The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 by UNESCO to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development, placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
Every city chooses a creative core theme from 7 creative fields - Music, Film, Literature, Gastronomy, Design, Media Arts, Crafts & Folk Arts - but are encouraged to cooperate with other cities in interdisciplinary projects that include different creative industry sectors.
180 cities, 72 countries all around the world
Since 2017, 9 Italian cities, different in size, participation choices and active collaborations, have already joined the network:
Alba - Gastronomy
Bologna - Music
Pesaro - Music
Fabriano - Crafts & Folk Art
Roma - Film
Milano - Literature
Torino - Design
Parma - Gastronomy
Carrara - Crafts & Folk Art
Every two years UNESCO launches a Call for Applications (next one will be launched in spring 2019) and the candidates must apply presenting an Application Dossier, containing a series of documents and endorsement letters.
Such Dossier should be both an analysis of the history and identity of the city, focused on the preferred creative field, and an integrated projects program in several creative sectors (new ones or further developments of existing activities); briefly, it should be a scheduling instrument aiming to stimulate, within the civil society and the local authorities, the development of a new identity and foward-looking awareness.
• International visibility and development of the city’s profile.
• Sharing of best practices and knowledge, development of common events and projects, creation of special and direct partnerships with the other cities part of the network, plenty of opportunities to exchange and build strategic synergies with the cities which are already part of the network.
• Enhancement of the economic, touristic and professional attractiveness of a city and its territory. As a matter of facts, Italian cities part of the network are already collecting data about the actual and growing impact, in terms of tourist numbers and participation in creative and cultural events, and the results are going to be soon published (2018-19) within the “LAB.2030 | Measuring the Impacts of Creativity in Local Development” framework.
• Development of real policies regarding and supporting creative companies in training and professional development projects, widening the exchange and collaboration opportunities and sharing already existing initiatives.