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How to apply

    All candidatures to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network require the endorsement by the mayor (or the person of equivalent local/municipal authority) of the concerned city.

    The application procedure of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network follows these general steps:

    • The city submits a finalized application bid to UNESCO accompanied by an official letter of endorsement of the mayor of the city.

    • Immediately, UNESCO will request support from the relevant National Commission for UNESCO. If the National Commission does not approve the bid, then the candidature may be rejected.

    • The bid is then examined by an external panel of experts from NGOs specialised in the field the city is bidding for, who will make recommendations to the Director-General of UNESCO concerning the application bid.

    • The Director-General of UNESCO takes the final decision whether or not to accept the city’s candidature, after consulting the recommendations of the panel of experts.


    Preparing an application:

    Creating an application to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network is a step-by-step process. The bid document should not only present the city as an ideal candidate, but explain what the city has to offer while showing its intentions to work with other cities.

    The application should be produced by a bid management committee, a small but mixed group of experts ideally composed of members of the private and public sectors, as well as civil society. This group will include a focal point person designated by the mayor of the city, who will act as a liaison with UNESCO.


    How to structure an application:

    Download the application guidelines (PDF)

    The content should be as clear and concise as possible, while the presentation of the city’s cultural assets (such as infrastructure, education, public initiatives, etc.) should reflect both breadth and depth in research.

    The recommended size for the application is 50-80 pages including images.

    It must be noted that there is no fee to be paid for an application, nor specific deadlines for a submission.

    Candidates are highly advised to send a preliminary version of their application to UNESCO at an early stage: this could consist of an executive summary emphasizing the city’s cultural assets and goals for the Creative Cities Network; a draft table of contents; and a list of the people on the management committee.

    The final application document has to be submitted in English and/or French, in both print and PDF versions.

    If you have further questions concerning the application process, please contact us by email at creativecities@unesco.org.