Creative Cities Network
Not to be confused with:
- Creative Cities, an international European project designed and managed by the British Council.
- Creative city, an urban planning concept.
- Creative City, an urban development project in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates.
The Creative Cities Network is a project under the patronage of UNESCO. With the aim of celebrating and maintaining cultural diversity, the alliance formed by member cities share their experiences in promoting the local heritage, as well as discuss plans on how to cope with the influx of globalization. The Creative Cities Network aims to find and enrich a member city’s cultural identity in the midst of a growing trend towards internationalism.
The project focuses on the main product of excellence of these cities, and finds ways to maintain its relevance in city life, local economy and social development. The fields of excellence are classified among: Literature, Film, Music, Craft and Folk Art, Design, Media Arts, and Gastronomy.
Despite the general knowledge that change (towards modernity) is generated from urbanization, the Network aims to adapt and harness the proliferation of technology and social development to further a city’s product of excellence. In doing so, the city becomes a center for the protection of a past industry and its eventual preservation.
- 1 Categories
- 2 UNESCO Creative Cities by Country
- 3 References
- 4 Further reading and viewing
- 5 External links
UNESCO Cities of Literature
The first cultural category introduced to the Creative Cities Network was Literature. Edinburgh was the inaugural city in 2004. Cities which apply to become Cities of Literature must exhibit an urban environment where poetry, literature or drama plays an integral role. They must have numerous publishing and editing facilities which UNESCO judge to be of sufficient quality. There must be a quantity of high quality libraries, book shops and public museums dedicated to archiving and collecting national and foreign literature. A city of literature candidate must also have a recognised education system with schools, colleges and universities offering a wide range of initiatives and courses which promote literature. Finally, the cities have to be able to show experience in hosting events which promote the benefits of literature in addition to media marketing towards literature.
|Dublin||Republic of Ireland||2010|
|Iowa City||United States||2008|
UNESCO Cities of Film
A category introduced in 2009, Film is the most recent addition to the cultural categories included in the Creative Cities Network. Bradford became the inaugural City of Film. Applicants to this category are expected to have cinematic infrastructure in place, including studios, landscapes, environments and film-making training centres. Furthermore there should be a history of links to film productions, distributing, marketing and commercialisation processes of cinematography shown by the city. In addition to this, Cities of Film should have a number of quality displays and archived records relating to film in museums, libraries and private collections. Candidate cities need to be able to show they can host film festivals, both international and local. Finally, a combination of schools, colleges and media are expected to promote the film industry.
|Galway||Republic of Ireland||2014|
UNESCO Cities of Music
Music was introduced in 2006 as the fifth cultural category in the Creative Cities Network. Bologna and Seville were the inaugural Cities of Music. Successful candidate cities must exhibit experience in holding music festivals and concerts at an international level as well as a local level and possess the appropriate venues, concert halls and auditoriums to continue to do so in the future. They must also be recognised hubs for music creation through the availability of specialised music schools, amateur choirs, bands and orchestras, and studio facilities. Successful applicant cities will be expected to promote musical creation and activity through local print and online media.
|Brazzaville||Republic of Congo||2013|
UNESCO Cities of Crafts and Folk Art
Crafts and Folk Art was introduced as a class of culture as in 2005 as part of the Creative Cities Network's first expansion. Aswan became the first City of Crafts and Folk Art as well as the first African city in the network. Applicant cities must exhibit both a long-lasting history and contemporary production of certain forms of crafts and folk-art. There must be a visible local population which contribute in the creation of the crafts and art. Cities of Crafts and Folk Art must make it a priority to promote the local crafts and art by hosting festivals, events and exhibitions in addition to establishing training centres to raise knowledge about the history and methodology behind the local crafts. Infrastructure including museums and art shops are also needed to raise the profile of the local folk art and crafts scene.
|Santa Fe||United States||2005|
UNESCO Cities of Design
The introduction of design as a cultural class of the Creative Cities Network was in 2005. It formed part of the first expansion of the network. Berlin, Buenos Aires and Santa Fe were the initial Cities of Design. Successful applicant cities must have an established design industry. This includes forms of design which integrate and enhance the city environment such as architecture, planning, public realm, sculptures and street art; as well as design driven creative industries such as interiors, fashion, textiles and jewellery. In order to enhance knowledge about design there must be adequate provision of design schools and research centres in the city in addition to the opportunity for local designers to take advantage of local materials and urban conditions. Cities of Design must also have experience hosting national and international fairs, events and exhibitions relating to design industries.
|Santa Fe||United States||2005|
UNESCO Cities of Media Arts
Added as a cultural class in 2008, Media Arts is the second most recent addition to the Creative Cities Network. The inaugural city of Media Arts was Lyon, which became the first French city to join the network. Applicant cities are expected to show a nurturing of cultural industries relating to digital technology. The growth in the video games industry or electronic arts industry and the successful integration of media arts leading to an improvement in city life are valid reasons stated by UNESCO for a successful application. Furthermore, provisions for studios and accommodation for digital media artists and the accessibility to culture through digital technology for city populations are established as ways to become a City of Media Arts.
UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy
Gastronomy was introduced to the Creative Cities Network in 2005 during the first expansion. The inaugural city was Popayan. To be a City of Gastronomy a diverse range of traditional restaurants must be present, with chefs suitably trained in the culinary practices of the local area cooking to the traditional practices. There must be local expertise in the old style methods of cooking which have survived through industrial and technical evolution. Food markets, gastronomic festivals, contests and awards are all examples of events which successful applicant cities should be hosting. There should be a respect for the environment, sustainability and nurturing of public appreciation - all of which should be promoted through school curriculum. Furthermore, schools should aim to provide cooking programmes which raise awareness of the local cooking styles.
UNESCO Creative Cities by Country
Countries which have more than one city in the Creative Cities Network.
|China||Beijing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Harbin, Jingdezhen,||9|
|Japan||Hamamatsu, Kanazawa, Kobe, Nagoya, Sapporo, Tsuruoka||6|
|United Kingdom||Bradford, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Norwich, York|
|South Korea||Busan, Icheon, Gwangju, Jeonju, Seoul||5|
|Germany||Berlin, Hannover, Heidelberg, Mannheim||4|
|France||Enghien-les-Bains, Lyon, Saint-Étienne||3|
|Spain||Bilbao, Granada, Seville|
|United States||Iowa City, Paducah, Santa Fe|
|Italy||Bologna, Turin, Fabriano|
|Republic of Ireland||Dublin, Galway|
Further reading and viewing
- Creative Cities Documentary
- Scott, Allen J. (2006) "Creative Cities: Conceptual Issues and Policy Questions", Journal of Urban Affairs, 28: 1–17.
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for UNESCO Creative Cities.|