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Every city on Earth is on an urgent mission to transform itself into a better, more sustainable place to live and work. Culture is a vital part of this new emerging blueprint, and it must be rethought as a central driving force for change.

For cities to successfully tackle the pressing issues they face this century – climate change, social cohesion, migration, rapid technological change, poverty – we believe they need to develop and mobilise this underestimated power of culture and creativity.

By putting culture at the heart of a city’s development, the conversation around sustainability can be reframed - creating a future where well-being, the environment, and economic growth go hand in hand. But to do so, the creative industries must be given the same seriousness and attention as other sectors.

Cultural Capability

Using our 25 years of experience in the creative economy, statistics, cultural mapping, and policy, we have identified three particularly important dimensions that make up what we call a city’s Cultural Capability. This capability is made up of a city’s cultural and creative Assets, Attractiveness, and Innovation. Once harnessed, this potential can yield impactful results in human development, climate and environment, quality of life, soft power, and co-operation - ensuring dynamic, vibrant, and inclusive growth.

Over the next three years, we are measuring these dimensions in 500 cities, setting a standard for measuring culture and creativity across the world. Over this period, we will capture:

  • How cities ensure culture is available to their citizens (Assets).

  • How culture contributes to a city's image and visitor economy (Attractiveness).

  • A city's potential for creative growth (Innovation).

These will be released each year as part of our BOP500 Index, helping cities to understand the relationship between their assets, the communities they serve, the income they generate, and their capacity for innovation. 

Ultimately, this capability represents far more than the sum of a city's cultural infrastructure and assets. It is also a practical roadmap for cities to unlock latent potential by helping them to register their current cultural assets, identify gaps and opportunities, position their city in relation to peers and competitors, and galvanise stakeholders.

Interested in building BOP500 data into a project? Get in touch below.

Learn more about BOP500 here.

Cultural Capability: Rethinking Culture for the 21st Century

Our team shares how the framework behind BOP500 can power sustainable development in cities around the world.

Dec 13, 2023

Feb 16, 2024

Rachel Kuhn and David Hingley discuss three key takeaways from recent high-profile closures.

Why are City-Centre Attractions Closing?

David Hingley BEM

Feb 15, 2024

Our team clears up a common misconception.

What is the Difference Between a Feasibility and Viability Study?

Rachel Kuhn

Jan 29, 2024

We at BOP are shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden death of Tim Joss in an accident last week.

Tribute to Aesop Founder and CEO, Tim Joss

Richard Naylor

Jan 23, 2024

Associate Director, Rachel Kuhn reports on Museum Connections Paris.

AI and Visitor Experience at Museum Connections

Rachel Kuhn

Jan 10, 2024

2023 was marked by our fastest-ever expansion. Our team reflects on this landmark year, highlighting key milestones and projects.

BOP’s 2023 in Review

Rebecca Davison-Mora

Dec 13, 2023

Our team shares how the framework behind BOP500 can power sustainable development in cities around the world.

Cultural Capability: Rethinking Culture for the 21st Century

Paul Owens

Dec 1, 2023

Senior Consultant Martha Pym travels to Casablanca to share how strengthening place and authenticity can ensure citizens have a place alongside tourism.

Africa Place Marketing Conference: Citizen Participation for Sustainable and Inclusive Territorial Marketing

Martha Pym

Nov 22, 2023

Co-founder Paul Owens joined by regional panel to discuss the Gulf’s rapidly growing sector and exciting possibilities for international collaboration.

BEYOND Conference, Ambition and Transformation: Emerging Creative R&D Practice in the Gulf

Callum Lee

Nov 14, 2023

BOP Consulting acted as the secretariat for the Creative Industries Council working group, offering pro-bono administration, communications and policy support.

Creative Industries Council Endorse Creative Climate Charter

Rebecca Davison-Mora

Oct 23, 2023

Co-founder Paul Owens and Consultant Genevieve Marciniak represented BOP Consulting at the World Conference on Cultural Cities in Chengdu, China.

World Conference on Cultural Cities, City Ideas

Genevieve Marciniak

Sep 12, 2023

Chief Economist, Jonathan Todd, travelled to V&A Dundee to present the findings of our five-year Impact Study with 'tialt' to museum staff and stakeholders.

V&A Dundee Impact Study Featured in the Scotsman, The Herald & Scottish Field

Teodora Lazar

Jul 20, 2023

Co-Founder Paul and Senior Associate David travelled to Qingdao for Beijing design week 2023 and the city of Qingdao’s transforming cities through design.

Beijing Design Week and the city of Qingdao’s Urban Regeneration Global Trends Forum

Rebecca Davison-Mora

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By BOP Consulting

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director

Paul Owens is a leading international advisor and practitioner in cultural policy and creative economy. He is Co-Founder of BOP, and alongside his fellow directors he has pioneered now well-established methods to measure the impact of cultural policy. 

Planning a new project?

If you are interested to learn more about our work or if you have a project you would like to discuss, get in touch.

Paul Owens - Founder and Director  | BOP
Paul Owens

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director

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