UNESCO Creative Cities

10 Best UNESCO Design Creative Cities

“Where Design and Heritage Converge: 10 UNESCO Creative Cities”

Let’s talk about some really cool places that do a great job of making things look cool. Like making clothes, houses, pictures, and even maps of how cities should be set up! To be exact, these spots are known as UNESCO Design Creative Cities. The people who live or visit there are like design superheroes—everything around them is fun and beautiful. Take a walk through a city where every building and street is a work of art!

Design is like a code that everyone can figure out. It makes the world nicer, more useful, and funnier. These towns win awards from the United Nations (a big group of friends from all over the world) because they make everything look so great. These towns are so good at making things look and feel great that the UN gives them big hugs and trophies!

These cities are known as UNESCO Creative Cities. These towns are unique because they love making things look great and are very good at it! Not only do these towns make cool things, but they also help people understand each other better. That way, when people from different places come to these towns, they can all understand and enjoy the beautiful designs.

List of the 10 Best UNESCO Design Creative Cities

Design is like magic that makes everything around us look cool and work well! It’s like when we draw pretty pictures or build awesome things with blocks. Design helps us make houses, cars, and even our toys! Have you ever seen a really cool building that looks like it’s from the future? That’s because of design! And what about those beautiful paintings and sculptures? Yup, design is behind those too!

Bilbao, Spain

 UNESCO Design Creative Cities

Key Aspects

  • Guggenheim Museum
  • Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
  • Industrial Heritage

I’ll tell you about Bilbao! A lot of cool things have happened in this cool Spanish city. Back in the day, Bilbao was a busy spot where many things were made. Things have changed a lot since then! It looks like it got a really cool makeover! The really cool Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is a big part of the reason for this change. The shiny outside makes it look really cool, and the inside is full of cool art.

There’s more, though! Azkuna Zentroa is another place that used to be a wine cellar. Now it’s a fun spot with a swimming pool, library, and movie theatre. It’s like a big playground for art and fun lovers. Also, guess what? Bilbao has a place called the Bilbao Design District that is just for design. A lot of artists and designers work there and show off their cool stuff. This is a really cool spot where you can learn and see lots of cool things!

Curitiba, Brazil

Key Aspects

  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Waste Management
  • Green Spaces and Parks

I live in Curitiba, and there are great ways to get around and take care of the Earth! Our cool bus system is called “Ligeirinho,” which means “Little Light One”! It’s like a big train on wheels! We can get anywhere really quickly and not get stuck in traffic!

There are also many bike trails here! They keep us healthy and safe while we look around the city. Also, guess what? We have a lot of green places, like big parks with lots of plants and trees! The Botanical Garden is like a beautiful forest in the city! We love being there in the woods and spending time there!

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

 UNESCO Design Creative Cities

Key Aspects

  • Luxury Lifestyle and Tourism
  • Business Hub and Trade
  • Diverse Culture and Society

Wow, have you seen how cool the buildings in Dubai are? They’re really cool! The Burj Khalifa is the tallest one; it’s so high that it touches the sky! đŸ» It feels like you can reach the sky! Another building that looks like a big ship is called the Burj Al Arab! đŸ›„ Inside, it looks like a castle!

But what do you know? Dubai has a lot more cool buildings than that! Like the Cayan Tower, which looks like a DNA strand or a twisty straw! It helps the Dubai World Trade Centre stay cool in the hot desert sun because its shape is like a honeycomb! ☀

Graz, Austria

Key Aspects

  • Modern Art and Design
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Innovation and Education

A unique spot in Graz is where people love making cool stuff! The Kunsthaus Graz is one of their cool buildings; it looks like it came from the future! The Design Centre Graz is another place where people can learn and show off their cool ideas.

It’s not just about buildings, though! There are a lot of fun design events in Graz. Graz Design Month is a big one! It’s like a big party for people who love design! There are fun classes where you can make your own cool stuff, shows where you can see cool designs, and talks about the future of design.

Helsinki, Finland

 UNESCO Design Creative Cities

Key Aspects

  • Design and Architecture
  • Winter Activities
  • Sauna Culture

Finnish capital city is Helsinki. Let us talk about it! This place is great for style lovers. Tell me about what design means to you. That’s how things look and work! Helsinki has some really nice-looking buildings and places. There is a big church in Helsinki that I really like. It was built a long time ago (1852). With its simple style and straight lines, it’s so pretty!

The Alvar Aalto Museum is another place you could visit. Many people in Finland knew Alvar Aalto as a builder. His homes are like cosy homes for people, and they fit right in with nature. It’s very big and made of a lot of wood. The sun shines on it a lot. It’s really cosy and nice inside! It’s all set up so that anyone who comes can use it and feel welcome. Wow, that’s pretty cool, right?

Kobe, Japan

Key Aspects

  • Port City
  • Modern Infrastructure
  • Resilience

Obe’s harbour is like its old heart, and design is like its new energy. The city by the water is always busy and has a unique way of making old and new things look cool. Smart people learn how to make cool things at a school called Kobe Design University. We can see cool designs and learn more about them in places like the Kobe Design Centre and the Kobe Fashion Museum.

But wait, there’s more! The city of Kobe is full of design! Take a look at the lovely parks and buildings that are built to last through shocks. Great design goes into everything from the tasty Kobe beef meals to the pretty pearl jewellery. It makes everything in Kobe feel fun and unique.

Montreal, Canada

 UNESCO Design Creative Cities

Key Aspects

  • Food and Cuisine
  • Education and Research
  • Music and Nightlife

We live in Montreal, which is a great place! It’s important to these people that things look good and work well. An old house in our city looks like it came from both Europe and America! We see buildings in Old Montreal that are over 300 years old when we walk around there. Their streets are very small and very cute. And when we go downtown, we see glass and metal buildings that are really tall! It looks like they can reach the sky!

But it’s not just about how you look. In Montreal, everything is made to help us. We can get around quickly with our cars and trains. We even have special bikes that other people can use! We also love the outdoors a lot. Great parks with lots of pretty flowers and trees. From some of them, we can even see the whole city!

Saint-Etienne, France

Key Aspects

  • Industrial Heritage
  • Design and Innovation
  • Green Spaces and Natural Surroundings

There was a city called Saint-Etienne long ago. People used to dig for coal and make guns in this big area. Things got harder for the city over time. People in Saint-Etienne didn’t give up; they chose to try something new. They wanted to make their city unique and beautiful. That’s why they started to make cool things like art and design.

In 1984, a school was built just for teaching art and design. A lot of kids at this school learned how to be really good artists. They learned how to make lots of cool things. That’s how Saint-Etienne went from being a dull city to a great spot for fun and creativity!

Seoul, South Korea

 UNESCO Design Creative Cities

Key Aspects

  • Rich History and Culture
  • Modern Infrastructure
  • K-pop and Entertainment

The city of Seoul is noted for its innovative architecture as well as its technological and design capabilities. The city is home to a multitude of design institutions, such as the Design Museum and the Seoul Creative Centre, among many more. The Seoul Design Festival and the Korea Design Exhibition are just two of the many design-related events and festivals that take place in Seoul.

Shenzhen, China

Key Aspects

  • Manufacturing Center
  • Urban Development
  • Special Economic Zone

We need to talk about Shenzhen! It’s not just any city; it’s really cool and full of cool things! It used to be a small town with shops where people sold goods. Now, Shenzhen is like a big city with lots of cool technology and ideas. There are places here called the Shenzhen Design Centre and the Shenzhen Design Museum. They’re not just dull places with old things.

Nope! People can show how smart they are with their ideas in those places! The Design Centre helps local designers show off their awesome work, and the museum has cool designs from all over the world. There’s more, though! Shenzhen is always busy with fun design-themed events and parties. The Shenzhen Global Design Award is really cool. It’s like getting an award for being very clever! I love seeing the beautiful drawings that people from all over the world send in!

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Being named a UNESCO Design Creative City shows how important creativity and design are in making cities around the world livelier places to live. From Seoul to Reykjavik, these towns encourage new ideas, celebrate cultural diversity, and help people all over the world express their creativity. These UNESCO Design Creative Cities are sure to spark your mind and leave you feeling inspired, whether you’re into design, art, or just learning more about how culture and creativity come together. Tell your friends about your favourite design spots on Facebook and X (Twitter), and let’s keep celebrating how creativity can change the world.


What exactly is a UNESCO Creative City for Design?

UNESCO Creative Cities in Design are cities that have made outstanding contributions to the field of design. These cities are dedicated to promoting design as a means of improving their quality of life, encouraging innovation, and fostering sustainable urban growth.

What criteria are used to identify cities as UNESCO Creative Cities in Design?

Cities seeking the UNESCO Creative City designation must submit an application and meet UNESCO’s specified criteria. The selection process takes into account a city’s dedication to design initiatives, cultural legacy, and the capacity to encourage design for sustainable urban development.

What are the advantages of being designated as a UNESCO Creative City in Design?

The UNESCO Creative City in Design title provides localities with global recognition and networking opportunities. It also acts as a platform for the promotion of cultural and creative industries, which can help to generate economic growth, tourism, and local development.


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