5 “Cities of Design” by UNESCO

Dundee, Curitiba, Bilbao, Helsinki and Turin are the new “Cities of Design” awarded by international heritage body UNESCO for their input to the international design industry. The cities located in the UK, Brazil, Spain, Finland and Italy joined the existing list of twelve “Cities of Design,” such as Beijing. Berlin and Montreal.

The scheme aims to promote the development of the local creative industries, as well as to strengthen the relationship and resource sharing between the already existing “Cities of Design”. 

City of Design status is awarded as part of the Creative Cities Network established by UNESCO in 2004, which also recognizes contributions to literature, art, music, film and gastronomy. The cities are five of 28 that have been included into the Creative Cities Network.

In order to achieve the status, the cities must meet the criteria set by UNESCO that includes having a thriving design industry fed by design schools and research centers, and practicing groups of creators and designers.

Each of the five newly awarded cities has its own design schools and institutions. Bilbao is home to the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum, Curitiba is recognized by UNESCO for its urban infrastructure and Helsinki and Turin have architectural and natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as royal residencies and an 18th century military fortress.

In Dundee, the V&A Museum of Design is about to open soon, to which the Scottish government awarded £15 million to develop the museum as part of its £1-billion 30-year master-plan to regenerate the Waterfront area of the city. The museum will be the UK’s first design museum outside of London.


This image: Helsinki.

This image: Helsinki. Main image: Bilbao.

Dundee. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Dundee. Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Turin. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Turin. Image courtesy of Shutterstock



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