UNESCO Creative Cities have one common denominator: A significant cultural heritage, a diversified and vibrant creative scene, and the commitment to use the potential of this creative milieu for the social and economic development of the region. Cities are increasingly playing a vital role by offering a climate of openness for creative processes. They unite the players of creative economy – from creative professionals to production and distribution. Cities breed creative clusters and are gateways to a globalized market.
Graz is part of this creative network. Together with UNESCO Cities of Design Berlin, Buenos Aires, Kobe, Montreal, Nagoya, Saint-Etienne, Shenzhen, Shanghai and Seoul, Graz strives to make creativity an essential element of long-term urban development and ambitious redesign.
In this context, design is not directed toward the prettification of surfaces. Design in a modern sense means designing the world around us so to make our environment and everyday lives easier and more worth living. Design follows our needs and wishes, while at the same time it responds to changes and challenges: creativity, inventiveness and innovation are important economic goods in the ongoing global competition.
Cities of Design use the potential of their creative capacity while constantly generating new ideas. They focus on the creative economy and its key discipline – design – and thus become pioneers in the global process of improving life standards and competitive positions. The challenge for Graz as UNESCO City of Design lies in the commitment of politics, administration and the creative community to incorporate design into everyday life of the city and live it across all departments and disciplines.