The XII Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) opened yesterday in Krakow and Katowice, Poland, joint hosts and Creative Cities of Literature and Music respectively, from 12 to 15 June.
More than 350 delegates, including 40 mayors, representing the 180 cities of the Network are attending the meeting, whose theme is “creative crossroads”, celebrating the collaborative spirit which lies at the core of the UCCN, and drives member cities’ local and international action.
In the opening of the event, Jacek Majchrowski, Mayor of Krakow, said that “Thanks to the fact that we are organising the Annual Meeting in two cities, you will be able to fully appreciate the importance of the development of two complementary centres of culture and innovation.”
“I am delighted to be sharing the honour with Kraków, serving as a perfect example of collaboration between regions and between creative sectors,” stated Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice.
“I am deeply convinced that the cities we are building together will be those of solidarity and of sustainable economic and social development. Success lies on our common agenda, which includes the implementation of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda, for which you are already the daily actors,” declared Ernesto Ottone R., Assistant Director-General for Culture of UNESCO.
This Annual Meeting provides city representatives and cultural professionals with a new opportunity to exchange and share ideas, experiences and good practices on how to advance culture and creative industries for better cities. This year, innovative and interactive formats include thematic workshops and interdisciplinary sessions, when members will be able to pool their creative thinking to reflect on common future initiatives.
Maria Francesca Merloni, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Creative Cities, and the poet Tyehimba Jess, also at the opening, presented their views as artists on the development of cities.
How can we better stimulate social cohesion and intercultural dialogue, and recognize cultural diversity in our cities? How will the digital era impact the city of tomorrow? How will global concern over the future of our planet urge urban communities to reconsider their production and consumption patterns? How can culture and creativity improve the quality of urban life? These overarching issues will be at the core of discussions of the 2018 UCCN Annual Meeting.
Launched in 2004 to promote creative and sustainable urban governance, the Creative Cities Network numbers 180 cities in 72 countries focusing on any of seven areas of creativity: Crafts and Folk Art, Media Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.