47 new cities named to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network

Nine new Cities of Literature, 3 new U.S. cities overall

UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network took a big leap in size today as Director-General Irina Bokova names 47 cities from 33 countries as new members of the network. It was the most significant growth in the network’s 11-year history, and brings the number of designated cities to 116.

Of the new cities, nine earned the City of Literature designation, bringing that sub-network to 20 members. In addition, three new U.S. cities were named to the network, bringing the U.S. delegation to six cities.

The new Cities of Literature are Baghdad, Iraq; Barcelona, Spain; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Lviv, Ukraine; Montevideo, Uruguay; Nottingham, United Kingdom; Obidos, Portugal; Tartu, Estonia; and Ulyanovsk, Russia. They join Edinburgh, Scotland; Melbourne, Australia; Iowa City; Dublin, Ireland; Norwich, United Kingdom; Krakow, Poland; Heidelberg, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic; Granada, Spain; and Dunedin, New Zealand.

The new U.S. cities named were Austin, Texas (Media Arts); Detroit (Design), and Tucson (Gastronomy). They join Iowa City; Santa Fe, New Mexico (Crafts and Folk Art); and Paducah, Kentucky (Crafts and Folk Art).

The network, formed in 2004,  recognizes cities in seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music. : The results of this year’s Call bears witness to the Network’s enhanced diversity and geographical representation with 22 cities from countries not previously represented.

By joining the Network, cities commit to collaborate and develop partnerships with a view to promoting creativity and cultural industries, to share best practices, to strengthen participation in cultural life, and to integrate culture in economic and social development strategies and plans.

 “The UNESCO Creative Cities Network represents an immense potential to assert the role of culture as enabler of sustainable development,” said Director-General Bokova. “I would like to recognize the many new cities and their countries that are enriching the Network with their diversity.”

John Kenyon, executive director of the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, said his organization looks forward to connecting and collaborating with the new members.

“This is an exciting time for our network as we add to the cultural and geographic diversity with these new cities,” Kenyon said. “ We welcome the opportunity to share Iowa City’s literature culture with these new partners, and to learn about their assets as we seek further ways to leverage our designations.”

For a full list of member cities, please visit the Creative Cities Network website.

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