Creative Cities

ISTANBUL, CHOSEN AS EUROPEAN CULTURE CAPITAL IN 2010, HAS BECOME A CITY WHERE CULTURAL AND .CREATIVE ACTIVITES GROW.

Yes, 2019 is about to end. Just yesterday we were talking about how the millennium would be like and what was waiting for us in the 21st century and making guesses. We cannot know for sure how many of our expectations were met in the first 19 years but now we are entering a time where cities come to forefront instead of countries or regions, we can even say that we have already entered such an era. Worldwide famous research companies used to make comparisons between countries. We used to look at which countries passed us or which countries we have left behind in terms of economic and sociocultural indicators. Now, on the other hand, the competition between the global cities has become more intense than the one between the countries. Culture has become one of the most critical factors of this city-oriented competition and culture capital has become as much as the financial capital.

Experience Of Being 2010 European Culture Capital Was A Great Milestone For Istanbul
Since 90s, the concepts such as “creative industries”, “creative cities”, “creative economy” which are more comprehensive than “culture industries” have become more effective in leading the state policies and international incentives.

It is seen that in scope of this transformation, culture and creative sectors including architecture, design, digital media, advertisement industry, fashion, crafts, etc. have made great contribution to the economic development and growth in world cities apart from festivals and cultural activities. Istanbul, chosen as European Culture Capital in 2010, has become a world city where cultural and creative activities grow. Creative industries were an important event topic in scope of 2010 European Culture Capital events and attracted attention.

Creativity, seen as an important component of high added value production in the 21st century and considered as a factor of production, has become the engine of regional and social development in global competition. Therefore, new centers of attraction are constantly being created in the world and many cities are developing programs and projects to design a creative climate.In addition to this, international organizations such as UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNDP, ILO, FAO also carry out important studies to determine and exploit the potential of countries, regions and cities for creative economy and industries.In this context, the strategic location of Istanbul between East and West, the historical and cultural accumulation of thousands of years, inspiring and pioneering features within the framework of the concept of Creative Cities and Industries can be used effectively to create a modern identity and image offer a good opportunity.

More And More Cities Want To Be A Creative City
Creative industries are developing in many regions of the world, taking on important roles in terms of social and economic development, employment, innovation, trade and social content and presenting various positive externalization arguments.According to UNCTAD’s data, the ratio of the people working in “Creative Industries” can be up to 8% in total labor force and GDP. In addition, the creative industries offer a regional development model where the internal potentials of the regions can be used more effectively and cultural and environmental sustainability can be achieved more successfully.

In this sense, the number of cities adopting “Creative City” concept is rapidly increasing. These cities provide important job opportunities, especially for young people and women, by improving the sociocultural quality of life. In the competition of these cities for investment and attracting tourists, the size of creative activities and creative industry, including the cultural field, has come to the fore. It is often stated in various sources that creative cities should have venues filled with media and performance industries, as well as art and cultural institutions, a researcher and a creative class that can use information and communication technologies nourished from the original structure of the city effectively, and a culture and atmosphere to support creativity. In this direction, the creation of deep-rooted urban strategies with an interdisciplinary approach that brings together cultural, technological, economic and social dimensions in the transition to post-industrial period offers many development opportunities for cities.

What Is Necessary To Develop Creative Industries?
Some of the issues frequently emphasized by many authorities and resources for the development of creative industries can be listed as follows:

  • The education system must be transformed to promote creativity; raise and support entrepreneurs that can establish creative businesses, and enhancing their skills and qualifications and increasing their numbers,
  • Protecting and developing cultural diversity to support individual creativity,
  • Empower global connections,
  • Developing synergistic relationships between creative industries and other economic, social and cultural activities that will support them,
  • Creating appropriate spaces to support creative industries and increasing their quantity and quality,
  • Protecting and developing intellectual property rights that will enable the development of creative industries,
  • Raising awareness among the society in the importance of creative industries,
  • Supporting clusters of creative industries.

Unesco Creative Cities Network
The Creative Cities Network was launched by UNESCO in October 2004 and is a network that connects cities that want to share examples of experience, ideas and good practice for cultural, social and economic development. It is useful to join the network of cities that want to nurture their own creative economy by supporting other cities by acting as a center of excellence.

The main objective of this network is to work together towards the common mission of cultural diversity and sustainable urban development. Member cities are recognized as creative hubs that improve the socio-economic and cultural development process and socio-cultural clusters that connect various sociocultural communities to create a healthier urban environment.

The Creative Cities Network aims to foster international cooperation between cities and promote development partnerships in line with UNESCO’s global priorities – culture and development and sustainable development. Cities included in the network have the opportunity to share experiences on the global platform and to create new opportunities with other cities.

What kind of contributions will the participation to the Creative Cities Network provide to the members? Let us list the answers:

  •  Promotion of the cultural assets of the city on a global platform,
  • Making creativity a part of local economic and social development,
  •  Local capacity building and training of local actors in terms of business skills,
  •  Sharing information with cultural clusters around the world,
  • The development of innovation through the sharing of know-how, experience and knowledge of good practices,
  •  To introduce various cultural products in national and international markets,
  •  Contribute to the creation of new opportunities for cooperation and partnership with other cities.

Unesco Creative Cities Network
UNESCO Creative Cities Network was initiated in 2014. The UNESCO Creative Cities Network includes 7 creative industry sites:

Crafts and Folk Arts
Design
Movie
Gastronomy
Literature
Media Arts
Music

Creative Cities Network
There are 185 cities in the world that are members of the UNESCO creative cities network. Istanbulwill host 2021 UNESCO creative cities conference

Istanbul, Hatay, Gaziantep And Kütahya Are In Unesco Creative Cities Network!
The Creative Cities Network facilitates access to the resources and experiences of member cities to contribute to the development of creative industries on a local scale and to develop worldwide cooperation for sustainable urban development. There are currently 185 member cities in seven creative industries (Craft and Folk Arts, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music). Hatay and Gaziantep are the members of this network in the field of gastronomy, Kütahya in crafts and folk arts, and Istanbul in the field of design. It is worth remembering that Istanbul will host 2021 UNESCO Creative Cities Conference.

By: Mehmet Onur Partal / Photo:Ant Rozetsky

*This article was  published in the  November-December issue of Marmara Life. 

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