Cebu City, Philippines has been recognized as a forefront in the creative field of design. Cebu and four other Southeast Asian Cities joined the Creative Cities Network, established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Other Southeast Asian (SEA) Cities also included in the list were Thailand’s Bangkok (design) and Sukhothai (crafts and folk art), Indonesia’s Ambon (music), Vietnam’s Hanoi (design).
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) aims to use art as a pillar for development encompassing economic levels. “This favours political and social innovation and is particularly important for the young generations” says UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. The new additions to the network bring the total to 246 member-cities.
According to the UCCN, members of the network “acknowledge their commitment to sharing best practices, developing partnerships that promote creativity and the cultural industries, strengthening participation in cultural life and integrating culture in urban development plans.”
Baguio City, Philippines was inducted into the network in 2017 for crafts & folk art. As a member of the UCCN, Baguio established the Baguio City Creative Circuit that physically links creative venues of the city. By doing this, the circuit aims to bring expose artists to a wider range of audiences.
Singapore (design), Indonesia’s Bandung (design) and Pekalongan (crafts & folk art), Thailand’s Phuket (gastronomy) and Chiang Mai (crafts & folk art) have been Creative Cities prior to the latest addition. The UCCN underlines Crafts & Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature, and Music as fields central to the network’s mandate. Creative Cities report their plans and the developments they have made to the UCCN to maintain membership.