Edinburgh Welcomes Eleven New UNESCO Cities of Literature to the Global Network
by Alison Bowden
31 October 2019
As the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature, Edinburgh is pleased to welcome eleven new cities from eleven countries to its literary family today. They are:
On the occasion of World Cities’ Day, celebrated on the 31 October, UNESCO has announced the designation of 66 new Creative Cities, eleven of which will be joining the Cities of Literature Network, bringing it to a total of 39.
The network has grown rapidly since 2004, when an Edinburgh delegation travelled to UNESCO’s Paris headquarters to present the city’s submission. Edinburgh was designated the same day, becoming the founding city of the Creative City Network and the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature.
Chair of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, Ruth Plowden, said:
The eleven new Cities of Literature are part of a wider appointment by UNESCO, who have just designated, in total, 66 new cities to the Creative Cities Network under the art forms of literature, design, crafts and folk art, film, music, gastronomy, and media arts. The network’s membership now stands at 246 cities.
UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, today commented:
Edinburgh's Lord Provost, Frank Ross, commented:
More information about the chosen cities, as well as those designated in previous years, can be found on the UNESCO website in their Creative Cities section.
UNESCO Creative City Network
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 180 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: to foster international cooperation with and between cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy. https://en.unesco.org/creative-cities/
The designation process
To join the network cities must prepare a bid which showcases their strength in their chosen art form and their plans for growth and development, in line with the strategic mission of the network. Bids must be supported by the country’s National Commission, and are assessed every two years jointly by the designated cities and UNESCO. The designations are permanent but are monitored and reviewed every four years by UNESCO.