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UNESCO Creative Cities

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The Creative Cities Network [1], a UNESCO programme instituted in 2004, recognises cities world-wide who foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for a more sustainable and inclusive urban development. The programme focusses on seven creative fields: Craft and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music. While differing geographically, demographically or economically, all Creative Cities commit to develop and exchange innovative best practices to promote creative industries, strengthen participation in cultural life, and integrate culture into sustainable urban development policies[2]. Needless to say, cities in this programme can also be appealing travel destinations for the traveller interested in the cities' creative speciality (and other things as well).

The UCCN (Unesco Creative Cities Network) is currently made up of 180 UNESCO Creative Cities globally. Members from 72 countries are covering seven creative fields.

Current members of the Creative Cities Network are:

Native American Pottery, Santa Fe

UNESCO Cities of Craft and Folk Art[edit]

UNESCO Cities of Design[edit]

Interior of the glass dome of the Reichstag, Berlin

UNESCO Cities of Film[edit]

UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy[edit]

Korean cuisine- Jeonju bibimbap

UNESCO Cities of Literature[edit]

The UNESCO Cities of Literature network of 28 cities[9] represents 6 continents and 23 countries, and a combined population of over 26 million. The network brings together over 1250 libraries, 130 literary festivals and over 1200 bookshops. The world’s oldest book, the world’s tallest monument to a writer, the world’s first Master of Fine Arts Creative Writing programme, the oldest university in central Europe, and the only train station named after a book, can all be found in these cities.

The range of activity is impressive[10], from the world’s largest book festival to the most unusual literary hotels. Individual authors from the cities are commemorated in public celebrations such as Bloomsday and Robert Louis Stevenson Day. Poetry is celebrated in the Young Poet Laureate scheme, poetry entryphones, live literature performances, and several poetry festivals in different cities. Celebrations of heritage – from paved walkways to statues and bridges named after writers – work alongside citywide programmes to nurture new readers.[11]

Emerging writers’ festivals and programmes are championed by the cities, as well as several children’s literature festivals, reading initiatives, and library campaigns. Numerous prizes, writing residencies, and scholarships play a large part in advancing the creative output of the cities, celebrating works of translation, poetry, fiction, design, illustration and much more. A Book-Flood Before Christmas, Book Fairs, curated tours, a Writer’s Studio, and the Children’s Culture House, are just a few of the activities and projects that recognise the importance of books, publishing, reading, and writing, in each of our cities of literature.[12]

Founded in 1854, the State Library of Victoria was the first major cultural institution to be established in Melbourne and now attracts over 1.7m visitors annually

UNESCO Cities of Media Arts[edit]

UNESCO Cities of Music[edit]

The Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow is the city's largest indoor concert venue

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