UNESCO have awarded nine cities the permanent UNESCO City of Literature title, joining Edinburgh the founding city. 47 cities from across the globe were newly designated as Creative Cities in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network with the total now standing at 116 cities across seven artforms.

The new Cities of Literature are Ulyanovsk (Russia), Baghdad (Iraq), Tartu (Estonia), L’viv (Ukraine), Ljubljana (Slovenia), Barcelona (Spain), Nottingham (UK), Óbidos (Portugal) and Montevideo (Uruguay).

They join Edinburgh (UK), Melbourne (Australia), Iowa City (USA), Dublin (Ireland), Reykjavik (Iceland), Norwich (UK), Krakow (Poland), Dunedin (New Zealand), Prague (Czech Republic), Heidelberg (Germany) and Granada (Spain) to bring the total amount of Cities of Literature in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network to twenty.

The new UNESCO Cities of Literature:

These nine have become the latest recipients of the UNESCO City of Literature designation which is awarded to cities with outstanding literary heritage, a vibrant contemporary scene, and importantly to cities where their sector works collaboratively to grow and develop their city through their chosen artform, via capital development and cultural engagement programmes.

About the UNESCO Creative Cities Network designation

The Creative City Network was established in 2004 when Edinburgh became the world’s first UNESCO City of Literature and over the last ten years cities as diverse as Beijing, Montreal, Santa Fe, Sydney, Bogota and Sapporo have joined the network in one of its seven thematic areas: Design, Film, Folk Art, Literature, Music, Gastronomy and Media Arts.



Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust’s Director Ali Bowden commented:

Edinburgh has the honour of being UNESCO’s first Creative City, appointed in 2004, and today we’re delighted to see this important network grow further and reach across the globe, ensuring creativity remains at the heart of sustainable development in cities. On behalf of the existing Creative Cities we welcome the new cities joining our network and look forward to future collaborations.


Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO:

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network represents an immense potential to assert the role of culture as enabler of sustainable development. I would like to recognize the many new cities and their countries that are enriching the Network with their diversity.


On the 11th December 2015, 47 cities joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, the single largest expansion of the network since its formation in 2004: