UNESCO has included Gwalior as the city of Music under the Creative Cities Network (UCCN). 55 cities from all over the globe joined the UCCN. Gwalior was acknowledged for its strong commitment to harnessing culture and creativity as part of UNESCO’s development strategies, and displaying innovative practices in human-centred urban planning.
The project was led by the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board in cooperation with the Municipal Corporation of Gwalior, Gwalior Smart City Development Corporation Limited, Raja Mansingh Tomar Music & Arts University, music artists, and other stakeholders. The Network now includes 350 cities in over one hundred countries, representing seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts, and Music.
Since 2019, continuous efforts have been made including multiple stakeholder consultations and a dedicated feasibility study of the city to map the potential for UCCN membership followed by the drafting of the application. Gwalior serves as an exemplary example of living cultural heritage and it houses one of the biggest annual music festivals of India; The Tansen Sangeet Samaroh to celebrate the rich culture of Madhya Pradesh.
Joint Director, Planning, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Prashant Singh Baghel said, "Through the designation to the UCCN, we envision the realisation of the city's goals towards achieving overall sustainable development with music as the key driver. This includes the creation of new economic and artistic opportunities for the local youth; making the city an education hub for music, cultural infrastructure development, linking of the music sector with tourism, urban renewal, and mobility and enhancing access to arts and culture."