Guests experience city's unique flavor at top global forum

Authors: China Daily


"I really like the atmosphere of Chengdu. The local people are friendly and warmhearted. When walking on the street, people will say nihao to you with a smile." That's how Paul Owens, director of the World Cities Culture Forum, described the atmosphere of Chengdu, at the 2018 World Cities Culture (Tianfu) Symposium in the city.
In his point of view, friendliness is one of the most prominent characteristics of Tianfu Culture, as the lifestyle of the city is known. In fact, its openness, inclusiveness and hospitality are the reasons the organization decided to hold the event there, he said.
Chengdu has a massive population, and also boasts strong economic potential.
It is open, inclusive and convenient, which are major factors in its growing reputation as a world class cultural city, said Owens, adding that Chengdu's promotion of cultural development has imbued residents with a relaxed lifestyle which regularly features rich cultural events, reflecting the city's soft power.
"The world is realizing the amazing changes Chinese cities are undergoing, and that is more than the speed of economic growth," he said.
A renewed focus on culture is also part of China's revitalization, and by choosing Chengdu as the host city, participants in the forum got a firsthand look at the sweeping changes underway.
For citizens of Chengdu, Owens said, the forum was a chance for increased exposure to cities around the world, especially those from nations involved in the Belt and Road Initiative. Visitors, too, gained from the forum, as focus on culture is an important tool to solve many of the challenges the world is facing, he noted.
During the forum, participants reached agreement on what is called the "Chengdu Declaration", to stress the importance of cooperation among cities. The move is expected to expand the influence of Chengdu and promote international collaboration between the capital of Sichuan and other cities.
Chengdu was one of the first famous historic and cultural cities in China and is among China's top 10 ancient cities, with a civilization that can be traced back 4,500 years and specific sites that go back 2,300 years.
In recent years, the city has taken on the challenge of transforming itself into a renowned world cultural city amid the country's campaign of further opening-up. Already, the city's music, fashion, design sectors, in addition to other creative sectors, are growing rapidly.
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