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Berlin City of Design Official Press Release

 Berlin's Press Release announcing that the City has become the first continental European city to join the UNESCO network of creative cities

Senate Department for Economics, Labour and Women's Issues

November 2005

Berlin to become City of Design

UNESCO has appointed Berlin – as the first city in continental Europe – to the 'Creative Cities Network under the framework of UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity'. In January 2006, the United Nations’ organization for education, science, culture, and communication will award Berlin the title of 'City of Design'.

Along with Berlin, the global network of creative cities includes Buenos Aires as a City of Design, Edinburgh as a City of Literature as well as Santa Fe and Aswan as Cities of Folk Art. The network aims to promote pluralism and creativity as aspects of economic development.

Senator Harald Wolf: 'This distinction represents important international recognition for our city and for all the creative minds working, teaching, and living here.  Recent years have witnessed the evolution of a truly fascinating creative scene distinguished by its versatility, unconventionality, and quality, making it an economic factor that should not be underestimated'.

Ms Milagros del Corral, Deputy Assistant Director-General for Culture of the UNESCO: 'UNESCO's Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity established the Creative Cities Network in order to link cities like Berlin that make creativity an essential element of their economic development.  Berlin has demonstrated remarkable social, economic and cultural achievements in the field of design, and as a crossroad of diverse backgrounds and histories, Berlin's design tradition and contemporary creation have influenced both national and international movements. Using this Network as their main platform, appointed Creative Cities from industrialized and developing nations can share their experiences and support each other with a view to building local capacity and to increasing diverse cultural products in international markets'.

Berlin is up-and-coming in many different design sectors.  Almost 11,700 Berliners work in fashion, product and furniture design, architecture, photography, and the visual arts, while the roughly 6,700 design companies generate annual sales of €1.5 billion.  The surroundings, space, and excellent basic conditions here lay the foundation for creative work and the development of innovative products.  Designers, fashion designers, photographers, and architects find artistic freedom, affordable office space and living costs, networks, and a public interested in design.

The city's many different cultural events – more than 1500 a day – are a major competitive advantage attracting creative people and companies working in every sector.  Almost no other major European city offers students as many options for design-oriented study: around 5,000 students are enrolled here in fashion, product, graphic, and communication design, photography, or visual arts programs.

Martin-Luther-Str. 105, D-10825 Berlin
Press Office/Press Officer: Christoph Lang
Tel.: +49 (0)30 9013-7418; fax: +49 (0)30 9013-8281
E-mail: pressestelle@senwaf.verwalt-berlin.de

Publication Date 09 Dec 2005