The Conference of the Mayors of Capital Cities

 

In 1955, according to the argument he exposed in Geneva, La Pira invites to Florence the Mayors of the Capital Cities of the world with the aim of discussing the possible role of the cities in the construction of peace.

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Despite of the political climate characterized by the Cold War, the Conference was attended by Mayors from US, USSR and even from the People's Republic of China (that the Western governments did not recognise yet).

In the inaugural speech La Pira said:

(…) The threat of atomic war has had this effect: it made those who have the responsibility and love for it discover the mysterious and in a certain way infinite value of the human city.

(…) History and civilization are written and fixed, so to speak, as if petrified, in the walls, the temples, the palaces, the houses, the workshops, the schools and the hospitals which go to make the city.

Cities, and especially their foundations, remain firmly based on eternal values, bringing with them throughout the centuries and the generations, the historical events of which they were the protagonists and witnesses.

They remain, like living books of human history and human civilization, intended for the spiritual and material edification of future generations.

(…) The crisis of our time – which is one of disproportion and immoderation with respect to what is truly human – gives us proof of the value, which we might call therapeutic and crucial, which the city has in this regard.

As has been well said, indeed, the crisis of our time may be defined as the uprooting of the individual from the organic context of the city.

Well then, this crisis can only be resolved by means of a new, deeper and more organic implanting of the individual in the city in which he or she is born and in the history and tradition of which that individual is organically placed.

(…) We will give birth, as it were, to a new diplomatic instrument: one that expresses the desire for peace of the cities of the entire world and which makes apact of brotherhood at the very basis of the life of Nations.