UNESCO Creative Cities Network

New Zealand is proud to have three designated UNESCO Creative Cities.

What is a UNESCO Creative City?

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

The Network is made up of 246 cities – from across the globe – working towards a common objective of placing creativity and cultural industry at the heart of development plans locally and co-operating actively internationally.

It covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music.

Our UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Dunedin became Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Creative City in 2014, when it joined the Network as a UNESCO City of Literature.

In 2017 Auckland was accepted as a UNESCO City of Music and in 2019, Aotearoa New Zealand gained its third Creative City when Wellington was designated a UNESCO City of Film.

Aotearoa's current Creative Cities:

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Dunedin City of Literature

Dunedin is a magnificent example of a small city that lives, breathes and connects through its people, its culture and its intense love of literature. Although a rather young city in worldly terms, it is well known as a university town of excellence in research and learning, and a city where writers, books and literature thrive.
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Auckland City of Music

Auckland is one of the most diverse cities in the world with more than 220 ethnic groups, and large Pacific and Māori populations. These communities add a unique sound to the city’s cultural fabric. Māori waiata and moteatea capture untold histories and express Auckland’s stories of love, fear, anger and loss. Auckland has a coterie of artists and musicians who contribute to the diversity of the city and communities. Auckland values its music sector working across a wide range of genre and roles.
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Wellington City of Film

Wellington as a UNESCO City of Film, is working to elevate the visual storytellers of Wellington, and to bring an array of cultural experiences to its people . By working with industry, community groups and educators, Wellington aims to be and remain the best place to watch, make and learn about movies. Wellington wants to become a bi-cultural City of Film, elevating and promoting Māori stories and storytellers particularly mana whenua and stories of the Wellington region.
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