Francesco Bandarin, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Culture
Since its creation in 2004, the Creative Cities Network has been a flagship programme of UNESCO, highlighting and promoting the role of culture and creativity in building more inclusive and sustainable cities. This rapidly-growing Network currently unites 116 cities from 54 countries around a common objective: promoting creativity as a motor for development.
Creative Cities place culture and the creative industries at the heart of their local development strategies and policies, and collaborate actively at the international level through intercity projects. The Network maintains that cities – in spite of their cultural, geographic, demographic or economic differences – can support, inspire and enrich one another, and work together, for the sustainable development of all.
In the face of a rapid urbanization, culture is more important than ever as a strategic enabler of renewal for cities and a catalyst for innovation, intercultural dialogue and social cohesion. Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2015, as well as the New Urban Agenda in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016, the Creative Cities were called upon to implement these development agendas at the city level.
Together at Enghien-les-Bains, on the occasion of the XIth Annual Meeting of the Network, the Creative Cities will reaffirm their commitment and present concrete actions they have taken towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. UNESCO relies increasingly on the Creative Cities to maximise the power of culture and to imagine the sustainable cities of the future.
I wish the XIth Annual Meeting great success and kindly thank Enghien-les-Bains, a Creative City of Media Arts, for its warm welcome.
Philippe Sueur, mayor of Enghien-les-Bains and 1st Vice-president of the General Council of the Val d'Oise
Imagining tomorrow’s city together developed around its lake, Enghien-les-Bains, a spa town in the Grand Paris region and UNESCO Creative City for the Media Arts, has cultivated its eclectic character by cleverly combining its heritage with the here and now. With its excellent hospitality capacity, accessible in minutes from the centre of Paris and international airports connected to Europe’s main capitals, Enghien-les-Bains is doing its part for this network of Creative Cities vested in imagining the city of tomorrow and their intercultural links. By championing the Media Arts, an educational tool and gateway into science, Enghien is taking part in the global conversation on the smart and sensitive city.
In June 2017, the Annual Meeting of the Creative Cities Network will be open to the general public for the first time with an arts programme incorporating installations, exhibitions, workshops, talks and concerts. This exciting initiative co-produced with local residents, businesses, associations and children will invigorate Enghien-les-Bains during the three-day event.