About the activity

About The Activity

Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 246 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

By joining the Network, cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society in order to:

strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services;

develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector;

improve access to and participation in cultural life, in particular for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals;

fully integrate culture and creativity into sustainable development plans.

The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.

The Creative Cities Network is a privileged partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation, notably for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Concept Note

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected all the aspects of urban life – economically, socially and environmentally – compelling cities around the world to adapt and demonstrate creativity and innovation to devise appropriate and effective solutions to this unprecedented situation.

In order to better respond to the multifaceted impact of this crisis, and continue to provide essential public services to city dwellers, cities around the world have mobilized their creative and technological assets and talents, devising a wide range of measures and actions experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As part of their proactive response, cities have transformed culture and arts into digital experiences, as well as leveraged design components and cutting-edge technology to protect the health and safety of their inhabitants, while developing and democratizing remote education and learning for all generations.

Beyond mitigating the direct effects of the crisis, the increasing use of emerging technologies and science has led cities to explore how creativity and innovation can improve urban management, with a view to building the sustainable cities of tomorrow. To implement UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and more particularly SDG 11 to ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’, there is an imperative need to shape long-term strategies to allow for a smooth digital transformation based on innovative thinking.

In this context and in line with the UNESCO’s transversal approach to cities and urban development, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) has served as a collaborative platform for its 246 member cities from over 80 countries, with the aim of boosting sustainable urban development powered by creativity and innovation and improving the overall life quality of their citizens.

Successfully co-organized by UNESCO and the city of Beijing – a UNESCO Creative City of Design – in 2013 and 2016, the first two editions of the UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit cemented the event as a regular platform for Creative Cities to exchange their experiences and expertise as well as collectively reflect on how to best strengthen sustainability in urban development. This year, building on Beijing’s strengths in science and technology, which is supported in particular by its vibrant new technology companies including sector leaders and innovative start-ups, the third UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit aims to call further for creativity and innovation in and for cities, as well as promote culture’s driving role for sustainable urban development.

Under the theme ‘Creativity empowers cities, technology creates the future’, the third Beijing Summit will provide an international platform for discussion and networking, bringing together a diverse set of different urban stakeholders, including Mayors and policymakers, representatives from UN agencies, academics and experts, as well as innovators and entrepreneurs. With a special focus on the digital economy, the Summit will explore how culture, creativity, and technology can help to improve urban management and nurture the sustainable cities of tomorrow across different development dimensions.

In the recently published ‘UN Secretary General’s Policy Brief on COVID-19 in an Urban World’, Mr António Guterres emphasizes that ‘ensuring that innovation is integral to the design, planning and management of cities has multiple benefits’. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the UNESCO Creative Cities have been mobilized to further reinforce solidarity and collaboration within the Network and beyond. More than ever, the power of creativity and innovation should be fully supported to cope with the evolving situation, and reinforce ties between people and communities in the post coronavirus era, where new urban management systems and models underpinned by culture and empowered by creativity will rise to respond to contemporary urban challenges and opportunities.

The 3rd UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit

Time and Venue September 17-18, 2020 The offline venue is Shougang Park
Theme Creativity Empowers Cities, Technology Creates the Future
Activities The activities include opening and closing ceremonies, forums and exhibition.


Organizers United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, People's Government of Beijing Municipality, National Commission of the People's Republic of China for UNESCO
Host Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, Foreign Affairs Office of the People's Government of Beijing Municipality, Beijing Municipal Education Commission
Implemented by Beijing Industrial Design Center