The Creative Cities Network

The UNESCO City of Design designation is a key step towards Geelong’s vision of becoming internationally recognised as a clever and creative city-region.

One of the primary aims of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) is a commitment to the UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals and in particular Goal #11, Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Through our membership, Geelong has confirmed its commitment to the network’s Mission Statement and Strategic Framework, to further integrate culture and creativity within initiatives, policies and projects at a local level. Our commitment extends to sharing best practices and developing international partnerships.

Read more about the UCCN HERE.

Since receiving the designation, Geelong has been an active participant in the network with visits to the following UCCN cities:

  • Krakow, Poland (City of Literature) to attend the UCCN Annual General Meeting.
  • Turin, Italy and Dundee, Scotland (Cities of Design) to explore clever design practices that can be adopted across a range of City of Greater Geelong projects, services and initiatives.
  • Dundee, Scotland (City of Design) and Kortrijk, Belgium (City of Design) as part of the Design Cities Subnetwork meeting
  • Singapore (City of Design) enroute to Dundee where a meeting was held with Singapore network members

Learn more about the Design Cities Subnetwork.

The main objective of these visits was to learn how cities have leveraged their City of Design designation and how we can use these learnings in Geelong for the benefit of the community.

Some of the key learnings included:

  • The opportunities the network can provide to local businesses and the community through international projects and connections.
  • The variety of ways cities embed design thinking to develop and deliver services to their communities, to improve liveability or to tackle social problems such as unemployment and homelessness . The activities are broad-ranging from health to design weeks, to business programs and events.
  • The similarities between Geelong and Dundee – both cities have transformed from a traditional manufacturing background and are now experiencing significant urban growth where impacts on transport, employment and connectivity all become challenges for the municipalities to manage.
  • All cities in the subnetwork have a strong relationship with local universities whether through design education, access to students, job placements, design competitions, research programs, funding and staff secondments.
  • Our obligations as a member including reporting requirements
  • The various governance structures, strategic plans and resources that other cities have adopted to support their designation

Read the full report HERE.

The good news for the Geelong community is that we are already delivering projects that support initiatives of the UCCN such as our policies on social inclusion, equity, the Clever and Creative Vision, the events we run, the city planning we undertake and our programs that support those at a disadvantage.

Read more about our City projects HERE.

Design is used in a multitude of ways across a variety of projects implemented by network cities. The underlining factor is that “design thinking” drives activities, whether in business, health programs, city planning, delivery of events or managing social challenges – and to support our liveability, Geelong must adopt a design thinking approach in every aspect of our planning for the future.