Östersund has set a new standard for the annual meetings of UNESCO Creative Cities Network. The tenth annual meeting was less formal, with more experiences and more creative discussions.
– Östersund has taken the annual meeting to a new level. Never before in the history of the network has the delegates been offered such a complete experience of food, culture, meetings and exchanges of ideas with a local foundation. This is what the network is all about, meeting, exchanging knowledge and experiencing things together, says Charles Landry, keynote speaker and moderator at the annual meeting.
Meetings between people
250 delegates from 95 cities from all over the World have met, have eaten local food and have agreed upon future strategies for cultural development of the member cities. The Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, says that the meetings between people are decisive.
– The annual meeting of UNESCO Creative Cities Network is important because it creates meeting places, meetings between people everywhere with a focus on the future. We need to use all of our creativity, sympathy and innovation to meet the challenges of the future around the World. I hope that all delegates will take their new ideas with them and implement them at home, says Alice Bah Kuhnke, the Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy.
A conference with experiences
The delegates and their accompaniers have eaten locally produced food, have made a time trip at Jamtli regional museum, have taken a ride in vintage cars, have held workshops, have seen the World design exhibition SZ-DAY, have been offered high class lectures at Creative Business and much more. During the closing dinner at Thursday night the delegates were introduced to a powerful food and music experience with CrEATive Östersund. Both UNESCO delegates and local residents participated, and chefs from all over the World participated in preparing the food.
– We have shown that Östersund is a powerful force to be reckoned with when it comes to creativity, culture and gastronomy. Everyone involved have made an excellent contribution to the arrangement of the conference! The goal now is to assume an even bigger role nationally within this field. We are the only Swedish city who is a member of the network, and we have a lot of knowledge and experience to share, says Dag Hartman, the Project Manager for Region Jämtland Härjedalen for the UNESCO meeting.
Passing on the torch
During the annual meeting the delegates have decided upon a vision and an action plan for how culture and creativity will be used to create a sustainable future connecting urban and rural areas within the framework of the 2030 Sustainable Agenda for Sustainable Development.
– The tenth annual meeting of UNESCOs Creative Cities Network has confirmed the importance of culture and creativity as enablers for a sustainable development in urban areas, one month ahead of the UN conference on housing and sustainable urban development (Habitat III), which will be held in Quito next month, says Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.
Östersund is now passing the torch to the city of Enghien-les-Bains in France, where the annual meeting of 2017 will be held.
The City of Östersund was designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy in 2010. Östersund was awarded this designation because of the city’s gastronomic entrepreneurs and the Jämtland Härjedalen region’s gastronomic culture and traditions, which are rooted in locally and sustainably produced food.
UNESCO Creative Cities Network 10th Annual Meeting was held September 14-16 in Östersund, Sweden. Regional Gastronomy and Cultural programme offering events and activities highlighting the cultural profile of Östersund and the Region of Jämtland Härjedalen was on-going throughout the week.