XVI UNESCO Creative Cities Network Annual Conference in Braga

Location Braga, Portugal
Type In Person
Format Conference
Language No language barrier

Between July 1 and 5, the member cities of UNESCO Creative Cities Network will meet in Braga (Portugal) for the XVI UNESCO Creative Cities Network Annual Conference, a five-days event that will bring around 350 delegations from more than 100 countries to the city.

Themed “Bringing youth to the table for the next decade,” the conference underscores the critical role of youth in local decision and action-making processes. Recognising that cultural and creative industries employ more young people than any other sector, discussions will focus on creating inclusive public, civic, and digital spaces to amplify youth voices and nurture their creative potential. The conference aims to empower young leaders to shape cultural policies at local and international levels.

Central to the conference is the unveiling of the “UCCN Braga Manifesto: A Culture Goal for Sustainable Development,” advocating for culture as a standalone goal in the post-2030 UN Sustainable Development Agenda. This manifesto builds on the MONDIACULT 2022 Declaration, guiding strategies to engage youth as catalysts for change and enhance cultural policies globally. Co-chaired by UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Culture, Mr. Ernesto Ottone R., and Braga’s Mayor, Mr. Ricardo Rio, this High-level Session will explore integrating culture into urban advancement through a shared vision of the sustainable development beyond 2030.

Thematic panels on 2nd July will delve into innovative policies aligned with the 2030 Agenda, including the just transition towards AI for artists and culture professionals, international cooperation for inducing a culture of peace, and arts education for empowering future citizens. These discussions aim to share best practices and highlight culture’s pivotal role in shaping sustainable urban environments.

On 3rd July, the Mayors’ Forum at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Lab will gather city leaders from UNESCO Creative Cities to discuss inclusive urban policies and strategies integrating culture into local development. This forum underscores cities’ role in leveraging culture and creativity for sustainable urban growth. Also taking place on 3rd July, the “Dialogue with Youth” strand will focus on empowering youth to shape cultural policies and localise the post-2030 international development framework. The session will include lightning talks by youth representatives on cultural rights and access, followed by a panel discussion with experts and city delegates.

On 4th July, participants will be invited to take part in the CONNECT TOGETHER cultural exchange, exploring Amarante, Barcelos, and Santa Maria da Feira— other regional UNESCO Creative Cities celebrated for music, crafts, and gastronomy respectively. Through diverse cultural networking activities and interactive dialogues, participants will explore key themes relevant to specific city locations.

At the midpoint of the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as global discussions unfold to address current gaps and opportunities for accelerating progress and envisioning a new future framework, culture emerges as a crucial component. The XVI Annual Conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) aims to emphasise the importance of creative solutions and culture-based practices in driving sustainable development, highlighting culture’s global recognition as a public good.


Learn more about the Conference and its programme at UCCN Braga 2024.