Urban areas are today’s principal breeding grounds for the development of new strategies, policies and initiatives aimed at making culture and creativity a driving force for sustainable development and urban regeneration through the stimulation of growth and innovation and the promotion of social cohesion, citizen well-being and inter-cultural dialogue. In this way cities respond to the major challenges with which they are confronted, such as the economic crisis, environmental impacts, demographic growth and social tensions.
Not to mention that cities are today home to more than half the world’s population and three quarters of its economic activity, including a large share of the creative economy.
The crucial role of cities in promoting sustainable development focused on people and the respect of human rights is notably recognised in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes among its 17 goals a specific objective to ‘make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ and identifies culture and creativity as one of the essential levers for action in this context.
It is first and foremost at local level that culture and creativity are lived and practised on a daily basis. It is therefore by stimulating cultural industries, supporting creation, promoting citizen and cultural participation and approaching the public sphere with a new perspective that public authorities, in cooperation with the private sector and civil society, can make the difference and support a more sustainable urban development suited to the practical needs of the local population.
In this context, cooperation and the sharing of experience and knowledge is crucial for making creativity a lever for urban development and conceiving of new solutions to tackle common challenges. In this regard, UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network offers unparalleled opportunities for cities to draw on peer learning processes and collaborative projects in order to fully capitalize on their creative assets and use this as a basis for building sustainable, inclusive and balanced development in economic, cultural, environmental and social terms.
Is your city interested in joining the network?
Please visit our Call for Applications page for more information!