The Motorcity meets the metropole: UNESCO City of Design Detroit takes center stage in France

Charge d'Affaires Hegadorn with Detroit's DC3 Representatives

USUNESCO Chargé d’Affaires Chris Hegadorn attends the Opening of the Design Biennale in Saint Etienne on March 9, 2017, along with a delegation from the City of Detroit headed by the Detroit Creative Corridor (DC3).

In December 2015, UNESCO designated the City of Detroit as a Creative City of Design.  Five other U.S Cities have been recognized as UNESCO Creative Cities: Austin (Media Arts), Iowa City (Literature), Paducah (Crafts & Folk Art), Santa Fe (Crafts & Folk Art), and Tucson (Gastronomy).

Chargé d’Affaires Hegadorn spoke with  Paul Smith from Detroit’s WJR AM (Podcast), and highlighted the real life opportunities for the city and the people created by the UNESCO designation.  The UNESCO Creative Cities network includes 116 cities from 54 counties.

The month long Biennale brings more than 40 Detroit firms to France, and showcases exhibits including a Detroit Coffee Shop. Click Here to find out more on the 2017 edition.  The more than 200,000 visitors who are expected to tour the exhibition will see how Detroit is using its history of manufacturing and craft to explore the future of network-based working models.  Ellie Schneider from the Detroit Creative Corridor Center told USUNESCO Chargé that “Detroit learned about the Biennale through (its) relationship with sister UNESCO Creative City of Design St. Etienne.  It’s kind of miraculous how much has happened since (Detroit joined the Creative Cities network).  Detroit has dreamed of being awarded this unique distinction by UNESCO and intends to build on the momentum of this event by participating in the UNESCO-hosted annual conference for Creative Cities in Enghien-les-Bains, France in June 2017.”

Cities interested in joining the network may submit their applications to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), up to midnight on June 16, 2017.

Bringing tangible positive effects on the ground, UNESCO’s renowned brands, such as the World Heritage and the Creative Cities network help bring economic changes, from tourism to new investments, and ultimately raises the profile of many of U.S. cities, showcasing the best they have to offer.