Bergen was accepted as a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in 2015. Bergen is one of 26 cities in this network designated «Creative City of Gastronomy».
The main objective is that the cities co-operate and share best practices regarding how local food, creativity and gastronomy may be a driver for sustainable urban development. Other cities in the same network include Parma (Italy), Phuket (Thailand) and Chengdu (China).
The UNESCO collaboration network consists of in total 180 cities, covering not just gastronomy, but also music, film, literature, crafts & folk art, media arts and design.
Responsibility for the supervision of Bergen’s UNESCO membership is shared by the Municipality of Bergen, Hordaland County Council, the County Governor, as well as various other actors representing the region’s «farm-to-table» and fjord traditions. The membership includes the entire region around Bergen and aims to build on tradition and development within local food production, grass root movements and creative gastronomy. In contrast to the traditional prevailing «protected status», this UNESCO network is also future-oriented and encourages its cities to be creative on
a local level and to look for international opportunities for co-operation.