In Dundee, culture and innovation lie at the centre – quite literally. Having grappled with serious post-industrial challenges such as depopulation and job loss, the city has been embracing creativity to boost its economy and enhance public well-being.
From developing strong public art and dance programmes to becoming the location of Scotland’s first design museum, the City is a cultural hotspot dedicated particularly to the world of design.
Dundee became a UNESCO Creative City of Design in 2014 and has been using design to uphold UNESCO’s values and objectives, Annie Marrs, the City’s Lead Officer, tells us:
“For us, everything comes back to the Sustainable Development Goals and UNESCO Creative Cities’ mission statement. Culture is fundamental to making a city a successful place and for people to live good healthy, successful lives. It’s not an add-on. We publicly champion our commitment to placing creativity at the heart of our local development plan and our international co-operations; to celebrating and using design to improve people’s lives and championing design; to trying to promote the talent of our designers to make sure that Dundee is a creatively and commercially successful place to actually be a designer; and to the UNESCO’s Creative Cities network so that our designers are able to learn from an international best practice and that they can go to other places or they can collaborate internationally. And that’s really important for us because we think that’s the strength of the network. The more we can engage internationally, the better we get.” Annie Marrs, Dundee Creative City Lead Officer.
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