Making Space for Culture

Making Space for Culture: A Handbook for City Leaders

10 Aug 2017

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This report deals with the challenge of ‘Making Space for Culture’: the question of how to maintain and develop a dynamic diverse mix of spaces and facilities for cultural production and consumption within the harsh realities of the real estate market.

This is a challenge for all cities.  But it is more acute for world cities because of the sheer volume of capital that pours into them and the unprecedented speed at which development takes place.

Rises in population, demand for housing and for new infrastructure puts pressures on the cultural assets of our cities.  This trend threatens the long-term prosperity of world cities, striking at the heart of what makes them unique – their rich cultural offer, their cosmopolitan mix of people, and their ability to innovate.

Although contexts vary greatly across the globe, many world cities are struggling to maintain their cultural amenities and are experiencing a decline in affordable workspace.  They face a genuine dilemma: how to continue to attract investment, while preserving their existing cultural infrastructure and inventing new types of cultural space for the future.

This document sets out the findings of our global survey– along with 12 in-depth case studies, illustrating some of the ways in which world cities are responding to the challenge.

The challenge of making space for culture is inseparable from the broader ‘affordability crisis’ in World Cities.  While there are many examples of individual and local responses to the challenge, very few World Cities are responding at a systemic level that is commensurate with the scale and intensity of the crisis.

This report identifies a number of clear opportunities for city and cultural leaders to work with other interests to ‘scale up’ the response to meet the challenges.

World Cities Culture Forum, Publ. Aug 2018