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World Cities Culture Report 2018
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Image credit: ‘Oluwarantimi’ by Polly Alakija with MOE+ Architects (c) Tayo Adeoye

World Cities Culture Report 2018

The World Cities Culture Report 2018 explores the evolving role of culture in global cities. The report provides a view of the state of culture in our cities.

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. 

Paul Owens - Founder and Director  | BOP

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World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

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Last week, our World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF) - a network of senior city officials championing culture in 38 cities around the world - published the World Cities Culture Report 2018.


Produced in partnership with the Mayor of London, and supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, this is the most comprehensive research ever undertaken about the state of culture in major cities worldwide. 


The report is based on extensive data and practice research to reveal how these 38 major global cities are in the vanguard of policymaking.


Building on our ongoing research into the role of culture in cities (on the civic level here, and national level here), the report explores how the context of a changing world order, increasingly divisive national politics and crises of national identity in countries around the globe is met with new approaches from local governments in world cities.


Recognising that cultural investment over the last 20 years has sometimes unintentionally contributed to social pressures in global cities, the report finds that urban cultural policy is shifting towards more egalitarian and citizen-centred models.


The report showcases a wide range of innovative cultural practice and demonstrates a growing inclusivity, with culture open to a greater range of people, practitioners, art forms and new spaces. Some notable mentions include:


  • In Hong Kong, Rome and Moscow, mobile arts venues and libraries are used to bring culture closer to citizens in every corner of their cities, particularly those areas with traditionally lower engagement with arts and culture

  • A number of cities are working with migrants and refugees to provide cultural opportunities to marginalised groups, from support to refugee artist residencies in Paris to Brussels, to offering film screenings to refugees in parks, asylum centres and people’s homes

  • London has established the world’s first Culture at Risk initiative – a hotline for venues at risk of closure due to rising rates, increasing development and shifting populations, and has been involved in saving 300 venues, from grassroots music venues to LGBT+ spaces

  • To respond to the needs of a growing ageing population Amsterdam’s Age Friendly Cultural City programme focuses specifically on cultural provision for the city’s older residents.


The full report can be downloaded below.



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Through the World Cities Culture Forum we see that our member cities are committed to promoting the common values of openness and inclusivity – and that culture is an essential part of how to make these values tangible for citizens.


- BOP Co-Founder, and Director of the WCCF, Paul Owens


This report demonstrates the power of culture to bring communities together around the world. From film screenings for marginalised groups to mobile cultural venues putting culture on everyone’s doorstep, we have seen culture spark innovation, power economies and allow us to celebrate who we are.


In London we have seen how investing in culture unites communities and gives young people positive opportunities to achieve their full potential. By putting cultural policies and ideas at the heart of how we lead our cities, we can ensure that they remain welcoming and inclusive places to work, to play and live.”


– Chair of the WCCF, and London’s Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE

World Cities Culture Report

This 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.

Project Report

World Cities Culture Report 2018

The report outlines the findings from a major study into the international activity of the Arts Council England-supported cultural ecosystem.

International Activity Report

Arts Council England

BOP Consulting was appointed to outline a pilot for a Creative Worker Income Guarantee for Brighton & Hove, working on behalf of the University of Sussex and the ABCD Cultural Recovery Programme. 

Cultural, Creative and Collective Recovery: Exploring a Creative Worker Income Guarantee

University of Sussex

The report on how global cities tackle climate change with cultural policies and programmes. Insights from the World Cities Culture Forum's latest report.

The Green World Cities of Tomorrow: Culture and Sustainability – Special Report Prepared for WCCF Global Conversation

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Unique case guide is co-produced with the participating cities of WCCF, highlighting city examples and a global cities approach to evidenced-based policymaking.

Culture Counts: New Approaches to Evidence Based Cultural Policymaking in World Cities

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

Working alongside CRAIC, a new research and collaboration centre at Loughborough University, we conducted an extensive survey of virtual production assets throughout the United Kingdom to map the country’s growing ecosystem.

Mapping the UK's Virtual Production Ecosystem

Loughborough University

The World Cities Culture Report (WCCR) 2022 builds on the ground-breaking 2018 and 2015 Reports. It gives insights on the major challenges world cities facing.

World Cities Culture Report 2022

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

BOP's contribution to the 2nd edition of the report UNESCO's Global Creativity Report, examining policies safeguarding the creative and cultural sectors.

UNESCO's Re|Shaping Policies for Creativity Report – Addressing culture as a global public good

UNESCO

Our strategy will guide the creation of a new digital service aiming at supporting and developing the creative scene in Downtown Kingston.

Leveraging the creative potential of Downtown Kingston through technology

Inter-American Development Bank - IDB

Our research into the UK's high streets found that 69% of people think culture on their high street makes their area a better place to live.

Culture: The cornerstone of the UK’s high streets

Arts Council England

BOP’s updated Handbook for the Inter-American Development Bank sets out strategies for sustainability and urban resilience

Creative and Cultural Industries and Urban Revitalisation in the post-COVID era

Inter-American Development Bank - IDB

We investigated the potential impact of AI for European cultural and creative businesses. Explore the transformative opportunities AI brings to industries.

Opportunities and Challenges of AI for the Cultural and Creative Industries

European Commission

Published today: ‘Design for Good: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards’, a new publication from the RSA, co-authored by BOP

A History of Bright Ideas: 90 Years of the RSA Student Design Awards

The Royal Society for Arts (RSA)

Research in the Gulf Co-operation Council States in collaboration with British Council and BOP Consulting helps identify opportunities for festival development.

An evidence-base for the growing Gulf festivals sector

British Council

Our research into the museum workforce is launched, emphasizing the importance of conscientiousness and advocating for a diverse and well-supported sector.

Conscientiousness, optimism, and curiosity

Museums Galleries Scotland

BOP’s report on creating a healthy night-time economy for the Nanjing City Government demonstrates the importance of cross-cutting policies.

Creating Healthy Night-time Economies in World Cities

Nanjing Creative Center

Findings from our work at Great Ormond Street Hospital reveals how visual arts enhance the patient, visitor, and staff experience.

Creativity in health settings

GOSH Arts

How is China influencing the future of Cultural Tourism? China's cultural infrastructure projects are redefining the global tourism landscape.

Cultural Infrastructure for the 21st Century

Chengdu Media Group

Our new report for UNESCO sets out the huge global impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector. We estimate $750 billion lost for the CCI and 10 million job cuts.

Economic impact of COVID-19 on the Cultural and Creative Industries

UNESCO

Our analysis of the strengths and challenges of music in the Midlands report published for Arts Council England.

Hitting the right notes in the Midlands

Arts Council England

New handbook 'Making Space for Culture' explores how world cities address the challenge of preserving cultural infrastructure while promoting growth.

How can cities make space for culture?

World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF)

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Paul Owens - Founder and Director  | BOP

Paul Owens

Co-Founder and Director

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