The United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO) founded the Creative Cities Network (UCCN) in 2004. Currently comprised of 180 cities in 72 countries, the UCCN is an association of urban areas around the world with objectives that emphasize strengthening international cooperation between cities that have recognized and integrated culture and creativity as strategic factors for sustainable urban development. The network also supports designated cities in becoming hubs of creativity and cultural production, with increased opportunities for creators and improved public access to cultural products. A city may apply to UNESCO for designation in one of seven creative fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, music, and media arts.
UNESCO Creative Cities
The field of Gastronomy was introduced to the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2005. The inaugural city was Popayan, Colombia.
Currently there are 26 designated Cities of Gastronomy
Alba, Italy | Belem, Brazil | Bergen, Norway | Buenaventura, Colombia | Burgos, Spain | Chengdu, China | Cochabamba, Bolivia | Denia, Spain | Ensenada, Mexico | Florianopolis, Brazil | Gazientep, Turkey | Hatay, Turkey | Jeonju, South Korea | Macao, China | Östersund, Sweden | Panama City, Panama | Paraty, Brazil | Parma, Italy | Phuket, Thailand | Popayan, Colombia | Rasht, Iran | Shunde, China | San Antonio, USA | Tsuruoka, Japan | Tucson, USA | Zahle, Lebanon
Tucson City of Gastronomy
On 15 December 2015, Tucson, Arizona, became the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy designated in the United States, joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN).
The Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCoG) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a board of directors formed in December 2016 to manage the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation of Tucson and its southern Arizona foodshed. Its mission is “Growing a sustainable desert community by supporting our creative food cultures.” Board members represent key stakeholders in the community and the local food system. Major funding support for operations and programming is provided by the City of Tucson, Pima County, Visit Tucson, University of Arizona Center for Regional Food Studies, and Town of Marana.
TCoG Board of Directors
Tourism and Marketing Manager, Town of Marana
Local Food Pathways Manager, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
FELIPE GARCIA - Vice President
Executive Vice President, Visit Tucson
Proprietor, Hotel Congress and Maynards Market & Kitchen
NICK HENRY - Secretary
Director of Community Lending & Impact, Community Investment Corporation
Pima Community College, Culinary Arts Department Chair, Slow Food Southern Arizona
JONATHAN MABRY - Executive Director
City of Tucson liaison to UNESCO, Director of Community Engagement, College of Social & Behavioral Sciences, University of Arizona
Chief of Staff to the City Manager, City of Tucson
Co-Owner, Skylark Consulting Inc.
Academic Director, Hospitality Leadership, Pima Community College
Organic Materials Representative, Tanks Green Stuff
Southern Arizona Attractions Alliance
Southern Arizona Director, Local First Arizona
Tierra Y Libertad Organization, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
Owner, Cheri’s Desert Harvest
CATHERINE STRICKLAND - Vice President
Marketing Program Manager of Office of Attractions and Tourism, Pima County
Farm Manager, San Xavier Co-op Farm
JANOS WILDER - President
Owner Downtown Kitchen/Carriage House