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Hanoi joins UNESCO's Creative Cities Network

Released at: 08:07, 01/11/2019

Hanoi joins UNESCO's Creative Cities Network

Photo: Viet Tuan

Global network promises sustainable development for the creative economy and cultural vibrancy.

by Le Diem

Hanoi has been added to the list of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, together with 65 other cities all over the world.

The network recognizes seven factors - craft and folk arts, media, film, design, gastronomy, literature, and music - as creative fields. As laboratories of ideas and innovative practices, UNESCO Creative Cities make a tangible contribution to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through innovative thinking and action. Through their commitment, cities are championing sustainable development actions that directly benefit communities at the urban level.

Each in its own way, these cities make culture the pillar, not an accessory, of their strategies, according to UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. This favors political and social innovation and is particularly important for the younger generations.

Though having a rich culture of cuisine and craft and folk arts, Hanoi chose the design field as its typical feature and targeted for sustainable development in applying to join the network.

Design in Hanoi can be seen in many architectural works with a long history, like Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO-recognized cultural heritage site, and diverse architectural works expressing talent and creativity in design of many generations, such as the Hanoi Opera House, the Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, and Nhat Tan Bridge.

The creative industry in Hanoi is growing. According to its application, in 2018, the creative industry contributed about $1.49 billion, equivalent to 3.7 per cent of its GRDP. The value add of Hanoi’s arts and entertainment industry reached some $196.5 million, accounting for 0.49 per cent of GRDP. In addition, out of more than 43,700 businesses operating in the field of creative design in Hanoi are many in interior design, urban design, and painting design. In 2018, the number of newly-established enterprises in the fields of science and technology, consulting, design, and advertising services in Hanoi reached 2,522 and 167 in the fields of arts and entertainment.

UNESCO launched the Creative Cities Network in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities that recognize creativity as a significant factor in their development. The Network now has a total of 246 cities from all continents and regions and with different income levels and populations. They work together towards a common mission: placing creativity and the creative economy at the core of their urban development plans to make cities safe, resilient, inclusive, and sustainable, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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