Dublin, Icheon, Östersund and Seoul designated as UNESCO Creative Cities
The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, designated Dublin (Ireland) as “City of Literature”, Icheon (Republic of Korea) as “City of Crafts and Folk Art”, Östersund (Sweden) as “City of Gastronomy” and Seoul (Republic of Korea) as “City of Design” on 20 July 2010, as part of the Organization’s Creative Cities Network.
Dublin, with its rich literary heritage, was acknowledged for being home to world-recognized writers and at the same time for possessing a lively contemporary literary environment, nurtured by a range of high quality educational and promotional programmes with the support of public and private sectors. Also noteworthy is the city’s effort to foster intercultural dialogue through literature and the quality, quantity and diversity of its editorial initiatives.
Icheon boasts an outstanding history and tradition in crafts and has managed to successfully blend culture, crafts and tourism with the main objective of preserving the traditional crafts in harmony with the contemporary crafts industry. The city was recognized for its initiatives to create special economic zones for creative industries, its commitment to include crafts education at all school levels and its will to foster intercultural dialogue through various creative platforms.
Östersund, a rural and sparsely populated region, has a long-lasting culinary tradition and benefits from a unique gastronomic culture based on locally produced sustainable food. The city’s support to gastronomic entrepreneurs and farmers through guidance, training support and product development is admirable and the resulting culinary traditions, tightly linked to the surrounding nature is expected to bring Östersund’s distinctive profile as a gastronomic city to an international level.
Seoul, recognized as a design-driven centre, has a vision to become an eco-cultural city based on advanced IT infrastructures. With design-oriented urban policies, public urban design standards, design education practices and an urban strategy of “culture economics”, the city is constantly raising awareness among the public about the importance of design and its role in enhancing the quality of life.
UNESCO established the Creative Cities Network at the end of 2004 to support social, economic and cultural development. The cities that join the network promote their local creative scene, share their experience with a wider audience, and create new opportunities, especially in collaboration with other member cities, to drive joint development results for creative industries. The development of partnerships between the public and private sectors is a key feature of the network.
With Dublin, Icheon, Östersund and Seoul, the Creative Cities Network now has 25 members.
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