UNESCO Integrates Five ASEAN Cities into Creative Cities Network

UNESCO, Creative Cities, Ambon, Bangkok, Cebu, Hanoi, Sukhothai

Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai (Photo: Creative Commons)

This 30 October 2019, 66 cities have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay. Among them are five cities in ASEAN with Thailand having two new cities added, Bangkok and Sukhothai. 

As laboratories of ideas and innovative practices, the UNESCO Creative Cities bring a tangible contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through innovative thinking and action. Through their commitment, cities are championing sustainable development actions that directly benefit communities at urban level.

All over the world, these cities, each in its way, make culture the pillar, not an accessory, of their strategy,” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “This favours political and social innovation and is particularly important for the young generations.”

With the addition of 66 new cities, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 246 cities. Asia has 11 new creative cities (excluding the Middle East) with China, India and Thailand being nominated twice. In ASEAN, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines and Indonesia are among the countries where towns are recognised as creative cities.

In Indonesia, Ambon is recognised for its music heritage and tradition; in the Philippines, Cebu City has been recognised for its design while Thailand has seen Bangkok and Sukhothai being nominated- Thailand capital for its design and Sukhothai for its crafts and folk art. Finally, in Vietnam, Hanoi has also been recognised for its design.

The member cities that form part of the Network come from all continents and regions with different income levels and populations. They work together towards a common mission: placing creativity and the creative economy at the core of their urban development plans to make cities safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.