Aerial phtoto of Helsinki.

Mayor Vapaavuori to open the third summit of the Unesco Creative Cities network on 17 September

The third UNESCO Creative Cities Beijing Summit will be organised jointly by Unesco and the city of Beijing on 17–18 September. Mayor of Helsinki, Jan Vapaavuori, has been granted the honour of making the opening speech of the event. Helsinki has been one of the Unesco Creative Cities network’s Cities of Design since 2014.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the summit will be arranged as a hybrid event in Beijing, with international guests attending remotely. In addition to opening the event, Mayor Vapaavuori will be participating in a panel discussion themed around science, technology and creativity as a response to the global challenges of urban administrations.

“We in Helsinki strongly believe that design can be harnessed to change things for the better. In our quest to become the most functional city in the world, digitalisation and dialogue with city residents are indelible elements of everything we do. International cooperation and networks like Unesco’s Creative Cities are important to us and serve to highlight the fact that everything large cities do – from health care to economic measures – is of global significance,” Mayor Jan Vapaavuori says.

This year’s theme for the Creative Cities network’s conference is ‘Creativity Empowers Cities, Technology Creates the Future’.

Background information

The Unesco Creative Cities network encompasses a total of 246 cities. 40 of the member cities, including Helsinki, have been designated as Cities of Design, for which the principal theme is design and its utilisation in urban development.

Creative Cities Network

Cities of Design Network

The cooperation between Helsinki and Beijing is strong, and Beijing is Helsinki’s only official twin city. Next year, Helsinki will present itself as a pioneer in design expertise as the Guest City for the Beijing Design Week.

Photo: Jussi Hellsten.