UNESCO Creative Cities tourism

The Creative Cities Network was launched by UNESCO in October 2004, following a decision taken at the 170 th session of its Executive Council. Its purpose is to defend and promote cultural diversity and encourage the development of the creative, social and economic potential of local communities . It was born of the experience of the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity set up in 2002 by UNESCO.

The network comprises 2016 116 member cities, divided into seven thematic categories: literature , cinema , music , crafts and folk art , design , media arts and gastronomy . A French city and a Quebec city are currently part of the network in the design category: Montreal since 2006 and Saint-Étienne since 2010. Two other French cities, Lyon and Enghien-les-Bains , are also part of the “Digital Arts” network of cities “. Finally,Limoges belongs to the “Crafts and Popular Arts” network and Quebec belongs to the “Literature” network.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a project of UNESCO launched in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities which recognized creativity as a major factor in their urban development. As of 2017, there are 180 cities from 72 countries in the network.

The network aims to foster mutual international cooperation with and between member cities committed to invest in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy. The Network recognizes the following creative fields:

Crafts and Folk Arts
Media Arts
The overall situation and activities within the Network is reported in the UCCN Membership Monitoring Reports, each for a 4-year period for a particular city.

The Network recognizes the concept of creative tourism, defined as travel associated with creative experience and participation.

Intention and function
The network aims to strengthen the cultural identity of the member cities, despite the growing trend towards internationalism.

The aim of the UNESCO program is to unite public and private partners and societies and to promote the creative economy . The international exchange should be improved and new cooperations developed. Cities that meet various film and cinema criteria can apply for this award.

The project aims to highlight an outstanding aspect of the culture of these cities and to find ways to enhance the relevance of this cultural asset in urban life, in the local economy and in social development. The aspects of culture that are considered in the project are: literature , film , music , folk art , design , media and gastronomy . Each of these aspects has its own award.

The Global Alliance’s Creative Cities Network, a UNESCO program instituted in 2005, recognizes cities world-wide with reputations as centers of excellence in literature, film, music, crafts and folk art, design, media arts and gastronomy. The program is intended to help creative cities share ideas on preserving and enhancing their cultural programs. Needless to say, cities in this program can also be appealing travel destinations for the traveller interested in the cities’ creative speciality (and other things as well). Current members of the Creative Cities Network are:


Name Country Category Year Notes
Aswan Egypt Crafts and Folk Art 2005
Dakar Senegal Media Arts 2014
Kinshasa Democratic Republic of the Congo Music 2015
Lubumbashi Democratic Republic of the Congo Crafts and Folk Art 2015


Name Country Category Year Notes
Al-Ahsa Saudi Arabia Crafts and Folk Art 2015
Baghdad Iraq Literature 2015
Bamiyan Afghanistan Crafts and Folk Art 2015
Bandung Indonesia Design 2015
Beijing China Design 2012
Busan Republic of Korea Film 2014
Chengdu China Gastronomy 2010
Gaziantep Turkey Gastronomy 2015
Gwangju Republic of Korea Media Arts 2014
Hamamatsu Japan Music 2014
Hangzhou China Crafts and Folk Art 2012
Harbin China Music 2010
Icheon Republic of Korea Crafts and Folk Art 2010
Isfahan Iran Crafts and Folk Art 2015
Jaipur India Crafts and Folk Art 2015
Jeonju Republic of Korea Gastronomy 2012
Jingdezhen China Crafts & Folk Arts 2014
Kanazawa Japan Crafts and Folk Art 2009
Kobe Japan Design 2008
Nagoya Japan Design 2008
Pekalongan Indonesia Crafts & Folk Arts 2014
Phuket Thailand Gastronomy 2015
Rasht Iran Gastronomy 2015
Sapporo Japan Media Arts 2013
Sasayama Japan Crafts and Folk Art 2015
Seoul Republic of Korea Design 2010
Shanghai China Design 2010
Shenzhen China Design 2008
Shunde China Gastronomy 2014
Singapore Singapore Design 2015
Suzhou China Crafts & Folk Arts 2014
Tel Aviv Israel Media Arts 2014
Tongyeong Republic of Korea Music 2015
Tsuruoka Japan Gastronomy 2014
Varanasi India Music 2015
Zahlé Lebanon Gastronomy 2015


Name Country Category Year Notes
Alba Italy Gastronomy 2017
Barcelona Spain Literature 2015
Bergen Norway Gastronomy 2015
Berlin Germany Design 2005
Bilbao Spain Design 2014
Bitola North Macedonia Film 2015
Bologna Italy Music 2006
Bradford United Kingdom Film 2009
Budapest Hungary Design 2015
Burgos Spain Gastronomy 2015
Dublin Ireland Literature 2010
Dundee United Kingdom Design 2014
Edinburgh United Kingdom Literature 2004
Enghien-les-Bains France Media Arts 2013
Fabriano Italy Crafts and Folk Art 2013
Galway Ireland Film 2014
Ghent Belgium Music 2009
Glasgow United Kingdom Music 2008
Granada Spain Literature 2014
Graz Austria Design 2011
Hanover Germany Music 2014
Heidelberg Germany Literature 2014
Helsinki Finland Design 2014
Idanha-a-Nova Portugal Music 2015
Katowice Poland Music 2015
Kaunas Lithuania Design 2015
Kraków Poland Literature 2013
Linz Austria Media Arts 2014
Liverpool United Kingdom Music 2015
Ljubljana Slovenia Literature 2015
Lviv Ukraine Literature 2015
Lyon France Media Arts 2008
Manchester United Kingdom Literature 2017
Mannheim Germany Music 2014
Norwich United Kingdom Literature 2012
Nottingham United Kingdom Literature 2015
Óbidos Portugal Literature 2015
Östersund Sweden Gastronomy 2010
Parma Italy Gastronomy 2015
Prague Czech Republic Literature 2014
Reykjavík Iceland Literature 2011
Rome Italy Film 2015
Saint-Etienne France Design 2010
Seville Spain Music 2006
Sofia Bulgaria Film 2014
Tartu Estonia Literature 2015
Turin Italy Design 2014
Ulyanovsk Russia Literature 2015
York United Kingdom Media Arts 2014

North America

Name Country Category Year Notes
Austin, Texas United States Media Arts 2015
Detroit, Michigan United States Design 2015
Ensenada, Baja California Mexico Gastronomy 2015
Iowa City, Iowa United States Literature 2008
Montreal, Quebec Canada Design 2006
Paducah, Kentucky United States Crafts and Folk Art 2013
Puebla, Puebla Mexico Design 2015
San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas Mexico Crafts and Folk Art 2015
Santa Fe, New Mexico United States Design, Crafts and Folk Art 2005
Tucson, Arizona United States Gastronomy 2015


Name Country Category Year Notes
Adelaide Australia Music 2015
Dunedin New Zealand Literature 2014
Melbourne Australia Literature 2008
Sydney Australia Film 2010

South America and the Caribbean

Name Country Category Year Notes
Belém Brazil Gastronomy 2015
Bogotá Colombia Music 2012
Buenos Aires Argentina Design 2005
Curitiba Brazil Design 2014
Durán Ecuador Crafts and Folk Art 2015
Florianopolis Brazil Gastronomy 2014
Jacmel Haiti Crafts and Folk Art 2014
Kingston Jamaica Music 2015
Medellín Colombia Music 2015
Montevideo Uruguay Literature 2015
Nassau Bahamas Crafts and Folk Art 2014
Popayán Colombia Gastronomy 2015
Santos Brazil Film 2015