The 11th Annual Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Newtwork is taking place in the French city of Enghen-Les-Bains from 30th June to 2nd July. Galway City of Film Director, Declan Gibbons, is in attendance along with mayors and delegations from 116 cities of 54 countries covering every continent.
The Creative Cities Network that UNESCO launched in 2004 and at the heart of the initiative lies a solid fact: more than half of the world’s population now lives in cities – cities that generate the bulk of economic activity. This trend is expected to continue; estimates indicate that by 2050, the urban population will represent 70 percent of the 9.5 billion global inhabitants.
Covering seven creative fields (Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music), the Network aims to stimulate and strengthencooperation, sharing and exchange of good practice between cities that recognize culture and the creative industries as motors for development. During three days in Enghien-les-Bains, mayors, delegates and experts will share their experiences during plenary sessions and thematic workshops. This will also be an opportunity to strengthen the links between them.
“Cities are at the forefront of international efforts for peace and sustainable development”, declared Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO. “This Network seeks to expand and capitalize on the best of what cities offer: their experience in cultural co-operation; their innovation; and their transformative power” she added.
The Network is based on the idea that cities inspire and enrich one another and place their common experience in the service of sustainable development. The UNESCO Creative Cities are also key actors in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations. The meeting in Enghien-les-Bains will be an occasion to recall that commitment.
In parallel to the work carried out during the meeting, Enghien-les-Bains has planned an ambitious artistic program called “Data Cities” that will allow the public to discover the strength of the Network and its seven creative fields through exhibitions, interactive presentations and concerts held across the city and the banks of its lake.