Indonesia campaigns for creative city status

INDONESIA’S Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy has embarked on a quest to have four cities – Bandung in west Java, Solo and Pekalongan in central Java, and Yogyakarta – declared as UNESCO creative cities.

According to a report in Singapore broadsheet The Straits Times, the ministry has already filed a proposal to UNESCO. While Bandung and Solo are styling themselves as design hubs, Yogyakarta and batik-manufacturing base Pekalongan have applied to be recognised as cities for crafts and folk art.

Tourism and creative economy minister, Mari Elka Pangestu, said in The Jakarta Post: “We are teaming up with respective city governments to complete all requirements demanded by UNESCO to include these cities in the UNESCO creative cities network. We hope that the UNESCO team will give the announcement (approving creative city status) this year so that we can launch these creative cities programmes next year.”

Mari added that she was optimistic about Indonesia’s chances of securing UNESCO status as all four cities were already famous for their creative industries including batik, fashion, crafts and art.

The UNESCO creative cities network was established in 2004 and cities must specialise in a particular creative field to be admitted, whether art, music, gastronomy or literature.

Currently with a strength of 34 members and including cities such as Nagoya and Montreal, UNESCO creative cities share ideas and best practices.

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