The year that just passed has left no-one indifferent. Extreme climate events multiplied in several countries with devastating effects on both people and their natural heritage; the political landscape in many democracies saw an exacerbation of violent or hate speech, extremism, radicalisation of identity discourse and divisive narratives. Twenty-twenty was also the year of the “Black Lives matter” movement which, born in the USA, shed a much-needed light on systemic racism, discrimination, and sometimes police abuse against minority groups also in European countries.
But first and foremost, twenty-twenty confronted all of us to a World pandemic that showed how fragile humanity is in the face of unexpected crisis. The Covid-19 emergency has posed enormous threats to equality, diversity and interaction, but confinement and other restrictions have also triggered strong solidarity between neighbours regardless from nationality or residence permits, intergenerational support, youth engagement to be part of the solution, strengthening of social relations through digital tools, creativity, simplification of the administrative machines and their bureaucracy, and a strong resilience of human beings facing extreme situations.
In most cases, cities have been able to engineer into a sustainable frame the solidarity that sprang spontaneously. Together, we adapted to unprecedented constraints, we kept up our values, our ideals, our energy, and our enthusiasm towards promoting interculturalism and inclusion. Together, we are trying to find the way to make the best possible use of the lessons learned from this difficult situation, and to apprehend forced change as an opportunity for it to be productive.
For all this, the ICC team wish to warmly thank all its members that contributed to make of 2020 yet another fantastic year for the ICC community.