20 Cities of Literature come together at UNESCO creativity conference

The XIth Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network took place in Enghien-les-Bains, France, this month (30 June to 2 July 2017). The event gathered over 300 participants, including a large number of mayors and representatives from more than 100 Creative Cities.

24 delegates from 15 designated UNESCO Cities of Literature attended: Barcelona, Dublin, Edinburgh, Granada, Heidelberg, Iowa City, Krakow, Ljubljana, Lviv, Norwich, Nottingham, Prague, Reykjavik, Tartu and Ulyanovsk. Dunedin and Dublin were also represented by Mayor Dave Cull and Deputy Mayor Rebecca Moynihan.

Cities of Literature met privately to present work, discuss future collaborations and share best practice. The Cities of Literature sub-group co-ordinator, Justyn Jochym from Krakow City of Literature, presented the work of the literature cities to all delegates from across the Creative City Network, and Krakow’s plans to jointly host the 2018 annual Creative City Network conference with Katowice, a UNESCO City of Music. Mayors from Dunedin and Dublin gave presentation on their cities and areas of excellence.

More broadly across the network, the conference saw the adoption of a new Strategic Framework which lays the foundations for future growth, and refines the strategic objectives and future actions.

“This provides the UNESCO Creative Cities Network with a common vision to move forward together, towards making the most of our Network and cities.” declared Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture. “The UCCN tackles our societies’ challenges and builds more people-centred cities. Being a Creative City is not a trend, it is a reality. It is the way to foster sustainable urban development, in economic, social and environmental terms. To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), we need the powerful tools that are culture and creativity.”

In addition, Mayors of the network have adopted a Declaration calling on Creative Cities to further integrate culture into their policies and facilitate cooperation based on creativity and innovation.

The network has grown rapidly in the last five years and now stands at 116 cities in 54 counties. More cities are expected to join the Creative City Network in November 2017, as UNESCO makes further appointments to the global network. New cities will specialise in one of seven creative fields: literature, design, film, gastronomy, crafts and folk art, media arts and music.


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