The Creative City of San José organises the II Creative Industries Meeting

The municipality of San José, capital city of Costa Rica, organised the second edition of the Creative Industries Meeting, as part of the activities that the city authorities undertake as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. This event took place on Wednesday 25 May 2022, at the Museum of Jade and Pre-Columbian Culture, in downtown San José.

In the framework of this Second Meeting, progress towards the adoption of an updated cultural policy for the city of San José for the period 2022-2030 was presented. The city’s new cultural policy was created through a participatory process and seeks to be an instrument for the Municipality of San José and the citizenry to generate initiatives that are coherent with the needs of the creative and cultural sectors, especially in view of the serious effects that the COVID-19 pandemic had on the city’s cultural activity. During the meeting, participants had the opportunity to discuss on various topics related to creativity and design, such as sustainable fashion, augmented reality and traditional indigenous cuisine.

UNESCO was represented by Mr Alexander Leicht, who made his first public speech as the new Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in San José. Representatives of the Cultural Services Department of the Municipality of San José and the Humanoos Foundation also participated. Tatiana Chaves Araya, Head of the Department of Cultural Services of the Municipality of San José, as well as Fiorella Mora, President of the Humanoos Foundation, also participated.

The Humanoos Foundation has led both the processes of updating of the cultural policy as well as the organization of the Creative Industries Meeting. This foundation is a civil society organisation that, since 2013, promoted the inscription of the city in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, with the aim of positioning culture and creativity as strategic factors for the sustainable development of the capital. As a result, San José was registered as a member of the Creative Cities Network in 2019, in the category of design.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was created in 2004, with the aim of strengthening cooperation between cities, under the premise that culture and creativity play a key role in urban development, in line with the Goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and, in particular, Goal 11 on building sustainable cities and human settlements. Through annual conferences and various cooperation mechanisms, these cities share experiences and good practices to strengthen cultural and creative industries and harness their multiple contributions to sustainable development.

More than 300 cities around the world currently make up the Network, including 52 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. They are articulated in seven different creative categories: crafts and folk art, media arts, film, gastronomy, literature, music and design. San José was inscribed in the design category, considering that this sector drives innovation and mobilises other sectors and industries for the improvement of the living and working environments of those who live in the city and those who visit it. The annual conference of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network will take place in July in the city of Santos, Brazil.