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Source: Small Island Developing States

15 June 2019: The 13th Annual Meeting of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network (UCCN) brought together UCCN mayors under the theme, ‘The Ideal City.’ Mayors renewed their commitment to building on the impact of culture, creativity, cooperation and innovation to foster sustainable cities and communities in line with SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities).

Conclusions from the meeting, which convened in Fabriano, Italy, from 10-15 June 2019, underscore the UCCN’s mission to build on culture and creativity for sustainable development, in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UCCN mayors recommend the development of a long-term strategy for the Network’s governance and sustainability that should focus on “demonstrating and measuring impact and achievements for sustainable development at the local, national and international levels in the spirit of” the 2030 Agenda.

Creative Cities are emerging as hubs of experimentation that lead to innovative and successful models of sustainable development.

At the gathering, the mayors stressed the cross-cutting contribution of culture to achieving the SDGs. They shared examples of how their cities are addressing community needs by building on culture and creativity to develop innovative and inclusive urban strategies, and explored the role of culture across development areas such as education, inclusiveness, environment and economic growth.

The meeting also shared the first publication of the UCCN LAB.2030 Initiative titled, ‘Voices of the City: UNESCO Creative Cities Moving Towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,’ which discusses the diverse ways in which the Creative Cities embrace culture in their local policies to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

According to a UCCN press release, “Creative Cities are emerging as hubs of experimentation that lead to innovative and successful models of sustainable development.” Cities of Literature, for example, aim to ensure freedom of expression and literacy for all, while fostering multilingual environments, in line with SDG 4 (quality education). Cities of Gastronomy are promoting SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 12 (responsible consumption and production). Cities of Film and of Music provide spaces for promoting human rights, equality and solidarity, contributing to SDGs 6 (clean water and sanitation), 10 (reduced inequalities) and 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions). Cities of Design seek to reinvent housing, public spaces, access and mobility and to stimulate social innovation and global citizenship, helping achieve SDGs 4 and 11. Cities of Crafts and Folk Art and Cities of Media Arts enhance the diversity of cultural expressions and safeguard community practices, and promote contemporary urban narratives and space for cultural expression with new technologies, respectively.

Launched in 2004, the UCCN comprises 180 cities from five continents, and focuses on seven creative fields: crafts and folk arts; design; film; gastronomy; literature; media arts; and music. The next UCCN annual meeting will convene in 2020 in Santos, Brazil. [Conclusions of UCCN 13th Annual Meeting] [UCCN Press Release] [Conference Website] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on UCCN 12th Annual Meeting]

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