The winner of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO Prize for 2017 is Östersund and Region Jämtland Härjedalen. As member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network UCCN, Östersund has identified local ‘jämtlandic’ culture and creative gastronomy as key factors for sustainable development and economic growth.
The annual prize recognizes an individual or an organization that has made a significant contribution within UNESCO’s fields of competence in Sweden. The city of Östersund, and the region of Jämtland Härjedalen, are awarded for their work within UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, which connects cities where creativity is a key factor for sustainable development. Östersund and Region Jämtland Härjedalen joined the network in 2010 as a Creative City of gastronomy, one of the network’s seven creative areas.
Since then, the city of Östersund and Region Jämtland Härjedalen have cooperated to set shared goals within gastronomy, culture and tourism. Their work has inspired other UNESCO Creative Cities to include the participation of local initiatives in the network:
-“The prize is given for a persistent and extensive work within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. A particular highlight was the network’s annual meeting in 2016 hosted by Östersund, supplemented with gastronomy and research conferences. The annual meeting became an inspiration for the entire network due to its innovativeness and close ties to the local community”, says the jury.
The annual meeting, where more than 100 Creative Cities from 50 countries participated, was organized at the same time as the Gastronomy and Culture Week, a festival for ‘jämtlandic’ culture and gastronomy.
– “I am proud and happy that the efforts that were made by so many to make the annual meeting an interesting experience for all invited are acknowledged with this prize” says AnnSofie Andersson, chairperson of the municipal executive board of Östersund.
The prize ceremony will take place on March 16 at the annual meeting for representatives of UNESCO’s work in Sweden organized by of the Swedish national commission for UNESCO.