Bucheon City was designated as a UNESCO Creative City of Literature for the first time in East Asia.
The UNESCO headquarters announced the member cities of the Creative Cities Network as of 2017 via its website on October 31 (Central European Time). Bucheon City is the 21st city to be listed as a member of the UNESCO Creative City of Literature Network, standing shoulder to shoulder with the world’s prestigious cities of literature such as Edinburgh, Dublin, and Prague.
The UNESCO Creative Cities Network is an international network project that encourages the development of economy, society, and culture through cooperation among cities. Since 2004, UNESCO has been designating creative cities in 7 creative fields: Literature, Design, Film, Media Arts, Gastronomy, Crafts & Folk Art, and Music by reviewing cities around the world.
Bucheon City is recognized as a City of Literature through its historical heritage and activities in literature, rich cultural contents, and library infrastructure.
Bucheon City submitted a membership application to the UNESCO Headquarters in June 2017 after obtaining domestic approval from the Korean National Commission for UNESCO in 2016. In the application, commemorative projects of writers who were active in Bucheon – such as Byeon Yeong-ro, Mok Il-sin, Yang Gui-ja, Pearl Buk, and Jeong Ji-yong – and activities of literary groups and literary activities of citizens were indicated. It also emphasized that Bucheon’s cultural properties, such as contents industries of cartoons and webtoons, International Fantastic Film Festival, Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra, and Art Valley Project, have a great ripple effect on the overall cultural genres of Korea.
In particular, it stressed that the history of Bucheon’s development from an industrial center to a cultural city will serve as a reference model for other developing countries.