The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) connects cities that want to share experiences, ideas, and best practices for cultural, social, and economic development. The UCCN recently called for a research and evaluation agenda to support knowledge development and sharing across the network.

The network continues to grow rapidly since its inception in 2004. Today, the UCCN consist of 116 cities worldwide, with additional cities in the application process to join the network.

The UCCN is organized into seven thematic areas:

  • Literature
  • Cinema
  • Music
  • Craft and Folk Arts
  • Design
  • Media Arts
  • Gastronomy

This rapid expansion reflects the growing worldwide interest – and knowledge needs – regarding the use of the creative and culture sectors as key drivers for sustainable development. 

In 2016, the Annual UCCN Meeting will be held in association with a scientific conference for the first time. This scientific conference, titled Valuing and Evaluating Creativity for Sustainable Regional Development (VEC), will initiate dialogue and catalyze action towards establishing a long-term research and knowledge platform as recently called for by the UCCN.

The timing and synergy between VEC and the 10th Annual Meeting is important and responds to two significant global trends. First, as evidenced by the rapid expansion of the UCCN, there is a clear and growing demand to utilize culture and creativity as sustainable development resources. Second, there is a growing demand to understand, evaluate, and share knowledge about “what works.” Indeed, 2015 has been declared the International Year of Evaluation and this declaration has been endorsed by a wide range of United Nations agencies and program areas “to prepare for the implementation of the new sustainable development agenda 2016-2030.”

VEC will convene leading scholars, policymakers, and practitioners to share study methods and findings, engage in dialogue, advance the knowledge base regarding the use of creativity for sustainable development, and support the UCCN in sharing knowledge across the network. VEC  is designed to open the 10th Annual UCCN Meeting and facilitate direct interaction between researchers, policymakers, and representatives from member cities in the network. 

Conference Themes:

  • What is the value of culture and creativity, and how can this be evaluated?
  • What is the relationship between creative and cultural cities and their surrounding regions?
  • How can the scientific community help develop guiding strategies and advance best practices for the UNESCO Creative Cities Network?

 Support for this scientific conference has been provided by Mid Sweden University, Municipality of Östersund, Jämtland Regional Cultural Administration (Länskulturen, Region Jämtland-Härjedalen), and the Swedish Research Council (Formas).

The conference language is English. Selected materials will be made available in French.