Unsure as to what constituted a ‘creative city’, I was led to the UNESCO website by Andy Pratt’s article, “The Cultural Contradictions of the Creative City”. Pratt states, “we need to appreciate the diversity of objectives and practices that constitute creative cities, and for this diversity to become the foundation of a learning process. One way to encourage this process and outcome might be to become a member of the UNESCO creative cities network” (2011).
After researching UNESCO and the work they do I was quickly impressed with their principles and resulting feats. Founded during a time of great physical and political turmoil, 1945, UNESCO was created to establish peace “on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity” (unesco.org, 2014).
The solidarity between global cities is something that UNESCO strives for; the same aims are evident in the ‘Creative Cities Project’, which operates in central European countries. The initiative uses creative industry workers who have “high, but often unrecognised potential” (creativecitiesproject.eu, 2014), and implements them to work for the betterment of themselves and their community which then impacts their employment opportunities for the better. Aims of the project include: ‘improve their external visibility through transnational marketing and networking’ and to ‘exploit potentials in the development of decayed urban areas through the allocation of creative industries in those city districts’.
This last aim conjured memories of June last year when I braved the cold with a friend and visited Vivid Sydney: Light Music Ideas. This festival uses buildings as a canvas and splashes light and colour in a series of installations, transforming the city into a colourful playground. “It is a summit, forum and playground for the world’s creative industries –a time to celebrate, collaborate, experiment, conduct business and showcase how creativity changes everything” (vividsydney.com, 2014).
These initiatives celebrate the ingenuity and potential of creative industries, including job creation and cultural diversity. And until now I was unaware of the abundance of projects that bring together artists, industries and the community. It’s exciting to think that these initiatives are only going to grow, continuing to innovate and expand our perceptions of aesthetics.
– Pratt, A 2011, “The cultural contradictions of the creative city,” City, Culture and Society 2 pp. 123–130
– Creative Cities Project 2014, Accessed at: http://www.creativecitiesproject.eu/en/output.shtml
– UNESCO 2014, Accessed at: http://en.unesco.org/