Cape Town has become the first city in Africa to be named a UNESCO City of Design, joining a total of 180 cities in a global Creative Cities Network, announced today via unesco.org. The honour recognises a city’s design status and commitment to promoting and developing the cultural and creative industries.
Launched in 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network aims 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. Cape Town joins a group of 31 Cities of Design across the world. Other cities who received similar designation this year include Brasilia (Brazil), Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Greater Geelong (Australia), Istanbul (Turkey), Kolding (Denmark), Kortrijk (Belgium), Mexico City (Mexico) and Wuhan (China). Durban, the only other South African city included in the Network, was admitted as a UNESCO City of Literature.
The City of Cape Town, voicing their delight, said, ‘We recognise that creativity and culture are critical components in shaping Cape Town as a thriving and resilient city. Being part of the Network will help create valuable partnerships; coordinate, focus and grow Cape Town’s local design sector; share and create knowledge, grow new markets and have an impact on Cape Town’s ability to achieve inclusive, urban sustainable development.’
A total of 64 cities from 44 countries have this year been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities.
‘These new designations showcase an enhanced diversity in city profiles and geographical balance, with 19 cities from countries not previously represented in the Network,’ said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova. Leading design practitioners, event organisers and industry organisations have welcomed the announcement.
To read the full announcement visit unesco.org.
Featured image Photograph: Courtesy Condé Nast Traveler