Frequently Asked Questions



How do cities apply?


Applications are to be submitted using the official Application FormApplications not submitted in this required format will not be entered into consideration.


The Application Form is only available as an Active PDF and does not exist as a Microsoft Word document. Please note that strict word limits apply and it will not be possible to enter more text once the limit is reached. 


What are the criteria for applications?


Evaluation criteria for applications are outlined in the Nomination Procedures. In general, cities are asked to demonstrate their capacity and willingness to contribute to the objectives of the Creative Cities Network. The presentation of the city’s assets should reflect a value-added contribution to the mission of the Network. The Network's Mission Statement is available here

An Applicant's Handbook that provides further guidance around these criteria is also available to assist with this process. 


Who should write the application? 


Applications should be written on behalf of the City and as a result of city-wide consultation. As indicated by Article 6 of the Nomination Procedures, each application must be endorsed by the city’s highest governing authority (in the majority of cases, this would be the city’s mayor). The applications must also reflect the support of all relevant stakeholders within the city, and as appropriate, at a larger local and international level. 


The majority of applications we receive are written by representatives of municipal government in close collaboration with creative practitioners and their respective professional associations and/or organizations.


When is the application deadline?


The deadline for applications is 20 March of each year at noon, Central European Time. Applications received after this date will not be evaluated.


What languages are accepted?


Applications can only be submitted in English and French, the working languages of the UNESCO Secretariat.


What other documents will we need to provide with our application?


The Application Form must be accompanied by endorsement letters as outlined in the Nomination Procedures (Article 6).


Where do we send our applications?


By clicking “Submit” on the Application Form, your candidature will automatically be generated into an email for submission to UNESCO. We strongly advise that you test this link to ensure compatibility with your operating system well in advance of the deadline. Please contact us at creativecities(at) should technical difficulties arise.


When will we know if our city’s application is successful?


Cities that are to be designated as new members of the Network will be notified by UNESCO by 30 November of each year. Should you not receive notification by this date, you may assume that your application was not successful. To allow for a considered and impartial evaluation of the applications, we kindly ask Candidate Cities to refrain from requesting information on their applications during this process.


Who evaluates the application?


The final decision on designation lies with the Director-General of UNESCO, following consultation with internal UNESCO specialists and external advice provided by NGOs, academics and other independent experts. Profiles of our external evaluators can be found on our website.



Who can we contact if we are having trouble with our application?


It is advisable that you prepare your application as early as possible. UNESCO Secretariat will be only able to provide assistance with your application should there be sufficient time allowed.


Please contact us at creativecities(at) for any technical difficulties or general inquiries about the application process.



Do we need to specify a thematic network in our application?


Yes, a creative field must be specified and the application must focus on activities associated in this field. At present, the fields as: literature, gastronomy, media arts, crafts and folk art, design, music and film.


Can we apply for more than one thematic network per application?


No, each application must refer to only one thematic area. This area should be considered as the focus and area of concentration but not as a closed thematic box with no intersections or connections with other fields. Innovative approaches in this respect are encouraged.



We have additional media items we would like to attach to our application, how can we provide these?


Submissions can only be made online using the Application Form. Items in hard-copy cannot be accepted. The only attachments that are acceptable will be the endorsement letters that will need to be provided with the Form. However, bibliographic information and external web-links can be inserted in-text within the Form.



Can we attach images, charts or diagrams to our application?


No, it will not be possible to include these items in the Application Form; as previously mentioned, it will however be possible to include external links in the Form.



Can we consult with other cities who are already part of the Network?


Yes, this is strongly encouraged. Furthermore, endorsement letters from these cities are required as part of the application. It is therefore advisable that existing Member Cities are consulted early in the application process. You may contact us at creativecities(at) to obtain useful contacts.

You can also read the chinese version.


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