Geelong set to host UNESCO Cities of Design for 2021 subnetwork meeting

The City of Greater Geelong will host the 2021 UNESCO Cities of Design Subnetwork Meeting.

Following a four-week voting process involving the other 39 international cities of design, Geelong was chosen as the destination for this major annual UNESCO event from 10–12 October 2021.

City of Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher said hosting the meeting would present a key opportunity to showcase Geelong to an international audience.

“We are excited to start putting together an inspiring agenda that showcases the design capabilities of our region to the rest of the world,” said the Mayor.

“Geelong is rapidly becoming a globally-renowned City of Design, with so many exciting projects underway, as well as a clever and creative vision for our future.

“Bidding for this event was a goal identified in our Council Plan, so we are thrilled not only to have successfully put in a bid, but to have been selected as the 2021 host – this is a major coup for our region.

“As a community, we have so much to be proud of, and I look forward to sharing our design credentials and achievements to an international audience,” said the Mayor.

Geelong’s bid to host the sub-network meeting was first initiated during the City’s participation in the 2018 UNESCO Creative Cities Annual General meeting in Krakow, Poland.

In light of potential COVID-19 impacts, the City’s final bid put forward three options for the meeting, demonstrating flexibility and innovation. The options included an in-person event in Geelong, a combination of in-person and online programming, and a 100% virtual event.

The City will work with the Cities of Design Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator over the next six months to determine the best way to deliver this meeting in response to global COVID-19 impacts.

The event program will be designed in collaboration with local key stakeholders, using resources such as Business Events Geelong to deliver an event that accommodates international cities and showcases Geelong’s design and creativity.

As well as subnetwork meetings for each of the seven creative categories (design, literature, media arts, crafts and folk art, gastronomy, music and film) the UNESCO Creative Cities network also hosts an Annual General Meeting for all 246 cities.

The 2021 Annual General Meeting will be held in Santos, Brazil. Details of how this meeting will be delivered have not been confirmed.

Geelong joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2017 as City of Design. This designation plays a key role in supporting the community’s 30-year Clever and Creative vision.