City of Design


Fundació del Disseny and the Valencia City Council present the ‘City of Design’ brand at the Annual Conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network


Fundació del Disseny and the Valencia City Council present the ‘City of Design’ brand at the Annual Conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network

This week, almost 350 cities that currently make up the UNESCO Creative Cities Network are meeting in Braga, Portugal, to share experiences and exchange knowledge. It also coincides with the 20th anniversary of the creation by UNESCO of the Creative Cities Network.

In the welcome session to the new cities of the Network, Bernard Gaspar (Head of Cultural Action Service of the Valencia City Council) and Xavi Calvo (director of the Design Foundation of the Valencian Community, an entity that participated in the candidacy process ) have presented the case of València as a City of Design in addition to the new brand built from the city’s tourist identity (a branding project that was presented last year with a design by the prestigious studio Lavernia&Cienfuegos in collaboration with the WAY agency).

In the presentation of València, the historical presence of design in the development of Valencian industries and the city itself has been highlighted, which has defined the local heritage, reaching current milestones such as the recent constitution of the Design Council, a municipal advisory body. in design that in its new stage has the presidency of the Councilor for Culture, José Luis Moreno, and with the vice presidency exercised by the general coordinator of strategy, studies and projects of the Valencia City Council, Manuel Tomás, who with the 20 external members confirm an example of good practices in the development of design policies, also becoming the first design council of a city council in our country.

As Gaspar and Calvo emphasized in their conference, design has played a crucial role in Valencia, a role that in recent years has been transferred to the development of the city with sustainability criteria aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. from the ONU.

The presentation of València has been very well received by the attending delegations, especially by the specific network of Design Cities, who stressed that this designation is not only an achievement but the beginning of a path and a great commitment to networking. Likewise, in the creation of international clusters, the incorporation of Valencia as an international reference in creativity and design will provide examples of cases to work on in the coming years.

The opening ceremony included the participation of the mayor of Braga, Ricardo Rio; the president of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa; the Deputy Director General of Culture of UNESCO, Ernesto Ottone; and the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres. And later the day was opened to the public, activating a dozen events in other creative points of the Portuguese city under the Be-Creative Ágora umbrella.

During the week, thematic panels on good practices in initiatives and policies based on innovation and culture will continue to be presented, opening work sessions and participatory round tables, and the city manifesto “Braga Manifesto: A Culture Goal for Sustainable” will be signed. Development” where València will reaffirm its commitment to culture, creativity and urban inclusion policies, calling for the integration of culture as an independent objective in the post-2030 international development agenda.

The Annual Conferences of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network are a unique occasion to strengthen ties between member cities around the world. Organized by a different city each year, it serves as a platform to define the strategic objectives of an expanded and well-balanced Network.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 and today, almost 350 cities from more than 100 countries share the objective of placing cultural and creative industries at the core of their development plans at the local level, from a network that facilitates exchange of experiences, knowledge and resources among its members to promote the development of local creative industries and international collaboration.

Every two years, UNESCO convenes this process to include in its Network of Creative Cities new incorporations with cases that deserve international recognition for how they develop their economic and cultural city models from one of the seven creative disciplines: crafts, design, cinema, gastronomy , literature, digital arts and music.

In Spain, there are 11 cities that belong to this Network, of which 4 are Valencian: Dénia (for Gastronomy), Llíria (for Music), Manises (for Crafts) and València (for Design).

Valencia as a City of Design in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Valencia was designated as a City of Design at the end of 2023 to establish relationships with other cities committed to elevating the role of culture, creativity and innovation to develop more sustainable cities, such as Helsinki, Berlin, Turin, Graz, Saint-Étienne , Budapest, Dubai, Seoul, Mexico, Puebla, Querétaro, Shanghai, Doha, Istanbul, Kaunas, Kobe or Montreal.
Being a UNESCO Creative City opens important opportunities for collaboration for Valencia and its creative and cultural industries, so that both the Valencian design sector and its network of action come into contact with other territories around the world.

València will thus continue its intense international positioning work in recent years in design and creativity, and will raise its global profile as a leader in design innovation, strengthening its broad ecosystem of Valencian design with other organizations and markets around the world.

València’s commitment through its participation in this meeting together with other cities in the Network that includes all continents will be to promote and share good practices that allow for more sustainable urban development by making effective and strategic use of design in the public politics.

More information about the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

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