About the UNESCO Network


There are currently 295 member cities from 80 countries in the UCCN

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network currently made up of 295 UNESCO Creative Cities globally. Members from 80 countries covering seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts have all received UNESCO designations which recognise past, present and future: a strong cultural heritage, a vibrant and diverse contemporary cultural scene, and aspirations to extend culture to the next generation at home and to other cities in a global partnership. The designations are monitored and reviewed every four years by UNESCO. To meet the criteria, each city makes a commitment to developing a shared network strategy, fostering the exchange of information, encouraging global partnerships and promoting creativity and culture. The Creative Cities Network is a privileged partner of UNESCO, not only as a platform for reflection on the role of creativity as a lever for sustainable development but also as a breeding ground of action and innovation, notably for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


UNESCO Cities of Literature network includes 42 cities who specialise in literature; the UNESCO designation ‘City of Literature’ recognises excellence and places an obligation on cities to nurture and support their artform and collaborate internationally by sharing best practice, supporting freedom of speech and through projects which ensure literature reaches as wide and diverse an audience as possible, locally and internationally.


The joint activities of the Cities of Literature include various city-to-city partnerships, regional initiatives as well as network-wide projects such as social media campaigns,  projects introducing the cities and their writers, and also parallel events an example of which is the World Poetry Day celebrated jointly on March 21st since 2018.  


Visit the Cities of Literature website to find out more about the network and its members.



There are currently 42 Cities of Literature from 32 countries.

To be approved as a City of Literature, cities need to meet a number of criteria set by UNESCO. Designated UNESCO Cities of Literature share similar characteristics:


Quality, quantity and diversity of publishing in the city


Quality and quantity of educational programmes focusing on domestic or foreign literature at primary, secondary and tertiary levels


Literature, drama and/or poetry playing an important role in the city


Hosting literary events and festivals which promote domestic and foreign literature;


Existence of libraries, bookstores and public or private cultural centres which preserve, promote and disseminate domestic and foreign literature


Involvement by the publishing sector in translating literary works from diverse national languages and foreign literature


Active involvement of traditional and new media in promoting literature and strengthening the market for literary products.