• The city of Kozhikode in Kerala was added to UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN) recently.
  • Gwalior from Madhya Pradesh was also among the 55 new cities to join the network.
  • These cities have been handpicked to represent seven creative fields — crafts and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music.
  • Kozhikode was included in the category of literature and Gwalior in the category of music.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

  • The UCCN was created in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. It now includes 350 cities in over a hundred countries.
  • The network is aimed at leveraging the creative, social, and economic potential of cultural industries.
  •  It was launched to promote UNESCO’s goals of cultural diversity and strengthen resilience to threats such as climate change, rising inequality, and rapid urbanization. It encourages a culture of creativity in urban planning and solutions to urban problems.

Objective of the CCCN

  • The UNESCO Creative Cities Network allows member cities to recognise creativity as an essential component of urban development, notably through partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society.
  • It envisages to develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector. These cities have to achieve the UN agenda of sustainable development.
  • Indian cities in the network Apart from Kozhikode and Gwalior, Varanasi (music), Srinagar (crafts and folk arts) and Chennai (music) are part of the network.

The annual conference of network cities

  • A highlight of the network is the annual conference of mayors and other stakeholders of network cities, which offers a unique occasion to strengthen ties between creative cities from across the world.
  • The main objective of the conference is to exchange practical information on policies and activities carried out by cities and stimulate inter-city collaborations.
  • The last conference was held in Santos, Brazil, and this year’s conference was in Istanbul.
  • The next conference will be held in July 2024 in Braga, Portugal.

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