UNESCO City of Design is a timeless attribute to a city, not only regarding existing design in Graz, but also entailing the responsibility to implement design into everyday life. Graz will stay a City of Design and thus become a constant member of a worldwide network of creative cities. Within this network Graz can share experiences and create new opportunities for the social and economic development of the city.
The title holds lots of chances for the city and its people, exceeding the mere promotion of the creative scene. Its creative potential and the resulting economic development win Graz an international appeal that will improve its economic significance on the national and international level. Tourism, trade and gastronomy will experience a boost, the quality of life will further improve – proving the role of Graz as an attractive and smart city. Still, „City of Design“ is not only a label to raise the reputation of the city. City of Design is a lived attitude creating awareness for urban culture, recognizing the shaping of the living environement as an essential value.
Being City of Design strengthens the role of the creative branches in Graz and Styria. By offering 17.000 jobs in more than 4.800 enterprises of the creative economy and generating 1 billion Euros of gross added value per year, Styria is one of the leading European regions regarding creative industries. Chances and advantages brought along by „design“ as a topic have a lasting effect on the local economy. In this dynamic and creative milieu supported by both the provincial and the city government, projects with a focus on design are realized by intitutions and enterprises, competitions and calls launched by the network of the Creative Cities open up new perspectives. In the long term City of Design stands for an increase in tourism and economy and will furthermore establish the city’s significance in terms of culture, education and scientific research.
Design is a word easily worn out, if used for everything. A City of Design must be particularly aware of this fact and feel obliged to use the term diligently. Its aim is to create an increased awareness of “good design” amongst people who will come to value its benefits. Because, at the end of the day, design serves the people.