By Raymond Tham
SINGAPORE — The Republic has been designated as a Creative City of Design by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
At 10.04pm on Friday (Dec 11), Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim wrote on Facebook that he had just gotten the news of this.
“This is indeed a proud moment for all of us and puts Singapore’s design industry on the world stage,” wrote Dr Yaacob. “Congratulations to the designers, design industry and communities.”
UCCN was created in Protected content promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor in sustainable urban development, its website states. Including this year’s new designations, there are Protected content cities, organised into seven creative fields: Craft and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.
The 16 existing member Creative Cities of Design were Beijing, Berlin, Bilbao, Buenos Aires, Curitiba, Dundee, Graz, Helsinki, Kobe, Montreal, Nagoya, Saint-Etienne, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Turin. Along with Singapore, the cities of Bandung, Budapest, Detroit, Kaunas, and Puebla have joined this list.
In a post on Facebook on Friday, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) said that the designation will create more opportunities for local design companies to work together with those in other member cities.
Dr Yaacob added in a statement issued Saturday: “As a UNESCO Creative City of Design, Singapore will continue to use design to improve the lives of Singaporeans and make Singapore a more liveable and lovable city. We will also work towards helping businesses be more innovative through design. The designation will spur us on in building a pervasive design and innovative culture that involves everyone - designers, communities and the public."
According to UCCN, the designated cities work together towards a common objective: Placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.
Cities that join the network must not only commit to sharing their best practices, but also develop partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society.
This is to strengthen the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and services, develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector.
The aims are also to improve access to and participation in cultural life, and fully integrate culture and creativity into sustainable development plans.
The DesignSingapore Council, a division under the MCI submitted its application for the designation of UNESCO Creative City of Design in July this year, an MCI statement revealed Saturday. The application was supported by the Singapore Government at the highest level and the design community including various design associations and institutions of higher learning, the MCI said.
With the designation, DesignSingapore Council says it will also double its role as the City of Design Office, in addition to playing host to the annual UCCN Conference within the next four years. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY ETHAN GUO