Recently, Srinagar was added to the UNESCO creative cities network making the total Indian cities to be featured on the list six. Srinagar was added following Mumbai, Jaipur, Varanasi, Hyderabad and Chennai.
There are certain categories when it comes to featuring a city as ‘creative’ ranging from Film, Music, Design, Gastronomy, Media art, Crafts and folk art or literature. Interestingly the cities on UCCN (UNESCO Creative cities network) are featured in the given categories:
- Srinagar: Crafts and Folk art, Srinagar is one of the oldest and a historical city the folk art in Srinagar is eye-catching and has rare beauty not seen anywhere else in the world. The city glistening in the list will give it the recognition it deserves.
- Mumbai: Film, Mumbai is filmy! And is home to numerous studios and actors. Mumbai since long has been the city of films and it was meant to be added to the UCCN list eventually. The town preserves culture and art by providing a favourable climate to shoot movies.
- Hyderabad: Gastronomy, No wonder the city features in the list for its delicacies. Cooking is an art and Hyderabad has mastered and preserved it for centuries. UCCN gives recognition to Hyderabad’s delicacies and provides an opportunity for them to be showcased globally. Ultimately promoting the growth of restaurants.
- Chennai: Music, Chennai’s music has a unique touch of south Indian culture and international recognition altogether helps the budding artists.
- Jaipur: Crafts and Folk art, Jaipur is yet another city with historical significance. The city is witnessing growth in tourism due to being on a Global platform.
- Varanasi: Music, Whether it’s a soothing Aarti or Lord’s praise the music and culture of Varanasi is rich. The city represents Hinduism globally and is known for the River Ganges. The UCCN appearance has not only grown tourism but also helped propagate the religion worldwide through music.
The whole purpose of UCCN is to promote collaboration between the cities that believe in development through creativity. Currently, there are 295 cities on the list. The programme links the cities worldwide so they can exchange ideas, experiences, strategies and model practices. These cities become an epicentre of socio-economic development and serve as a role models for other cities. It promotes the local arts and thereby businesses which helps in overall growth and development. These cities attract investments from national and international corporations in different areas. These cities get the right to participate in the Annual general meeting of the UCCN.
India with its six major cities on the list five of them being the capital cities seems to have hit the mark of creativity facilitated by development. It will not only give these cities recognition but will also attract investment in the creative industry thereby sustaining the cultural autonomy. It will in a way help in protecting the cultural heritage of the cities.
The UCCN majorly falls under SDG 11 which talks about making cities sustainable, inclusive, safe and resilient. Even though UNESCO does not fund this programme other international investors are supporting this. UNESCO has provided a platform for cities and given them their creative liberty. It will help to build sustenance in both developing and developed countries.
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