55 new cities join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network on World Cities Day

31 October 2023 - News

On World Cities Day, 55 cities join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), following their designation by UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

New cities were acknowledged for their strong commitment to harnessing culture and creativity as part of their development strategies, and displaying innovative practices in human-centred urban planning. With the latest additions, the Network now counts 350 cities in more than one hundred countries, representing seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.

The new Cities of Literature are: Bremen in Germany, Buffalo City in South Africa, Hobart in Austrailia, Iasi in Romania, Kozhikode in India, Kutaisi in Georgia, Okayama in Japan (pictured), Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Taif in Saudi Arabia and Tukums in Latvia. The city of Lyon, a French Creative City of Media Arts since 2008, has been granted a status of a Creative City of Literature, following its request to change creative field.

Newly designated cities will cooperate with Network members to strengthen their resilience the face of evolving threats such as climate change, rising inequality, as well as rapid urbanisation, with 68% of the world’s population projected to live in urban areas by 2050[2].

“The cities in our Creative Cities Network are leading the way when it comes to enhancing access to culture and galvanizing the power of creativity for urban resilience and development,” says Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General.

An upcoming policy paper – “The added value of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network at local, national and international level” – will testify to the leading role played by cities towards the achievement of the 2030 Agenda, while demonstrating ways in which UNESCO supports the UCCN members by fostering dialogue, peer-to-peer learning and collaboration.

The newly designated Creative Cities are invited to participate in the 2024 UCCN Annual Conference (1 – 5 July 2024) in Braga, Portugal, under the theme “Bringing Youth to the table for the next decade”