Creative Cities Network

UNESCO Design Cities (UNESCO) Brazil

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a project of UNESCO launched in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities which recognized creativity as a major factor in their urban development.[1][2][3] As of 2017, there are 180 cities from 72 countries in the network.[4]

The network aims to foster mutual international cooperation with and between member cities committed to invest in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy.[5] The Network recognizes the following creative fields:[1]




Crafts and Folk Arts


UNESCO's Design Cities project is part of the wider Creative Cities Network. To be approved as a Design City, cities need to meet a number of criteria set by UNESCO.[8] The Design Cities are:[9]

Cities Year
Buenos Aires 2005
Montreal 2006
Kobe, Nagoya, Shenzhen 2008
Saint-Etienne, Seoul, Shanghai 2010
Graz 2011
Bilbao, Helsinki, Turin, Dundee 2014
Bandung, Puebla, Detroit, Singapore, Kaunas 2015
Geelong, Kortrijk, Istanbul, Wuhan 2017

9 cities joined this network on the occasion of World Cities’ Day as Design Cities on October 31, 2019. They are: Asahikawa (Japan), Baku (Azerbaijan), Bangkok (Thailand), Cebu City (Philippines), Fortaleza (Brazil), Hanoi (Vietnam), Muharraq (Bahrain), Potsdam (Germany) and San José (Costa Rica).[10]


Media Arts

York (UK) became a UNESCO Creative City of Media Arts in 2014.[11]


  1. ^ a b "What is the Creative Cities Network ?", a UNESCO webpage
  2. ^ Creative Cities Network homepage
  3. ^ Inequalities in Creative Cities: Issues, Approaches, Comparisons, 2016, ISBN 1349951153 p. 241
  4. ^ Macdonald, Moira (31 October 2017). "UNESCO declares Seattle a City of Literature". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  5. ^ "UCCN today: 116 Cities in 54 countries | Creative Cities Network". Retrieved 2018-10-03.
  6. ^ "Reporting & monitoring", a UCCN webpage
  7. ^ OECD Studies on Tourism Tourism and the Creative Economy, 2014, ISBN 9264207872, p. 83
  8. ^ "The Creative Cities Network - A Global Platform for Local Endeavour" (PDF). UNESCO. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  9. ^ "Design Cities". Cities of Design Network. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  10. ^ "UNESCO celebrates World Cities Day designating 66 new Creative Cities". UNESCO. 2019-10-30. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  11. ^ "York | Creative Cities Network". Retrieved 2019-11-09.