The first portuguese city of Design

On November 8th, 2021, the portuguese city Covilhã joined the group of cities worldwide with the official designation of Creative Cities, recognizing its commitment to place Culture and Creativity at the heart of sustainable urban development, sharing knowledge and good practices at an international level.

Design, allied to Culture, Creativity, and Sustainable Development, is now becoming one of the main drivers of public policies in the Municipality of Covilhã, which assumes this long-term project as the most comprehensive and priority strategy for the 2021-2024 mandate.

After a successful application submission and formal support addressed by the Portuguese National Commission for UNESCO, Covilhã officially joins the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) as a Creative City of Design, becoming the first Portuguese city in this creative field. Besides Covilhã, only two more cities worldwide achieved their designation in this field in 2021: Doha (Qatar) and Whanganui (New Zealand).

In addition, Santa Maria da Feira was the other Portuguese city to join this International Network created in 2014, which now counts 295 cities and covers 90 countries investing specifically in Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music.

Covilhã’s Councilor for Culture, Regina Gouveia, and the Candidacy’s Executive Director, Francisco Paiva, have received the news with great pride and enthusiasm, extending a special recognition to all who participated in the Candidacy, from the Project Team to the Curatorial Council, the Strategic Council and Partnership, as well as the entities associated and involved in the project throughout its three years of preparation.

The Mayor of Covilhã, Vítor Pereira, highlighted the opportunity mirrored by this long-awaited designation, considering that it elevates and promotes the city and its region at an international level. “This is one of many proofs of Covilhã’s potential as a developing urban center. Being the culmination of a collective effort, the designation reinforces the path to new growth and affirmation opportunities, revitalizes the city’s historic past, and builds on it an innovative vision for the future, based on community debate around sustainable development horizons concerning Art, Culture, Knowledge, and Innovation”, as affirmed by the Mayor of Covilhã.