On the occasion of World Cities Day 2019, celebrated on 31 October, UNESCO announced that the cities of Mumbai and Hyderabad are joining the UNESCO network of Creative Cities. Mumbai has been designated a Creative city of film and Hyderabad a Creative city of gastronomy. In India, they join Chennai and Varanasi, UNESCO Cities of music, and Jaipur, UNESCO City of crafts and folk arts.
There are now 246 cities worldwide committing with UNESCO to place culture and creativity at the centre of their development strategies and to share their best practices. “All over the world, these cities, each in its way, make culture the pillar, not an accessory, of their strategy,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “This favours political and social innovation and is particularly important for the young generations.”
By joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society in order to strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services. They also pledge to develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector.
The network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.
UNESCO New Delhi Director Eric Falt offered words of praise to all those who worked on the candidacy of Mumbai and Hyderabad. He said: "I would like to offer my warm congratulations to both cities. I hope this will strengthen the development of hubs of creativity and innovation, which will contribute to the sustainable development plans of Mumbai and Hyderabad."