The World Design Organization (WDO) has named Lille, France as the 2020 World Design Capital. The city won the title for the effective use of design to drive economic, social, cultural, and environmental development.
"As a strategically located metropolis in the heart of Europe, Lille is an intellectual, cultural, socioeconomic and creative hub of significance to the sub-region and beyond," stated Prof. Mugendi M'Rithaa, WDO President and Member of the WDC 2020 Selection Committee. "Their bid references their creative traditions and rich heritage whilst showcasing the catalytic benefits of embracing human-centred design thinking at cityscale."
Located in the heart of northern Europe, less than one and a half hours from the major economic and financial centres of London, Paris and Brussels, Lille Metropole boasts a thriving cultural scene and over 1600 designers. The region believes that design in all its dimensions will improve many sectors, including improving the lives of residents, making local companies more attractive, and optimizing urban travel and public spaces. The region and its inhabitants including entrepreneurs, business leaders, local authorities, research and training centres, cultural sites and private citizens are all actively engaged in collaborative design-driven projects to ensure Lille Metropole becomes more attractive, competitive, liveable and sustainable.
Shortlisted candidate Sydney, Australia also mounted a compelling bid, with the hopes of using the WDC programme as an open platform to engage, collaborate and design a new model of social impact for an increasingly urbanized world, one that embraces the land, connects to the climate and engages not only its citizens but also people around the world.
World Design Capital is a biennial designation celebrating cities that use design to improve economic, social and cultural life. Previous designations include Torino (2008), Seoul (2010), Helsinki (2012), Cape Town (2014), and Taipei (2016). Mexico City is WDC 2018.