The XIV Conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network showed the world the vocation of the Brazilian city of Santos to host major events. The meeting supported by the Santos Convention & Visitors Bureau brought together around 300 participants. The number included mayors, deputy mayors and representatives from 106 creative cities to discuss trends in the creative economy and the construction of more inclusive and sustainable cities, especially in the post-pandemic period.
“The city of Santos is an example for other cities around the world, and the Unesco Conference was a clear demonstration of this vocation. We are open to bringing more international events focused on the environment, business, tourism and sport”, said Vanessa Lombardi, President of the Santos Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Among the international delegations in the city, there were representatives from Jakarta (Indonesia), Istanbul (Turkey), Seoul (South Korea), Milan (Italy), Guadalajara (Mexico), Bristol (England), Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) and Quebec (Canada). From Brazil, representatives from João Pessoa and Campina Grande (PB), Recife (PE), Salvador (BA), Belém (PA), Fortaleza (CE), Paraty (RJ), Belo Horizonte (MG), Curitiba (PR) and Florianópolis (SC).
“Creativity: Road to Equality” was the topic of this year’s meeting. Member cities reflected on shared opportunities to implement sustainable development strategies and initiatives in line with UNESCO’s priority areas.
The participating cities exposed their projects to encourage the creative economy over an intense week of lectures and reflections with references from the cultural area. The city of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, presented its sustainable development project based on the promotion of music in the most vulnerable regions. Nakuru, Kenya, took an approach focused on cultural tourism to enhance its crafts. Gaziantep, in Turkey, used its gastronomic vocation to carry out training and income generation projects for women.
UNESCO Deputy Director of Culture, Ernesto Ottone, was in the city during the Conference and celebrated the event. He highlighted the hospitality and effort of Santos to hold the meeting, even facing two years of postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This was the first edition of the meeting in Latin America, which highlights the growing diversity of our Creative Cities Network,” said Ernesto.
Santos joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2015 for being a reference in audiovisual, becoming the first in Latin America to receive the Creative City seal in this area. Likewise, it is also the first Latin American municipality to host an edition of the Conference.
“During the five days of the Conference, we had a great immersion in creative economy, learning and hope. We still have a lot to do, but what matters is that we are together working to reduce social inequalities”, said the Mayor of Santos, Rogério saints.
The city of Santos became the first city in Latin America to host this event, which brings together representatives from approximately 90 countries to share successful policies in the area of culture and creativity. The city of São Paulo joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2015.
Santos will also host the UNESCO Oceanic Culture world event, which will bring together more than 25 countries, between October 10th and 15th this year. The choice was made by the city being considered a pioneer in the theme.
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