Design City

Geelong is Australia’s first UNESCO City of Design, an evolving, dynamic city with a deep sense of place and a strong industrial past. We embrace change to build a Clever and Creative Future.

Geelong has a long and proud history as a creative city and a leader in design. On 31 October 2017 Geelong was designated a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN). The City of Design designation is about using creativity and innovation to build more sustainable, resilient and inclusive communities. It fits perfectly with our 30-year, community-led vision to be internationally recognised as a clever and creative city-region.

There are currently 246 members of the UCCN. Each Creative City has a designation across one of seven fields – Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, Music, Craft and Folk.

Geelong is one of 38 Cities of Design in the UCCN. Our designation opens up opportunities to showcase and celebrate our achievements on an international stage. We’ll learn from and share knowledge to improve our industrial and commercial activities, our urban form and our liveability.

Since receiving the designation, Geelong has been an active participant in the UCCN, with visits to other international Cities of Design and hosting of fellow City of Design representatives. These visits and exchanges allow us to share knowledge and build creative partnerships with other Cities of Design.

Major activities and current projects

  • May 2018 – Designation launch with special guest from Detroit City of Design
  • March 2019 – Hosted a Geelong Stakeholder day with more than 140 representatives from the Geelong community. This event included special guests from Dundee and Kortrijk Cities of Design
  • Liveable Loveable Cities Project in collaboration with Dundee City of Design
  • March 2019 – Regional Geelong Program as part of Melbourne Design Week
  • Attendance and participation in the UCCN Annual General Meetings in Krakow, Poland and Fabriano, Italy
  • Attendance and participation in the UCCN Subnetwork meetings in Dundee, Scotland and Detroit, USA.
  • Established a working group consisting of local organisations and community representatives to oversee the framework, communications and major projects of the designation
  • Partnered with Deakin University and Clever and Creative to deliver the Deakin Lecture Series
  • Hosted two PechaKucha events in March and June 2019 – these events follow a specific 20×20 format, with up to eight guest speakers talking about clever and creative design in Geelong
  • Geelong Design Week 2020 – to be held from 19-29 March 2020

2019 Stakeholder Day

On 14 March 2019, the City of Greater Geelong hosted a UNESCO City of Design Stakeholder Day.

Watch the video to see how the day brought together local industry and community stakeholders, international guests and representatives of Deakin University and Creative Victoria to focus on creativity and design in building a sustainable future for Geelong.

We look forward to working closely with our UCCN partners to share best practice ideas, strategies and design thinking, to help deliver a strong Geelong where creativity drives culture.