CASE STUDY: World Cities Culture Report 2018

“..For world cities to succeed it is not enough to simply have culture as the golden thread of urban policy. Culture also needs to be open – open to all people and new places, to different ideas and new forms…”

wccr

Launched today at the 2018 World Cities Culture Summit in San Francisco (14-16 November 2018), the World Cities Culture Report 2018, supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, is the most comprehensive report ever published about culture and the role it plays in shaping life in major cities worldwide. The report is based on extensive data and practice research to reveal how 35 major global cities are in the vanguard of policymaking.

Report Headlines:

“…In the World Cities Culture Report 2015, we spoke with opinion formers from each of our member cities – looking at the different challenges and opportunities facing their
cities and how culture could address them. The report highlighted culture as a key ingredient of world cities’ success, embedded across all aspects of urban planning
and policy. For the World Cities Culture Report 2018, we went directly to the cities’ policy makers and asked what their most innovative programmes and policies were, as
well as key trends and infrastructure projects taking place across their cities.

The result is the most important compendium of current city cultural policies. In the face of a changing world order, it reveals a shared purpose across our world cities. The
findings show a remarkable alignment across our diverse membership, providing a new, critical role for culture in addressing the inclusion of all citizens and a new definition of how, where and by whom culture is experienced”.

In summary:

  • We are facing a changing world order, with often divisive national politics creating a more hostile environment towards migrants, refugees and minorities.
  • World cities have power and agency to respond to these changes. They are working together through networks to share ideas and knowledge, and make progress that is not happening at the national level.
  • Though cultural policy over the last 20 years has often worked to alleviate social pressures, it has also sometimes unintentionally contributed to them, but this is changing.
  • In response to contemporary global challenges, world cities are rebalancing their cultural policy – supporting and creating programmes that are aimed at making their cultural offer more inclusive and citizen-centred.
  • This policy focus towards inclusiveness requires a shift in direction: an ‘opening out’ of culture in which city governments are recognising, redefining and supporting new forms of culture, in new spaces, with new technologies, by new makers, to be enjoyed by new audiences.
  • For world cities to succeed it is not enough to simply have culture as the golden thread of urban policy. Culture also needs to be open – open to all people and new places, to different ideas and new forms – so that all citizens can see a place for themselves in the city, and can coexist and collaborate with their neighbours, rather than resent or distrust them.

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