“Draw the art you want to see, start the business you want to run, play the music you want to hear, write the books you want to read, build the products you want to use, do the work you want to see done.” Austin Kleon

UNESCO’s top creative cities


UNESCO (United Nationals Educational Science & Cultural Organisation) fosters exchange of ideas & knowledge between top creative cities around the world. It recognises that cities are increasingly playing a vital role in harnessing creativity for economic and social development.

  • Cities harbor the entire range of cultural actors throughout the creative industry chain, from the creative act to production and distribution.
  • As breeding grounds for creative clusters, cities have great potential to harness creativity, and connecting cities can mobilize this potential for global impact.
  • Cities are small enough to affect local cultural industries but also large enough to serve as gateways to international markets.

Creative cities have managed to nurture a remarkably dynamic relationship between cultural actors and creativity, generating conditions where a city’s ‘creative buzz’ attracts more cultural actors, which in turn adds to a city’s creative buzz. This virtuous cycle of clustering and creativity that is shaping the foundation of creative cities is also perpetuating the evolution of the ‘new economy’.

The new economy is making it possible for creative clusters that are equipped with local content to interact on a global level, evoking a competitive environment that further generates creativity. Harnessing this creative energy of cities in a way that allows local cultural actors to benefit from global interaction embodies great potential for the development of local cultural industries.

Berlin is one of the top 3 creative cities according to UNESCO. The program in Berlin is called CREATE BERLIN and is an initiative by and for the Berlin creative community.

CREATE BERLIN unites creative minds and design producing talent from agencies, companies and institutions in Fashion Design, Product / Interior Design and New Media / Graphic Design as a network spanning all design disciplines. As ambassador of Berlin Design, CREATE BERLIN presents the creative variety of the Berlin design scene. With national and international commitment it promotes the economic potential of Berlin’s design industry; it strengthens Berlin’s reputation as a unique and aspiring design metropolis and as the UNESCO “City of Design”.

CREATE BERLIN lives through the commitment of the people of Berlin’s creative industry – their energies invested in the city have a trend-setting effect on Berlin and accelerate the heartbeat of the city.

If you remember back to Richard Flordia’s Book ‘The Creative Class’ you’ll see how a ‘creative city’ can not only be selected and evaluated, but also what kinds of activity and ‘buzz’ are self generating and self propogating to shift a city’s energy forward.

Although I live in Sydney there’s no doubt that if down under ever got on top, it would be the Mexicans south of the border who would take the cake. Melbourne is the more creative city.

If you’re interested to read up any further on UNESCO’s creative cities check it out here or Richard Florida’s book

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