Three ASEAN Cities Get UNESCO Creative City Status


Bandung, Phuket and Singapore have been included ten days ago into UNESCO Creative Cities listing. The list was created back to 2004 with the aim to to foster international cooperation with and between cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy. The Network comprised 116 cities worldwide with 47 new cities being added this year.

“The UNESCO Creative Cities Network represents an immense potential to assert the role of culture as enabler of sustainable development. I would like to recognize the many new cities and their countries that are enriching the Network with their diversity” declared the Director-General, as UNESCO celebrates in 2015 the 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.

The distinction is given while covering seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts.

Until this year only, a single city within ASEAN had received the reward: Pekalongan in Central Java had been recognised in the category Crafts & Folk Art for its batik industry. The city is indeed considered as the centre of Indonesia long tradition of batik textiles for its sophisticated patterns. Pekalongan batiks are exported all across the country and the world.

Meanwhile, the 2015 list has now three new members: Bandung in West Java (Indonesia) and Singapore have been recognised for design. Bandung has Asia most beautiful collection of Art Deco buildings and has many artists and workshops working in design and architecture fields; Singapore has been at the forefront of design for over two decades becoming the only truly global design and arts hub in ASEAN.

The other newly recognised UNESCO Creative City is Phuket, acknowledged as one of the world’s gastronomy capitals. Phuket cuisine has been largely influenced not only by Thai traditions but also by Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Indian and Burmese migrants.

Commenting on Phuket’s nomination, Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said, “Phuket is no longer just a beach resort. It has become a complete holiday destination with a broad range of cultural attractions and convention facilities. Being recognised by the United Nations’ most important cultural organisation for its culinary creativity is an added asset.”

He added, “Phuket is already world famous for its seafood. And promotion of Thai cuisine is one of the TAT’s topmost priorities.”