The Creative Cities Network, launched by UNESCO in Octobre 2004, is designed to promote the economic, social and cultural development of cities in both the developed and developing countries. By providing a world platform that presents cities’ local cultural assets, the Network helps member cities access a wealth of know-how, information and experience, in order to further the development of local cultural industries and the recognition of its member cities at world level.
Cities applying to the Network seek to promote their local creativity and share common interests with UNESCO such as cultural diversity. The Network focuses on launching public and private partnerships that encourage creativity through municipal policies.
The application of the city of Lyon was examined by a panel of experts from various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) specialised in the cooperation between cities and in media arts. Famous for its Nuits Sonores and Fête de la Lumière, Lyon was selected for its special profile and its longstanding experience with digital tools in the field of culture. Lyon is home to companies that are particularly innovative in the area of digital games. Its public sector devotes up to 20% of its funds for culture to media arts. Its project based on new initiatives and cooperation with other cities of UNESCO’s Network was particularly appreciated within the framework of the evaluation.
UNESCO’s Network connects creative cities in the fields of literature, cinema, music, crafts and folk art, design, media arts and gastronomy. Nine other cities already belong to the Network: Assuan (Egypt) and Santa Fé (United States) in the field of Crafts and folk art; Montreal (Canada), Buenos Aires (Argentina) and Berlin (Germany) in design; Popayan (Colombia) for gastronomy; Edinborough (United Kingdom) for literature; Bologna (Italy) and Sevilla (Spain) for music. Some twenty other cities in the world have already applied and are being evaluated.