Montréal UNESCO City of Design

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

In granting Montréal with this title, UNESCO has acknowledged 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 now is to bring this designation to life and make it tangible for Montrealers. The call therefore goes out to everyone: it is time to build “Montréal, UNESCO City of Design,” together.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network

Launched in 2004, the Creative Cities Network is currently formed by 180 Members covering seven creative fields: Crafts & Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Music and Media Arts.  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.


Design cities

  1. Bandung, Indonesia
  2. Beijing, China
  3. Berlin, Germany
  4. Bilbao, Spain
  5. Brasilia, Brazil
  6. Budapest, Hungary
  7. Buenos Aires, Argentina
  8. Cape Town, South Africa
  9. Curitiba, Brazil
  10. Detroit, United States of America
  11. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  12. Dundee, United Kingdom
  13. Graz, Austria
  14. [City of] Greater Geelong, Australia
  15. Helsinki, Finland
  16. Istanbul, Turkey
  17. Kaunas, Lithuania
  18. Kobe, Japan
  19. Kolding, Denmark
  20. Kortrijk, Belgium
  21. Mexico City, Mexico
  22. Montréal, Canada
  23. Nagoya, Japan
  24. Puebla, Mexico 
  25. Saint-Étienne, France
  26. Seoul, South Korea
  27. Shenzhen, China
  28. Shanghai, China
  29. Singapore, Singapore
  30. Turin, Italy
  31. Wuhan, China