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UNESCO Creative City experts visit Prato

On 28 July the Monash Prato Centre and Pratofutura held an international workshop which brought together UNESCO experts and local representatives to discuss Prato as Creative City.

 

Pratofutura and Monash would like to thank all those who participated in the 'Prato as Creative City International Workshop' on Monday 28 July 2014. Over 60 people attended, with representation from a cross-section of the Prato community including cultural associations, local government, schools and university, industry, and professional associations.

 

Experts began by introducing UNESCO’s Creative City Network, providing examples of creative cities around the world and highlighting how participatory planning, community engagement, innovation and connectivity are some of the key elements of what makes a creative and cultural city.

 

Local representatives led the second session, which presented a series of current issues and opportunities for the city of Prato. These included an overview of Prato’s textile industry and recent examples of innovation in textiles; opportunities for urban regeneration; projects promoting integration; and a discussion of the role of the growing university sector in developing a creative economy.

 

Tom Flemming, a consultant and academic specializing in research and support for the cultural sector who has worked with city governments in Europe, Africa, Russia and East Asia, said that Prato has a strong tradition in industrial excellence, noting diversification, agility and competitiveness as components to such success. While Ana Carla Fonseca, public manager and economist from Brazil, said ‘a city is an eco-system’, and that creative cities ‘bring the neighbourhood on board [to] join the debate’.

 

Prato as Creative City was first launched in 2013, and is a collaborative project that aims to develop a momentum for real change in Prato. 

 

Our questions include:

 

  • How can Prato maximise the potential of its major cultural-historical resources?
  • Can Prato cater for a niche cultural tourism market?
  • Can new cultural/creative industries be linked to existing industries in Prato to grow both?
  • What opportunities for engagement does Prato’s intercultural reality provide?
  • In what ways could Prato re-imagine its urban governance model and how citizens and authorities communicate?

 

Check our website for announcements of future events.

 

Read related article in the Monash Memo.