The case of Dundee City of Design in the Creative Cities Network of UNESCO (UCNN) advances the redeployment of CCIs into CCT development, for SME competitivess
Dundee, a Cult-CreaTE partner, is a member of UCCN since 2014 in the Design creative field. Dundee is a remarkable city with a population of 147,000 inhabitants – small & compact, but reaching far beyond its boundaries with a thriving & innovative design heart. Dundee’s contemporary creative scene & economy has design expertise in fashion & textile, art & jewellery as well as several digital companies. Dundee uses design & creativity to build and sustain economic growth, but also to change lives in the city. The city is home to a dynamic digital media industry, Dundee Design Festival, a vibrant design & creative industries sector. All of the above invove SMEs that are more competitive by UCCN member activities.
UCCN was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with & among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 246 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity & cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level & cooperating actively at the international level. Some 75 of UCCN member cities are in Europe.
UCCN covers 7 creative fields: Crafts & Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature & Music. All of these involve CCIs SMEs that are becoming more competitive through attracting visitors to a city and thus contributing to the development of new & innovative Cultural & Creative Tourism (CCT) products & services.

Resources needed

Membership of UCCN is open to all cities of UNESCO Member States. Cities may apply during a periodic Call (the last one was in 2019, the next one is expected probably in 2022). The evaluation process is coordinated by UNESCO.
The application process requires both staff time and external expertise.

Evidence of success

Dundee, as UCCN 'City of Design', is one of the UCCN laboratories of ideas and innovative practices. As one of the UCCN cities, through policy-making and grass-root projects, Dundee is promoting the participation of all stakeholders, including women, youth and vulnerable groups. The Dundee experience shows SME competitiveness. Dundee through UCCN fully integrates culture & creativity into local development strategies & plans. CCIs are direct beneficiaries in competitiveness of SMEs, through CCT.

Difficulties encountered

Sharing experiences, knowledge and best practices; pilot projects, partnerships and initiatives by public and private sectors, and civil society; professional and artistic exchange programmes and networks; studies, policies and measures for sustainable urban development; communication and awareness.

Potential for learning or transfer

Achieving UCCN membership benefits a city in strengthening international cooperation with other cities that have creativity as a strategic factor of their sustainable development; stimulates and enhances initiatives led by member cities to make creativity an essential component of urban development, notably through partnerships involving the public and private sectors and civil society. These assists local CCIs to diversify into CCT development through strengthening the creation, production, distribution and dissemination of cultural activities, goods and
services; developing hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector; improving access to and participation in cultural life as well as the enjoyment of cultural goods and services, notably for marginalized or vulnerable groups and individuals; fully integrating culture and creativity into local development strategies and plans, thus leading to SMEs competitiveness.

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Main institution
Scottish Government
Eastern Scotland, United Kingdom
Start Date
April 2004
End Date


Manos Vougioukas Please login to contact the author.