UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Njörd, esprit du vent - Fête des lumières 2014 © F.Dimier

Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) strengthens cooperation with and among cities  that  have  recognized  creativity  as  a  strategic  factor  of  sustainable  development  on  an  economic,  social, cultural and environmental level.
By  joining  the  Network,  cities  commit  to  sharing  best  practices,  developing  partnerships  that  promote  creativity and cultural industries, strengthening participation in cultural life and integrating culture in urban development plans.

Building  on  this  commitment,  the  116  member  cities  from  54  countries  that  currently  form  this  growing  network, work together towards a common mission: placing creativity and cultural industries at the core of their development plans at the local level and actively cooperating at the international level.

The  UNESCO  Creative  Cities  Network  covers  seven  creative  fields:  Crafts  and  Folk  Art,  Design,  Film,  Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music. While cities from the same creative field share information and collaborate intensely to develop joint partnerships, all member cities also have the possibility to peer-learn at common gatherings, such as international conferences or the Network’s Annual Meeting.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims to:

  • strengthen  international  cooperation  between  cities  that  have  recognized  creativity  as  a  strategic  factor of their sustainable development;
  • stimulate  and  enhance  initiatives  led  by  member  cities  to  make  creativity  an  essential  component  of  urban  development,  notably  through  partnerships  involving  the  public  and  private  sectors  and  civil  society;
  • strengthen  the  creation,  production,  distribution  and  dissemination  of  cultural  activities,  goods  and  services;
  • develop  hubs  of  creativity  and  innovation  and  broaden  opportunities  for  creators  and  professionals  in  the cultural sector;
  • improve  access  to  and  participation  in  cultural  life,  as  well  as  the  enjoyment  of  cultural  goods  and  services, notably for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals;
  • fully integrate culture and creativity into local development strategies and plans.
Areas of action
The objectives of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network are implemented both at the level of the member cities and at the international level, notably through the following areas of action:
  • sharing experiences, knowledge and best practices;
  • pilot projects, partnerships and initiatives involving the public and private sectors, as well as civil society;
  • professional and artistic exchange programmes and networks;
  • studies, research and evaluations on the experience of the Creative Cities;
  • policies and measures for sustainable urban development;
  • communication and awareness-raising activities.
As a Creative City of Media Arts, Lyon envisages:
  • Cooperating with media arts festivals at the international level;
  • Hosting artists from other cities in the network;
  • Developing digital libraries; and
  • Organizing meetings on the development of cultural policies with regard to the digital revolution