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5 New UNESCO Cities of Design

December 8th, 2014

Helsinki, one of the new UNESCO Cities of Design. Image by Harri Timonen, via Flickr (CC-BY 2.0)


Santa Fe (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Kobe and Nagoya (Japan), Montréal (Canada), Seoul (Korea), Shenzhen, Shanghai and Beijing (China), Berlin (Germany), Saint-Etienne (France) and Graz (Austria). What do these cities all have in common?

They are the only 12 countries in the world – until now – to have been awarded the coveted ‘UNESCO City of Design’ status.

Until now, because five new cities have now been added to their ranks: Dundee (Scotland), Bilbao (Spain), Curitiba (Brazil), Helsinki (Finland) and Turin (Italy).

So, what does it take to be a City of Design?

UNESCO City of Design status is awarded to cities that:

  • Have an established design industry;

  • Have a “cultural landscape” built upon great design (e.g. its architecture, city planning, public spaces and so on); 

  • Are a hub for design schools and research into design;

  • Possess a community of actively engaged designers and creators;

  • Have experience of hosting design fairs and expos;

  • Provide opportunities for local designers and urban planners; and

  • Are a centre for design-driven, creative industries.

Apart from the glory and honour of being awarded this status, UNESCO hopes that Cities of Design will help to promote and grow the creative industries in their region, and build relationships and networks with the other award-holding cities.

LogoBee is proud to be based in Montréal, a UNESCO City of Design since 2006. Are you part of a creative industry in a UNESCO City of Design? Has the award had an impact on your career?


About the Author:

Although her primary niche is in scientific writing and editing, freelance writer Lisa Martin is also a creative type with an eye for design. She regularly works alongside graphic designers and as such has a keen interest in the development of logos and branding.




Leave Your Comment

This puzzles me a little. What the meaning of the award really is? Is it like a Michelin star? Are you expecting to see more quality work and design from this cities? What purpose does it serve?

by PavelDecember 12, 2014