Tag Archives: UN

The Network of Creative Cities got new members, also cities with strong heritage in literature


Unesco, a United Nations organization, has an appealing initiative: Creative City. The organization wants to promote cooperation among cities that have introduced sustainable development as a key element into their strategies. In addition, if the city is supporting creative initiatives, it can be nominated into the Unesco Creative Cities Network. Literature is one of the seven creative themes that identify the network members.

city wall painting. photo by brillianthues
The Network covers seven creative fields: crafts and folk arts, media arts, film, design, gastronomy, literature and music. Recently, in October 2017, 64 new cities joined the network of creative cities. The total count is 180 cities in 72 countries.

Unesco has listed seven cities as literature-specific. They are:

Bucheon (Republic of Korea)
Durban (South Africa)
Lillehammer (Norway)
Manchester (United Kingdom)
Milan (Italy)
Québec City (Canada)
Utrecht (Netherlands)

Four out of seven cities are in Europe, but other than that, there are not many similarities between them. Lillehammer and Utrecht are not big cities, whereas the others are more or less large and busy cities.

Edinburgh joined the network of creative cities already earlier with literature as its key art form. The video below shows some literature specific activities and places in Edinburgh, but it also shows how wonderful travel destination the city is.

Unesco defines the creative city concept as follows:

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) was created in 2004 to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The 116 cities which currently make up this network work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level.

New cities that recently joined the Creative Cities Network (other than literature-related) are the following:

Alba (Italy) – Gastronomy
Almaty (Kazakhstan) – Music
Amarante (Portugal) – Music
Auckland (New Zealand) – Music
Baguio City (Philippines) – Crafts and Folk Art
Barcelos (Portugal) – Crafts and Folk Art
Braga (Portugal) – Media Arts
Brasilia (Brazil) – Design
Bristol (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) – Film
Brno (Czechia) – Music
Buenaventura (Colombia) – Gastronomy
Cairo (Egypt) – Crafts and Folk Art
Cape Town (South Africa) – Design
Carrara (Italy) – Crafts and Folk Art
Changsha (China) – Media Arts
Chennai (India) – Music
Chiang Mai (Thailand) – Crafts and Folk Art
Chordeleg (Ecuador) – Crafts and Folk Art
Cochabamba (Bolivia [Plurinational State of]) – Gastronomy
Daegu Metropolitan City (Republic of Korea) – Music
Dubai (United Arab Emirates) – Design
Frutillar (Chile) – Music
Gabrovo (Bulgaria) – Crafts and Folk Art
[City of] Greater Geelong (Australia) – Design
Guadalajara (Mexico) – Media Arts
Hatay Metropolitan Municipality (Turkey) – Gastronomy
Istanbul (Turkey) – Design
João Pessoa (Brazil) – Crafts and Folk Art
Kansas City (United States of America) – Music
Kolding (Denmark) – Design
Kortrijk (Belgium) – Design
Košice (Slovakia) – Media Arts
Kütahya (Turkey) – Crafts and Folk Art
Limoges (France) – Crafts and Folk Art
Łódź (Poland) – Film
Macao Special Administrative Region, China (Associate Member, UNESCO) – Gastronomy
Madaba (Jordan) – Crafts and Folk Art
Mexico City (Mexico) – Design
Morelia (Mexico) – Music
Norrköping (Sweden) – Music
Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) – Crafts and Folk Art
Panama City (Panama) – Gastronomy
Paraty (Brazil) – Gastronomy
Pesaro (Italy) – Music
Porto-Novo (Benin) – Crafts and Folk Art
Praia (Cabo Verde) – Music
Qingdao (China) – Film
San Antonio (United States of America) – Gastronomy
Seattle (United States of America) – Literature
Sheki (Azerbaijan) – Crafts and Folk Art
Sokodé (Togo) – Crafts and Folk Art
Terrassa (Spain) – Film
Tétouan (Morocco) – Crafts and Folk Art
Toronto (Canada) – Media Arts
Tunis (Tunisia) – Crafts and Folk Art
Wuhan (China) – Design
Yamagata City (Japan) – Film

Via Publishing Perspectives.

The best countries to live in, ranked by the United Nations


If you ask the United Nations or Norwegians what is the best country in the world to live in, the answer is unanimous: Norway. The United Nations Development Programme has tallied up vast amount of data from 2014 from the world’s countries and created the Human Development Index that can be used to rank the nations.

Tromsö, Norway, view from mountain above town

Tromsö, Norway: view from a mountain above town.

The world’s best countries to live in top 10 by the United Nations:

1 Norway 0.944
2 Australia 0.935
3 Switzerland 0.930
4 Denmark 0.923
5 Netherlands 0.922
6 Germany 0.916
6 Ireland 0.916
8 United States 0.915
9 Canada 0.913
9 New Zealand 0.913

In the top ten list above, the number after each country is the index that the United Nations Development Program has calculated from the numeric data it has collected from 188 countries and territories. The Human Development Index is a measure of national quality of life. It consists of three elements:
– life expectancy at birth
– mean years and expected years of schooling
– gross national income at purchasing power parity per capita.

The Economist Intelligence Unit recently ranked 10 best cities to live in. A comparison between the UN ranking an the Economist ranking confirms that the same countries earn their places at the top even when the measurement systems are different.

The highest ranked 49 countries belong to the Very High Human Development category in the United Nation’s report. Here are all the countries that made it to the top 49:

11 Singapore 0.912
12 Hong Kong, China (SAR) 0.910
13 Liechtenstein 0.908
14 Sweden 0.907
14 United Kingdom 0.907
16 Iceland 0.899
17 Korea (Republic of) 0.898
18 Israel 0.894
19 Luxembourg 0.892
20 Japan 0.891
21 Belgium 0.890
22 France 0.888
23 Austria 0.885
24 Finland 0.883
25 Slovenia 0.880
26 Spain 0.876
27 Italy 0.873
28 Czech Republic 0.870
29 Greece 0.865
30 Estonia 0.861
31 Brunei Darussalam 0.856
32 Cyprus 0.850
32 Qatar 0.850
34 Andorra 0.845
35 Slovakia 0.844
36 Poland 0.843
37 Lithuania 0.839
37 Malta 0.839
39 Saudi Arabia 0.837
40 Argentina 0.836
41 United Arab Emirates 0.835
42 Chile 0.832
43 Portugal 0.830
44 Hungary 0.828
45 Bahrain 0.824
46 Latvia 0.819
47 Croatia 0.818
48 Kuwait 0.816
49 Montenegro 0.802

The lowest-ranking countries from the total 188 were Niger, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, Chad, and Burundi. Syria and Libya were the biggest fallers.

The whole extensive report and its data is available here.

bicycles, Harstad, Norway

Bicycles welcoming the Arctic Race of Norway to Harstad.