UNESCO Creative Cities AGM: update from Mayor

Monday, 17 June 2019

Mayor Bruce Harwood and the City’s Manager of Economic Development and Events Tim Ellis spent the past week in Fabriano, Italy, representing Geelong at the UNESCO Creative Cities Annual General Meeting.

The event ran from 10-15 June and attendance was an obligation as part of Geelong’s UNESCO City of Design designation.

Geelong is Australia’s only City of Design, and the only regional Australian city to hold a UNESCO Creative Cities designation.

The only other Australian members of the Creative Cities network are Melbourne (City of Literature), Sydney (City of Film) and Adelaide (City of Music).

All up there are 180 members of the Creative Cities Network, with Geelong one of just 34 Cities of Design.

Mayor Harwood has filed the following initial report from the conference for the interest of local media and the Greater Geelong community. 

Mayor Bruce Harwood:

Geelong has been heard loud and clear at the 2019 UNESCO Conference in Fabriano, Italy.

The reception we have received in relation to our recent regional community works has been widely praised. Many of our UNESCO Creative Cities colleagues were extremely impressed by our council’s commitment to community infrastructure, social inclusion and our environment. This gave great initiatives to other cities.

We have also learnt of a number of initiatives that are based around engaging communities to further use council infrastructure, working with our younger population (they were all very impressed with our Junior Council), and how to engage further with our UNESCO City of Design partners.  

We have made a clear statement about our desire to hold a City Of Design cluster meeting in Geelong in 2021. This was really well received but will require considerable work and commitment to this aim.

The work and networking we were able to do at the cluster meetings was also very valuable. My presentation at the Mayors’ Forum featuring 54 mayors from around the world was well received, while Tim Ellis made a great presentation about the strengths of Geelong as a City Of Design during a session titled ‘Stimulating Innovation’.

It will now be a matter of having a discussion with my fellow councillors on our return and then translating the ideas and opportunities we have gathered into actions.

Page last updated: Monday, 17 June 2019