Braga Creative Cities

We attended the UNESCO Creative Cities event in Braga

Braga Manifesto signed, check!

Last week, 350 UNESCO Creative Cities from more than 100 countries gathered in the Portuguese city of Braga to highlight the role of creativity and culture in sustainable urban development. To this end, the mayors present signed the Braga Manifesto, which recognizes the role of culture as a driver and facilitator of sustainable development. 

It calls for the integration of culture as an independent goal in the post-2030 UN international development agenda.

The city and region of Kortrijk received the recognition of UNESCO Creative City of Design in 2017. Quite an honor, because through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, we connect with cities worldwide that, like us, deploy design, creativity and culture for their inhabitants, companies, students, organizations,... It is the ideal platform to exchange best practices.

Some inspiring examples we learned about this past week:

  • digital food platforms to preserve and share gastronomy culture (Buraydah - City of Gastronomy),
  • residencies for artists in early childhood education (Metz - City of Music)
  • musicians from various cities playing together for climate action (including Kansas, Daegu, London (Canada) - Cities of Music),
  • cooking classes for underprivileged young parents (Bendigo - City of Gastronomy),
  • residencies for writers (Angoulême, Nanjing - Cities of Literature),
  • exchange of media artists (including Austin, Braga, Dakar, Enghien-les-Bains - Cities of Media Arts),
  • ...

A lot of best practices were also exchanged among design cities:

  • M7 Qatar, the epicenter for innovation and entrepreneurship in design, fashion and technology (Doha),
  • Design Index Styria (Graz),
  • Hack the Material (Kortrijk),
  • ...

Curious about such projects from these other design cities? Then check out the Design Cities' "Design Supermarket" below.

20240704 UCCN BRAGA 2024 JOAO CRUZ 0058

© Joao Cruz

What does Designregio Kortrijk do with this? We steal with our eyes, and set up new collaborations. Agreements have been made with cities such as Como (City of Crafts & Folk Arts), Turin (City of Design), Bilbao (City of Design), Busan (City of Film), Berlin (City of Design), Quéretaro (City of Design) and Ghent (City of Music).

Our active engagement in this network strengthens our own target groups, as well as the network itself. Thus, we could conclude that since 2004, the UNESCO Creative Cities Network contributes to economic growth, social cohesion, sustainable development, and the communication of the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) with various stakeholders at local, national and international levels.

So from DRK we remain fans of this international network!

Thanks to the Flemish UNESCO Commission, as an enthusiastic supporter of our international engagements.

UCCN Braga 2024 day 3 Elisa Freitas 199

© Elisa Freitas