Montréal UNESCO City of Design

In June 2006, Montréal was officially designated a UNESCO City of Design, joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.
> View the Montréal, UNESCO City of Design application package

In line with Montreal's first evaluation report, which covered the period from 2006 to 2012 (Montréal UNESCO City of Design in Action and by the Numbers), the 2012–2015 Report / Montréal UNESCO City of Design described the many tangible achievements and benefits of Montréal’s designation on its tenth anniversary. In december 2020, Montreal has submitted its 2016-2019+ Report / Montréal UNESCO City of Design for renewal of its status in 2021.

In granting Montréal with this title, UNESCO is acknowledging the city’s creative potential in the design disciplines, based on the strong concentration of talent here as well as the commitment and determination of the Ville de Montréal, other levels of government and civil society to build on those strengths for the purpose of enhancing Montrealers’ quality of life.

The UNESCO designation is neither a label nor a form of recognition. It is an invitation to develop Montréal around its creative forces in design. Montréal, UNESCO City of Design is thus a collective project that, to become a reality over time, demands that all stakeholders – elected officials, citizens, experts, entrepreneurs and designers – buy into it and make it their own.

The challenge has always been to bring this designation to life and make it tangible for Montrealers. The call therefore goes out to everyone: let's build “Montréal, UNESCO City of Design,” together.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Launched in 2004, the Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 246 Members covering seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts, including 40 design cities.  The Network aims to foster international cooperation with and between cities committed to investing in creativity as a driver for sustainable urban development, social inclusion and cultural vibrancy.

“Nowadays, more than half of the world population lives in cities. The concept of ‘Creative Cities’ is based on the belief that culture can play an important role in urban renewal. Policy-makers are increasingly taking account of the role of creativity when planning economic policy.” (Source: UNESCO)

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network represents an immense potential to assert the role of culture as enabler of sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by the international community in September 2015 highlights culture and creativity as key levers for sustainable urban development. The Network continues to serve as an essential platform to contribute to the implementation and achievement of this international agenda.

UNESCO Creative Cities Network (short version)


Design cities

  1. Asahikawa (Japan)
  2. Baku (Azerbaijan)
  3. Bandung (Indonesia)
  4. Bangkok (Thailand)
  5. Beijing (China)
  6. Berlin (Germany)
  7. Bilbao (Spain)
  8. Brasilia (Brazil)
  9. Budapest (Hungary)
  10. Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  11. Cebu City (Philippines)
  12. Kortrijk (Belgium)
  13. Curitiba (Brazil)
  14. Detroit (United States of America)
  15. Dubai (United Arab Emirates)
  16. Dundee (United Kingdom)
  17. Fortaleza (Brazil)
  18. [City of] Greater Geelong (Australia)
  19. Graz (Austria)
  20. Hanoi (Vietnam)
  21. Helsinki (Finland)
  22. Istanbul (Turkey)
  23. Kaunas (Lithuania)
  24. Kobe (Japan)
  25. Kolding (Denmark)
  26. Cap Town (South Africa)
  27. Mexico City (Mexico)
  28. Montréal (Canada)
  29. Muharraq (Bahrain)
  30. Nagoya (Japan)
  31. Puebla (Mexico)
  32. Querétaro (Mexico)
  33. Saint-Étienne (France)
  34. San José (Costa Rica)
  35. Seoul (South Korea)
  36. Shanghai (China)
  37. Shenzhen (China)
  38. Singapore (Singapore)
  39. Torino (Italy)
  40. Wuhan (China)