The UNESCO Creative Cities Network programme was launched in October 2004. Its goals are to unlock the creative, social and economic potential of cultural industries and to promote UNESCO’s goals of cultural diversity. It aims to bring together public and private partners as well as civil society to foster the development of creative industries and generate new forms of international cooperation.
The network is structured around seven themes which can be chosen by the cities, according to their preference, for a specific creative industry sector to which they devote their talent and energy. Cities can choose to apply in only one of the following fields: Literature, Cinema, Music, Craft and Folk Art, Design, Media Arts and Gastronomy.
After Edinburgh, Melbourne was the second city to receive designation as a City of Literature within UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network. Iowa City, Iowa became the third City of Literature and was joined by Dublin, Ireland as the fourth city in 2010.