Press release

UNESCO celebrates World Cities Day designating 66 new Creative Cities

Paris, France

On the occasion of World Cities’ Day, celebrated on 31 October, UNESCO is designating 66 urban settlements that are to join the Organization’s Network of Creative Cities, which now number a total of 246 members. The Network brings together cities that base their development on creativity, whether in music, arts and folk crafts, design, cinema, literature, digital arts or gastronomy.


UNESCO creative cities commit to placing culture 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,” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “This favours political and social innovation and is particularly important for the young generations.”


On 31 October, UNESCO and officials from 24 cities around the world will celebrate World Cities Day mobilizing the Organization’s different urban networks which focus not only on culture but also on access, inclusion, global citizenship education, defense of rights, economics and employment, as well as climate change prevention and resilience. The celebration, an occasion for “urban dialogues,” will showcase exceptional cities that rely on innovation and collective intelligence to shape their future.


In the framework of a partnership between UNESCO and Netexplo Observatory, the celebration will also recognize ten cities which use state of the art technological innovation at the service of citizens to transform cities around the world sustainably. Relying on a global network of 20 universities, ten cities will be honoured for their innovative use of digital technology in their socio-economic and environmental development.


The new members of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network are:


Afyonkarahisar (Turkey) – Gastronomy

Ambon (Indonesia) – Music

Angoulême (France) – Literature

Areguá (Paraguay) – Crafts and Folk Art

Arequipa (Peru) – Gastronomy

Asahikawa (Japan) – Design

Ayacucho (Peru) – Crafts and Folk Art

Baku (Azerbaijan) – Design

Ballarat (Australia) – Crafts and Folk Art

Bandar Abbas (Iran [Islamic Republic of]) – Crafts and Folk Art

Bangkok (Thailand) – Design

Beirut (Lebanon) – Literature

Belo Horizonte (Brazil) – Gastronomy

Bendigo (Australia) – Gastronomy

Bergamo (Italy) – Gastronomy

Biella (Italy) – Crafts and Folk Art

Caldas da Rainha (Portugal) – Crafts and Folk Art

Cebu City (Philippines) – Design

Essaouira (Morocco) – Music

Exeter (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Literature

Fortaleza (Brazil) – Design

Hanoi (Vietnam) – Design 

Havana (Cuba) – Music

Hyderabad (India) – Gastronomy

Jinju (Republic of Korea) – Crafts and Folk Art

Kargopol (Russian Federation) – Crafts and Folk Art

Karlsruhe (Germany) – Media Arts

Kazan (Russian Federation) – Music

Kırşehir (Turkey) – Music

Kuhmo (Finland) – Literature

Lahore (Pakistan) – Literature

Leeuwarden (Netherlands) – Literature

Leiria (Portugal) – Music

Lliria (Spain) – Music

Mérida (Mexico) – Gastronomy

Metz (France) – Music

Muharraq (Bahrain) – Design

Mumbai (India) – Film

Nanjing (China) – Literature

Odessa (Ukraine) – Literature

Overstrand Hermanus (South Africa) – Gastronomy

Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) – Music

Portoviejo (Ecuador) – Gastronomy

Potsdam (Germany) – Film

Querétaro (Mexico) – Design

Ramallah (Palestine) – Music

San José (Costa Rica) – Design

Sanandaj (Iran [Islamic Republic of]) – Music

Santiago de Cali (Colombia) – Media Arts

Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) – Music

Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) – Film

Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) – Crafts and Folk Art

Slemani (Iraq) – Literature

Sukhothai (Thailand) – Crafts and Folk Art

Trinidad (Cuba) – Crafts and Folk Art

Valladolid (Spain) – Film

Valledupar (Colombia) – Music

Valparaíso (Chile) – Music

Veszprém (Hungary) – Music

Viborg (Denmark) – Media Arts

Viljandi (Estonia) – Crafts and Folk Art

Vranje (Serbia) – Music

Wellington (New Zealand) – Film

Wonju (Republic of Korea) – Literature

Wrocław (Poland) – Literature

Yangzhou (China) – Gastronomy




Media contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Press Service,

(, +33 (0)1 45 68 16 50)


Press accreditation to World Cities Day celebration: Djibril Kébé, UNESCO Press Service, (, +33(0)1 45 68 17 41)


Follow the event on Twitter: @unesco, #WorldCitiesDay

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