Creative Cities

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  cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

By joining the Network, cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society in order to:

  • strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services;
  • develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector;
  • improve access to and participation in cultural life, in particular for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals;
  • fully integrate culture and creativity into sustainable development plans.

The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.

The Creative Cities Network is a privileged partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation, notably for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In 2015, the second largest city of Lithuania, Kaunas, joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as design and architecture are the main driving sectors of the city’s creative economy. A wide cultural offering is provided through the city’s 60 museums and galleries, as well as festivals and fairs such as the Kaunas Architecture Festival (KAFe), the Design Week and the Kaunas Biennial. In addition, the city is home to the Architecture and Urbanism Research Centre, which supports design-driven creative hubs integrating features of traditional architecture into the modern urban life. The city has made itself an environment conducive for creativity by establishing facilities for young entrepreneurs, such as the Talent Garden Kaunas and the Arts Incubator. Urban creativity, quality of life and sustainable urban development are at the core of the on-going strategic development plan of Kaunas until 2022 when Kaunas will be the European Capital of Culture 2022.