-4 2016. For the first two days mayors will have the opportunity to share ideas and governance best practices about natural disasters prevention, resilience, climate change and sustainable development policies. Panels and conferences will be held by high profile experts in the field. Scientists, UN representatives, international government and economic world representatives will be with us to give their contribution since sustainable development is a responsibility and an investment for humanity, as well as the cultural and natural heritage our cites have to govern.

On November 4 we will close the conference with the commemoration of the 1966 flood, to remember those terrible moments with the city, international and national authorities. Above all this will be the occasion to thank the thousands “Mud Angels” who came then from all over world to witness and remind us, through their incredible generosity, that Florence and its Cultural Heritage did not belong only to the Florentine People but to Humanity.
Back then, likewise nowadays, Unity in Diversity represented the salvation of a city, its communities, its glorious past but above all its future.

We would be delighted by your presence to share this memory and keep working together for the future of our communities next November in Florence.

Dario Nardella
Mayor of Florence