The UNESCO Creative Cities Network has been promoted by UNESCO since 2004 to strengthen cooperation between cities that identify culture and creativity as fundamental and essential factors for their sustainable development, with specific reference to one of the 17 goals of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
The Cities of the Network undertake, in particular, to pursue the six objectives set in the mission statement underlying the programme.
The network is divided into seven creative sectors:
- Crafts and Folk Arts;
- Media arts.
The designation of creative cities is the responsibility of the UNESCO Director General on the basis of a selection procedure launched every two years.
The evaluation process involves internal and external consultations with independent experts and cities that are members of the network. The announcement is published on the UNESCO website; the application must be accompanied by a letter of support from the Italian National Commission for UNESCO.
There are eleven Italian cities currently participating in the network in six different sectors:
- Bologna (Music-2006)
- Turin (Design-2008)
- Fabriano (Craft and Folk Art-2013
- Parma (Gastronomy-2015)
- Rome (Film-2015)
- Pesaro (Music-2017)
- Alba (Gastronomy-2017)
- Carrara (Craft-2017)
- Milan (Literature-2017)
- Biella (Craft and Folk Art -2019)
- Bergamo (Gastronomy -2019)
In October 2016, Italian cities set up a coordination chaired by the City of Bologna, whose objectives include strengthening the role of Italian cities within the international network, of becoming a platform for reflection and research in the field of new economies and fostering the integrated connection between culture, economic development and tourism, to establish itself as reference points and hubs for creativity at national level.