Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Baguio City Designated as a CREATIVE CITY by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization

Consider this as yet another feather in Baguio City's ever colorful cap. In a much-awaited announcement, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Baguio City, along with 64 other cities from 44 countries, as a "Creative City". With the designation, Baguio City is officially joining UNESCO's Creative Cities Network. Established in 2004, this network promotes "cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development".

In their statement which was released on Tuesday (October 31), UNESCO said that the Creative Cities Network is at the frontline of the agency's "efforts to foster innovation and creativity as key drivers for a more sustainable and inclusive urban development". UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova added that the new additions to the network "showcase an enhanced diversity in city profiles and geographical balance, with 19 cities from countries not previously represented in the network".

Baguio City is the first urban center in the Philippines to join the network. To become a member, interested cities must "submit an application that clearly demonstrates their willingness, commitment and capacity to contribute to the objectives of the network". The call for applications for this year was launched back in February. Baguio City was short-listed just last month (September). The network is composed of seven fields: Music, Media Arts, Literature, Gastronomy, Film, Design, and Crafts & Folk Art. Baguio City was designated as a "creative city" under the Crafts & Folk Art field.
Photo by Daniel Feliciano

The Goals of the Creative Cities Network [Source: CCN website]

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:

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