Fortaleza is the capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Ceará, with an estimated population of 2,643,247 inhabitants. Over the years, the city has witnessed intense economic, social and cultural changes. The creative economy is the driving force behind the city’s economic and social development, with 914 companies in the field of creative industry. Fortaleza is home to 23% of design establishments in Northeastern Brazil and the sector generates US$ 135 million for the local area, representing 0.9% of the city's economy.
Fortaleza plays host to a huge range of design events, including the Ceará Design Week. This annual event held in March, hosts a variety of seminars, workshops, product and book launches, all seeking to integrate the local community with national and international industry. Festival OFF Fortaleza also promotes artistic production from the State of Ceará and Brazil, bringing to the fore the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs related to the sectors of audiovisual, graphic arts, filmmakers, programmers and illustrators. Finally, founded in 2014, Mais Design Ceará is an annual event that brings together the big names in Brazilian and South American design, with more than 2,500 actors taking part in lectures and workshops.
Public policies play a fundamental role in preserving the sector and the Municipal Cultural Policy Council is responsible for the formulation of cultural policies, specifically those related to design. SEBRAETEC is a programme that aims to increase the competitiveness of micro and small enterprises through access to services in innovation and technology, especially consulting in design. Alongside this, STARTUP CE promotes the competitiveness and sustainable development of digital startups through the diffusion of the entrepreneurial culture and the professionalization of the management of its enterprises with capacity building, innovation and marketing. On a wider scale, Regional Nordeste da Cadeia de Valor da Economia Criativa advocates the development of network strategies for the creative economy, based on methodologies, governance models, qualification of the technical team and knowledge management.
As a City of Design, Fortaleza envisages:
- creating an exchange programme with emphasis on the Ibero-American cities, in transversal actions involving design and other segments of creative economy;
- hosting annual events of international scope and with the participation of other invited UCCN cities;
- sharing best practices to be made available on the web platform of Fortaleza Criativa Programme;
- hosting exchanges between young graduates from Art Schools with creative young people from Creative Cities; and
- sharing design methodology and tools through the Observatory of Fortaleza Design platform.