The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) announced yesterday that the city of Glasgow would be the newest addition to its Creative Cities Network. UNESCO recently created this global partnership to encourage universal social, economic and cultural development by promoting creativity at a local level. Glasgow joins the ranks of other artistically innovative cities like Seville and Bologna.
Culture, affirms UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, is an defining trait of all societies. It allows people to see the world both introspectively and retrospectively; they are better able to understand their values and their individual purpose in life. Additionally, it highlights the lifelines of societies and encourages people to be proud of their nations achievements as well as their own.
Glasgow was named to this exclusive list because of the role of music in defining and supporting its economy. It averages 130 concerts a week, ranging in style from underground grunge rock to traditional Celtic music. Music revenues account for $150 million of Glasgow's annual GDP. Through the UN's recognition, Glasgow and the other cultured cities will be able to share their individual culture with a much larger audience and encourage new outlets for self expression both at home and abroad.