Criteria for Cities of Literature
To be approved as a City of Literature, cities need to meet a number of criteria set by UNESCO.
Designated UNESCO Cities of Literature share similar characteristics:
- Quality, quantity, and diversity of publishing in the city
- Quality and quantity of educational programmes focusing on domestic or foreign literature at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels
- Literature, drama, and/or poetry playing an important role in the city
- Hosting literary events and festivals, which promote domestic and foreign literature
- Existence of libraries, bookstores, and public or private cultural centres, which preserve, promote, and disseminate domestic and foreign literature
- Involvement by the publishing sector in translating literary works from diverse national languages and foreign literature
- Active involvement of traditional and new media in promoting literature and strengthening the market for literary products
Cities submit bids to UNESCO to be designated a City of Literature. The designations are monitored and reviewed every four years by UNESCO.