With approximately 300,000 inhabitants, Graz is the second largest city in Austria and is home to two UNESCO World Heritage sites: the old town in the city centre and the castle of Eggenberg. In 2003, Graz was European Capital of Culture and in March 2011, it was designated UNESCO City of Design. Graz is known for its lively creative scene and internationally renowned educational and research institutions. There are also many innovative companies based in Graz that recognize design and creativity as unique opportunities for innovation.
Following Graz’s designation as UNESCO City of Design, major advances in the economic and tourist sector are expected for the Graz metropolitan area and for the surrounding region of Styria. To that effect, the networking association Creative Industries Styria (CIS) was founded to contribute to promoting international collaboration and enhancing connections with the private sector.
Recognizing design as an attitude in urban culture, Graz acknowledges the pivotal role of intelligent design on the living environment and values both the aesthetic component of design as well as its ability to make daily life more liveable.
As a Creative City of Design, Graz envisages:
- strengthening cooperation with other cities from the UCCN, notably during the Graz Month of Design, with a view to further developing the international component of the Network;
- increasing the visibility of the Cities of Design;
- reinforcing intra-network communication with a view to strengthening the creative community within a globalized economic context; and
- enhancing knowledge exchange.