UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN)


09:31 AM

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UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN) Blog Image

What’s in today’s article?

  • Why in news?
  • What is UNESCO?
  • What is UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN)?
  • Kozhikode’s literary tradition

Why in news?

  • The city of Kozhikode in Kerala was added in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
  • Gwalior from Madhya Pradesh was also among the 55 new cities to join the network.
  • These cities have been handpicked to represent seven creative fields — crafts and folk arts, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts, and music.
  • Kozhikode was included in the category of literature and Gwalior in the category of music.


  • About
    • UNESCO stands for United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    • It is specialized agency of the United Nations (UN).
    • The constitution, which entered into force in 1946, called for the promotion of international collaboration in education, science, and culture.
    • The agency’s permanent headquarters are in Paris, France.
    • Parent Organisation - United Nations Economic and Social Council
  • Goal
    • The primary goals of UNESCO are to contribute to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, science, and culture, and to promote sustainable development and intercultural dialogue.
    • UNESCO believes that these areas are crucial for building a more just, peaceful, and inclusive world.
  • key areas of focus
    • Education: UNESCO promotes quality education for all, advocating for access to education, improving teacher training, and fostering global citizenship.
    • Natural Sciences: UNESCO supports scientific research and the application of science to address global challenges, such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and sustainable development.
    • Culture: UNESCO works to safeguard and promote cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, including monuments, sites, traditions, and languages.
      • It also fosters cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue.
    • Communication and Information: UNESCO promotes freedom of expression, media development, and access to information.
      • It aims to foster a free, independent, and pluralistic media environment.
    • UNESCO designates and maintains a list of World Heritage Sites, which are places of outstanding universal value that deserve protection for future generations.
  • Key reports published by UNESCO
    • Global Education Monitoring Report
    • The United Nations World Water Development Report
    • World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development
    • Global Ocean Science Report

UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network (UCCN)

  • About
    • The UCCN was created in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.
    • It now includes 350 cities in over a hundred countries.
    • It was launched to promote UNESCO’s goals of cultural diversity and strengthen resilience to threats such as climate change, rising inequality, and rapid urbanisation.
  • Aim
    • The network is aimed at leveraging the creative, social, and economic potential of cultural industries.
    • It encourages a culture of creativity in urban planning and solutions to urban problems.
  • Objective of the CCCN
    • It allows member cities to recognise creativity as an essential component of urban development, notably through partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society.
    • It envisages to develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector.
    • These cities have to achieve the UN agenda of sustainable development.
  • Areas of action
    • The objectives of the network are implemented both at the level of the member cities and at the international level, notably through sharing experiences, knowledge and best practices.
    • There are professional and artistic exchange programmes, research and evaluations on the experience of the creative cities, among other activities.
  • The annual conference of network cities
    • A highlight of the network is the annual conference of mayors and other stakeholders of network cities.
    • This offers a unique occasion to strengthen ties between creative cities from across the world.
    • The last conference was held in Santos, Brazil, and this year’s conference was in Istanbul. The next conference will be held in July 2024 in Braga, Portugal.
  • Responsibilities of members
    • Every four years, member cities are required to submit a Membership Monitoring Report.
    • This report is presented with an aim of demonstrating their steadfast commitment towards the implementation of the UCCN Mission Statement.
    • They present an action plan for the following four years, providing insights into their achievements and lessons learnt, as well as the impact of the designation.
  • Indian cities in the network
    • Apart from Kozhikode and Gwalior, Varanasi (music), Srinagar (crafts and folk arts) and Chennai (music) are part of the network.

Kozhikode’s literary tradition

  • The first Malayalam novel Kundalatha was born in Kozhikode in 1887. It was authored by Appu Nedungadi.
  • Several illustrious writers like S K Pottekkatt, Vaikom Muhammad Basheer, Uroob, Thikkodiyan, NN Kakkad, P Valsala, Akbar Kakkattil, Punathil Kunjabdulla and MT Vasudevan Nair have brought laurels for Kozhikode.
  • The city has also produced many film and theatre professionals in the last half a century.

Q1) What is United Nations Economic and Social Council?

The United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations. It is the UN's largest and most complex subsidiary body. 

Q2) What is Global Education Monitoring Report?

The Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) is an annual report published by UNESCO. The report monitors progress towards the education targets within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework. The 2023 GEM Report was titled "Technology in Education: A Tool on Whose Terms".

Source: UNESCO names Kozhikode ‘city of literature’: What this tag means | UNESCO | The Hindu