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10th Anniversary Celebration of Shanghai as UNESCO Creative City of Design

20 Nov, 2020   /   Shanghai, China


The city of Shanghai in early winter is full of vitality of spring. On the morning of November 20, a three-day celebration of the 10th Anniversary of Shanghai as UNESCO Creative City of Design with theme of Design Your Better Life, officially started at the Shanghai Exhibition Center.


Mr. Chen Mingbo, Deputy Secretary General of Shanghai Municipal Government, Mr. Qin Changwei, Secretary-general of National Commission for UNESCO and Mr. Lu Xiaochun, Chairman of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, presented at the opening ceremony. The celebration is a gathering of 500 masters and talents of various sectors of design industry, academic and enterprises.


Mr. Chen Mingbo, Deputy Secretary General of Shanghai Municipal Government, pointed out in his addressing: Shanghai has a wealth of innovative resources, a solid fashion foundation, with cultural diversity and openness. In the past 10 years, the creative design industry has developed vigorously as one of key engines to drive innovation, to establish city branding, to empower industrial transformation and upgrading, and to build a better life. The city is becoming an important node linking of global design innovation network. Mr. Chen emphasized from the new historical point in another ten years, Shanghai will facilitate design to strengthen the core competence, and to bring the vitality into gene of a metropolis. He also revealed, in 2021, Shanghai will hold the “World City of Design Conference” to promote international collaboration and build a design ecosystem.


Mr. Qin Changwei, Secretary-general of National Commission for UNESCO pointed out that Shanghai, as one of the first cities in China to join the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, has made full use of this platform to strengthen international cooperation and exchanges while also providing the international community with Shanghai experience in city development innovatively, showing its unique style of the development of China’s creative city.


Mr. Jan Vapaavuori, mayor of Helsinki, Finland, also known as a City of Design, sent a warm congratulatory video to Shanghai, mentioning Shanghai and Helsinki have always maintained close cooperation in the field of creative design. Helsinki greatly admires Shanghai’s great achievements in promoting design, in industrial innovation and improving people’s quality of life.


Among the members of the UNESCO “Creative Cities Network”, more than 10 domestic creative cities as Beijing, Shenzhen, and Wuhan, and over 10 foreign creative cities such as Montreal, Nagoya and Graz also sent congratulatory videos, and look forward to strengthening multi-faceted cooperation with Shanghai to jointly promote the development of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.


At the opening ceremony, Mr. Lu Xiaochun, Chairman of Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Informatization, summarized the achievements of Shanghai as the design city in ten years mainly in: The rapid expansion of the design industry, leading the tangible economy to improve quality and efficiency, helping to renew and upgrade urban development, and continue to integrate into the global innovation network. In the past decade, Shanghai’s creative design industries have maintained rapid growth. From 2012 to 2019, the average annual compound growth of the added value of the creative design industries reached 13.98%. From the beginning, there were only 18 creative industry clusters, and then Shanghai has built 137 cultural and creative parks, with a total of over 7,000,000 square meters and more than 20,000 companies with a total revenue of 550 billion yuan. The creative design of Shanghai not only continues to maintain its national leading advantages but also integrates into all aspects of urban renewal, industrial transformation, improvement of people’s livelihood, and city sustainable development.


The 10th anniversary is a new starting point. The establishment of the World Design Academy Alliance, the launch of the Emerging Design Innovation Prize and the “Shanghai Innovation and Creative Design Institute” were announced at the opening ceremony.


During the speech session, five distinguished guests—Mr. Wu Guanghui, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering who is also the chief designer of C919; Ms. Cai Jinqing, President of Kering Group Greater China; Mr. Zhang Lei, founder of Hillhouse Capital Group; Mr. Wang Shu, the only winner of the Pritzker Prize in China; and Mr. Charles Hayes, the Executive Managing Director of Asia and a Partner at IDEO—delivered speeches from the prospects of design innovation,in innovation, industry, fashion, architecture and investment.



In the central hall of the Shanghai Exhibition Center, more than 100 creative design works and achievements of 66 companies had the show of the achievements in “design with better life” including special aircraft, concept cars, medical equipment, intelligent logistics, robots and many other fields.


Meanwhile, dozens of citywide celebration events of design were also held in Shanghai.