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Global cities sharing a belief in the importance of culture

Many city leaders now acknowledge that culture helps create thriving urban centres. And the political and economic influence of the world’s leading cities puts them in a unique position to set a global agenda for sustainable urban development.

The World Cities Culture Forum (WCCF), which BOP convenes, provides a way for policy makers in 32 key cities to share research and intelligence, and explore the vital role of culture in their future prosperity.

Rapid urbanisation means that, by 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities. The very speed of change is unprecedented and governments are facing increasingly complex challenges. Many of the great policy issues of our age, from tackling climate change to promoting social equality, are being led at city, rather than national, level.

As urban populations grow, so does the pressure on leaders to maintain their city’s distinctiveness, attract business and skilled jobs, and stay resilient and adaptable in the face of change. WCCF members share the belief that culture is the key to their future as sustainable urban centres. BOP conducts comparative research to measure the impact and importance of culture and creativity, and shares it with the Forum so members can make evidence-based policy decisions.

How the WCCF works

Forum members collaborate via a programme of events including themed symposia, regional summits and workshops. These events feed in to the annual World Cities Culture Summit. Hosted on a rotating basis by member cities, this unique gathering allows city leaders to share ideas and knowledge about the role of culture as an organising principle for the sustainable city of the future.

The Forum's programme includes:

Events
The annual world cities culture summit
Hosted on a rotating basis by member cities, an unprecedented gathering of city leaders sharing ideas and knowledge about culture’s role in public policy in a world city context.
Research and policy events
An ongoing series of satellite collaborative research and policy events - such as themed symposia, region-specific summits and research workshops.
Research & Dissemination
The World Cities Culture Report
The document at the core of the Forum research programme as a compendium of data and effective practice.
Policy briefings
Follow-ups to each Forum event to report on the latest thinking of cultural policymakers in the world’s leading cities.
Collaborative publications
An ongoing series of collaborative projects - such as the Transformational Cultural Projects Report, a collection of case studies about the transformational power of culture in world cities.
Knowledge exchange programme
A sharing of knowledge between member cities via the Forum Secretariat based in London, as well as publicly via the Forum’s online media platforms (public website, Twitter and Facebook feeds).