The gourmet capital of Korea, Jeonju
(www.jeonju.go.kr) was appointed as a new member of UNESCO Creative
Cities Network this May, joining the ranks of other cities around the
world that flourish in urban planning and development through creativity
and imaginative action.
Creative City for Gastronomy to lead the globalization of Korean cuisine
The city renowned for its signature dish bibimbap became the first
Korean municipality to be classified as the UNESCO City of Gastronomy,
and the fourth worldwide following Colombia’s Popayan (2005), China's
Chengdu (2010), and Sweden's Ostersund (2010).
Previously in 2010, Jeonju was certified as a member of Cittaslow
International, a global network of slow cities in recognition of its
well-preserved Hanok Village and authentic cultural heritage.
The city of culinary traditions aplenty, which has already established
its stature as one of Korea’s most beloved tourist attractions, now
pledges to consolidate its leadership in the globalization of Korean
cuisine through its recent designation. The municipal government aims to
build a solid network with cultural clusters around the world, and
cultivate new opportunities through the interchange of know-how and best
Jeonju received high marks for its long-lasting, distinctive traditions
of local foods handed down from generation to generation alongside its
rigorous support towards preservation of a vibrant gastronomy community
through active research initiatives in both public and private sectors.
The city also garnered a positive evaluation for hosting gastronomic
events, such as the Jeonju Bibimbap Festival and the International
Fermented Food Expo (http://iffe.or.kr).
On May 21, two weeks after its appointment, delegates of Jeonju attended
the Annual General Meeting of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in
Montreal, where they engaged in a series of dialogues on collaborative
projects with key players of the creativity front during the five-day
Launched by UNESCO in 2004 to promote cultural diversity and sustainable
urban development, the Creative Cities Network has envisioned enhancing
the creative, social, and economic potential of cultural industries.
As of today, 34 member cities from 19 nations are, categorized in seven
creative industry fields: Literature, Film, Music, Crafts and Folk Art,
Design, Media Arts, and Gastronomy. The core component of the network’s
rationale lies on strengthening international cooperation in a bid to
guarantee sustainable socio-economic and cultural development where
creativity serves as an essential element.
With Jeonju, Korea now boasts three Creative Cities, as Seoul and Icheon
were previously confirmed as UNESCO Cities respectively in the realms
of Design and Crafts and Folk Arts, in July 2010.
Seoul: Design as drivers of urban life
Seoul (www.seoul.go.kr) has been designated as a City of Design,
following a relentless pursuit of making culture -- in particular design
-- a vital part of the modern city with its historic richness. An
eclectic collection of cultural assets, the local government’s dedicated
vision to fostering the design industry and contributing to developing
economies in line with UNESCO’s global agenda for cultural diversity,
led to the title of UNESCO City of Design conferred upon the
Since its appointment, Seoul has been constantly fuelled by diverse
design disciplines that made the cultural landscape of the capital city
even more appealing. The city has showcased its potential through
hosting design-inspired events, and successfully using elements of
design as a tool to reinvent the city and revitalize the urban economy.
Icheon: Crafts shape well-rounded growth
Although Icheon (www.icheon.go.kr) is a small town with a population of
just over 200,000 inhabitants, it is considered one of the regional hubs
of exquisite craft arts. The city boasts an enriching history,
distinctive traditions, and a strong presence of local artists and
craftsmanship in ceramic, sculpture, and lacquer, which altogether
helped in positioning itself as an undisputable center of arts and
crafts in the region.
Icheon has wisely linked traditional craft aesthetics with contemporary
industry, nurturing an environment favorable to the preservation of an
outstanding heritage. The village has organized the famous Icheon
Ceramics Festival (www.ceramic.or.kr) annually over several decades. The
city of crafts also hosts a number of other events like the Gyeonggi
International CeraMIX Biennale and the Icheon International Sculpture
Symposium Exhibition, which has contributed to animating the city’s
sustainable development. The city’s efforts to promote crafts are
apparent in its continuous institutional support in further cultivating
relevant education and infrastructure.
Meanwhile, among the candidates vying to become a UNESCO City of Media
Arts -- following the only precedent, Lyon, France -- is Gwangju, home
to the Gwangju Biennale, an internationally renowned art festival. Over
the recent years, the city has progressively refocused its activity on
creative industries as an emerging hub of Asian culture, along with the
completion of the Asian Culture Complex, currently under construction.
Andong and Gangneung are also allegedly known to be interested in
joining movements of the authoritative network.
For more information on UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, visit the
official website at:
Sourced from Korea.net