UNESCO City of Design – Design Canberra Festival

City Hill. Photo: Martin Ollman
City Hill. Photo: Martin Ollman

UNESCO City of Design

As part of its overall strategic planning, Craft ACT has a longer term ambition to pursue listing of Canberra as a City of Design amongst the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

The UNESCO City of Design accolade aims to promote the development of local creative industries, and to foster relationships and resource-sharing between fellow Cities of Design. Cities of Design recognised so far include Montreal, Buenos Aires, Bilbao, Helsinki, Singapore and Beijing, among others.

City of Design status is awarded as part of the Creative Cities Network established by UNESCO in 2004, which also recognises contributions to literature, art, music, film and gastronomy. 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.

To achieve City of Design status, cities must meet criteria defined by UNESCO that includes having a thriving design industry fed by design schools and research centres, and practising groups of creators and designers.

DESIGN Canberra acknowledges the Ngunnawal people as the traditional custodians of the ACT and surrounding areas. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region. We aim to respect cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.