UNESCO Creative Cities Network Commits to Culture- and Creativity-led SDG Implementation
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The meeting adopted a Mayors’ Declaration, in which participating mayors affirm the strategic role of culture and creativity in building inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities.

They reiterate their commitment to further integrating culture and creativity in local-level initiatives, policies and projects to facilitate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the New Urban Agenda.

Five thematic workshops and networking sessions held during the meeting provided the opportunity for cities to promote the role of culture as an enabler of sustainable development.

16 June 2018: The 12th Annual Meeting of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network (UCCN), which met under the theme ‘Creative Crossroads,’ highlighted the ways in which cultural and creative industries can generate decent work and economic growth that impact cities, help reduce poverty and improve the quality of life.

The meeting, which convened in Krakow and Katowice, Poland, from 12-15 June 2018, adopted a Mayors’ Declaration, which focuses on advancing implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in cities through culture. Over 350 participants, including mayors and deputy mayors, reaffirmed their cities’ commitment to achieving the SDGs, particularly SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities), through targeted policies and strategies.

In the Declaration, participating mayors, inter alia: affirm the strategic role of culture and creativity in building inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities; and reiterate their commitment to further integrating culture and creativity in local-level initiatives, policies and projects to facilitate implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda (NUA). They also reiterate their commitment to strengthened cooperation between cities and consolidated institutional arrangements to further exchange good practices and facilitate cross experimentation and innovation.

The UCCN LAB.2020 initiative illustrates the diverse ways in which creative cities embrace innovation and culture in local policies to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

Five thematic workshops and networking sessions held during the meeting provided the opportunity for cities to promote the role of culture as an enabler of sustainable development by addressing: the need for reliable data collection; measurement and monitoring processes for culture; the impact of digital technologies in shaping future cities; urban regeneration; and youth engagement as a priority. Participants explored innovative cooperation opportunities, such as linking crafts sectors in cities in Brazil, Burkino Faso and Benin to expand opportunities for artisans.

The meeting also provided the opportunity to showcase the UCCN LAB.2020 initiative, which illustrates the diverse ways in which creative cities embrace innovation and culture in local policies to achieve the 2030 Agenda. The initiative includes case studies that highlight each city’s outcomes, share experiences and stimulate other cities to undertake similar efforts. It focuses on six themes where culture has positively impacted on sustainable urban development by:

  • using creativity to explore new paths towards economic development;
  • focusing creative fields to encourage the sustainable management of environmental resources;
  • providing insights on how creativity stimulates knowledge and employability;
  • connecting heritage and local economies to boost new creative approaches to safeguard cultural and natural heritage;
  • using creativity to promote social inclusion, gender equality and participatory governance of urban policies; and
  • providing new solutions to urban development issues by triggering creativity.

The UCCN, which aims to strengthen global cooperation on creativity and heritage to make cities more inclusive, resilient and sustainable has 180 member cities from 72 countries that work together to incorporate creativity and cultural industries in urban plans. The Network focuses on seven creative fields: crafts and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music. The next annual UCCN meeting convene under the theme, ‘The Ideal City,’ and take place in Fabriano, Italy, in 2019. [Mayors’ Declaration] [UNESCO Press Release] [Creative Cities Network Website] [LAB.2030: Creativity for Sustainable Development]


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