Dunedin becomes first New Zealand UNESCO Creative City

The National Commission congratulates Dunedin – which after many months of preparation, hard work and collaboration, received the international designation as a Creative City of Literature by UNESCO in December 2014.

The Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Ian McKinnon said the achievement was to be celebrated.

“The achievement of this status recognises Dunedin’s extensive literary legacy and the role that literature continues to play in the cultural life of the city. The National Commission is delighted at this international recognition of Dunedin’s literary traditions, which will enable New Zealand to share with the world Dunedin’s and our country’s rich literary heritage, and Dunedin to share its knowledge and experience with other like-minded Creative Cities around the globe.”

Literature is one of seven creative industry fields which UNESCO recognises through its Creative Cities Network. Others are film, music, crafts and folk art, design, media arts and gastronomy.

UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network seeks to develop international co-operation among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable development. The network facilitates the sharing of experience, knowledge and resources among the member cities as a means of promoting the development of local creative industries and fostering worldwide co-operation for sustainable urban development.

Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull said that the announcement puts Dunedin on the world map as a first-class literary city. “We keep honourable company; other cities bestowed with City of Literature status include Edinburgh, Dublin, Iowa City, Melbourne, Reykjavik, Norwich and Krakow.”

We strongly recommend a visit to to Dunedin’s beautiful website dedicated to its new status: CityofLiterature.co.nz and of course they’re on Facebook!

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