Seoul wins City of Design status

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Seoul was appointed a UNESCO City of Design on 20 July 2010. The designation was in appreciation of the city's abundant cultural heritage and creative potentials as well as its strong pursuit of diverse design policies. The UN agency also highly evaluated the city's potential to help developing countries with its creative urban development programmes, it said.

UNESCO launched the Creative Cities Network in 2004 to enhance the social, economic and cultural development of cities in the world, promoting their local creative scenes, and therefore, fulfilling the UNESCO's mission towards cultural diversity. It appoints the network members in seven fields –– literature, film, music, crafts and folk art, design, media arts, and gastronomy. Eight cities including Seoul have been selected as members in the field of design. The others are Buenos Aires, Berlin, Montreal, Nagoya, Kobe, Shenzhen and Shanghai. Appointed to the network as a City of Design, Seoul will enjoy a variety of benefits. It will be able to use a UNESCO logo in its programmes and events, based on the UNESCO regulations. The city will also participate in various UNESCO activities to set up international networks and exchange information, knowledge and experiences among member cities. In addition, Seoul will be able to promote its design resources and cultural programs on the UNESCO website. Seoul, on the other hand, is expected to report its national and international activities as a City of Design to the UN agency every year and to maintain close relationship with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO. Mayor Oh Se–hoon said Seoul's appointment as a UNESCO City of Design reflects the international recognition and supports for the city's accumulated design policy. " I will try to make Seoul a substantial world city of design by upgrading its international status through policy and programs as a leading city of design, and cultivating the creative manpower and design industry, " he added. The metropolitan government will sign an MOU with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO during August 2010 on the joining of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and on the implementation of various cooperative programs. It plans to host an international forum of the network this year.

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