With the theme of “Creativity empowers cities, technology creates the future”, the Third UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit, organized by Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission, explored how culture, creativity, and technology can enhance urban city management. The summit participants stressed the importance of international cooperation across regions.
“Digitalization has been a major game-changer and will certainly remain a key component of a new normal,” said Lamia Kamal-Chaoui, Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, Small & Medium Enterprises, Regions and Cities. “Many cities have adopted smart city tools, especially to deliver municipal service.
“Cities also have the opportunity to reconsider their tourism growth models and explore alternatives to large-scale tourism, by taking advantage of technology to showcase over-visited global attractions and promoting local industries.”
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Since Beijing was designated a UNESCO City of Design in 2012, its creative industry has become a new source of economic growth. The transformation of Shougang No. 3 Blast-Furnace – the venue of this summit – from a steel structure in an industrial park into an open space for the public, closely aligns with UNESCO’s mission and priorities.
Advocating for an open and inclusive city cooperation environment, many leaders stressed the importance of international cooperation during the summit.
Virginia Raggi, Mayor of Rome, stated, “We focus on urban regeneration as a factor in improving the well-being of residents and tourists, and strongly believe in international collaboration. Multilateralism and reciprocity represent the founding values of our democracy.”
“If something was clear to all of us, it is that ‘no one can be saved alone’,” said Enrique Avogadro, Minister of Culture of the Government of the City of Buenos Aires. “We have a unique opportunity to build a new reality and a future different from the one we had in mind. And more importantly, we can do it collectively, listening and giving space to all voices and ideas.”