Unesco names Singapore and Bandung as Creative Cities of Design

Unesco director-general Irina Bokova. Photo: UNESCO/Michel Ravassard/Wikimedia Commons.


Singapore has been named a Creative City of Design by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

Another Asean city, Bandung in Indonesia, also received the prestigious designation. Together with Budapest (Hungary), Detroit (USA), Kaunas (Lithuania) and Puebla (Mexico), they will now join 16 current Cities of Design in the Unesco Creative Cities Network.

“We are glad to receive this affirmation from Unesco and I am delighted to share this joyous news with all Singaporeans,” said Singapore’s minister for communications and information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim.

“As a UNESCO Creative City of Design, Singapore will continue to use design to improve the lives of Singaporeans and make Singapore a more liveable and lovable city. We will also work towards helping businesses be more innovative through design.

“The designation will spur us on in building a pervasive design and innovative culture that involves everyone – designers, communities and the public.”

Led by the DesignSingapore Council, a government agency, Singapore submitted its application for the designation in July this year.

Unesco’s Creative Cities Network, launched in 2004, now comprises 116 cities worldwide in seven creative fields – crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music.

“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,” said Unesco director-general Irina Bokova, who announced the designation of 47 cities from 33 countries as new members of the network on Friday.

Rosa Daniel, secretary-general of the Singapore National Commission for Unesco, also welcomed the news.

“Unesco plays an important global role in promoting the culture and creativity of cities around the world,” she said.

“It is wonderful that Singapore has been declared a Unesco Creative City of Design in the year of our golden jubilee. This is significant following the inscription of Singapore Botanic Gardens as our first Unesco World Heritage Site in July this year.

“With both accolades on Singapore’s 50th year as a young nation, we receive international recognition as a cultural city of excellence which honours the past through preserving our heritage, while preparing for a bright future through being creative and innovative. We hope to learn from others while sharing our experiences by participating in Unesco’s networks and activities.”

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