Cebu proposes creative district 

Photo Courtesy of Cebu City Planning and Development Office
Photo Courtesy of Cebu City Planning and Development Office

The local government here is seeking investors to develop the Cebu City Creative District, a 150-hectare project within the North Reclamation, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

Cebu City Vice Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia, the acting city mayor, pitched the project to Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual last week for the local government unit (LGU) to attract foreign and local partners to construct the new business district.

“Most of it is owned by the city government, but of course, the surrounding area is privately owned. If they want to join, they can do so, as long as they follow our guidelines for the area,” Garcia said.

“In terms of the financial resource, it’s something we do not have yet. So we are planning to invite investors, to whatever scheme, be it PPP (public-private partnership), they can lease our property whatever its, and hopefully we ca sustain their investments as a result of doing some infrastructure in the Creative District,” Garcia added.

Cebu City Planning and Development Office Assistant Department head Ann Marie Cuizon said the Creative District would need roughly PHP10 billion for basic infrastructure, which excludes investments of potential locators.

Creative industries are activities that deal with creativity, culture, economics and technology, using creativity and intellectual property as primary inputs. 

In her presentation, Cuizon said the Cebu City Creative District will host activities such as arts, cultural, culinary, design and architecture, fashion, music and performing arts, film production, publishing, advertising, and digital arts.

To establish the Creative District, Cuizon said the LGU pushes for the development of a mechanism for the academe and the industry to address skills gap in the creative industries.

The LGU also eyes cooperation deals with creative industries-related associations, development of a competitive incentives package, creation of a venture capital fund for the industry, development of an industry-focused and market-specific promotions plan, and the establishment of a Cebu Creative Entertainment Council.

Cuizon said the city government aims to roll out the development in the Creative District in the next 10 years.

The plan is a collaboration of the Cebu City LGU and the University of San Carlos - School of Architecture, Fine Arts, and Design.

In 2019, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Cebu City as "Creativity City of Design" along with 65 others from around the world.

The Unesco says the “member cities that form part of the Network come from all continents and regions with different income levels and populations,” working to place creativity and the creative economy at the core of urban developments to make cities safe, resilient, inclusive and sustainable


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