SEOUL, South Korea – Seoul was appointed a UNESCO City of Design as of July 20, 2010. The designation is
In appreciation of the Seoul’s abundant cultural heritage and creative potentials, as well as its strong pursuit of diverse design policies, the United Nations agency has given the city the designation of City of Design. The UN agency evaluated the city’s potential to help developing countries with its creative urban development programs as part of the process.
UNESCO launched the Creative Cities Network in 2004 to enhance the social, economic, and cultural development of cities in the world, promoting their local creative scenes and, therefore, fulfilling the UNESCO’s mission towards cultural diversity. It appoints the network members in seven fields – literature, film, music, crafts and folk art, design, media arts, and gastronomy. Eight cities including Seoul have been selected as members in the field of design. The others are Buenos Aires, Berlin, Montreal, Nagoya, Kobe, Shenzhen, and Shanghai.
Appointed to the network as a City of Design, Seoul will enjoy a variety of benefits. It will be able to use a UNESCO logo in its programs and events, based on the UNESCO regulations. The city will also participate in various UNESCO activities to set up international networks and exchange information, knowledge, and experiences among member cities. In addition, Seoul will be able to promote its design resources and cultural programs on the UNESCO website.
Seoul, on the other hand, is expected to report its national and international activities as a City of Design to the UN agency every year and to maintain close relationship with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO.
Mayor Oh Se-hoon said Seoul’s appointment as a UNESCO City of Design reflects the international recognition and supports for the city’s accumulated design policy. “I will try to make Seoul a substantial world city of design by upgrading its international status through policy and programs as a leading city of design and cultivating the creative manpower and design industry,” he added.
The metropolitan government will sign an MOU with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO during August this year on the joining of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and on the implementation of various cooperative programs. It plans to host an international forum of the network this year.