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Creating the future
World Cities Culture Forum 2016 summit soon to begin in Moscow

What does the future hold for world cities? And what is the role of culture in making them more liveable and sustainable? On 5 October, delegates from twenty-five cities from around the world will meet at the World Cities Culture Forum summit in Moscow to consider these questions.

In the twenty-first century, cities are facing ever more urgent challenges, with rising populations, increased inequality, soaring property prices and environmental issues threatening their sustainability and liveability. The need to imagine and shape the future has become more acute than ever, as cities must create shared visions for new ways of life. And culture has a key role to play.

The summit programme is centred around three themes of importance to the World Cities Culture Forum: space for culture, environmental sustainability, and leadership. Sessions on ‘Making space for culture’ and ‘Bringing culture into the climate change conversation’ will focus on the topics of forthcoming policy handbooks, giving delegates the chance to contribute to the WCCF research programme.

Other sessions will focus on the idea that culture can – and must – be the ‘golden thread’ integrated across urban policy as a whole. They will aim to provide delegates with the knowledge they need in order to advocate for a culture-led urban policy agenda – and use it to shape the cities of the twenty-first century.

At the end of the summit, delegates will come together for a public session, which will map the changing cultural landscape of the twenty-first century and prompt insights into what the future may hold.

  • What impact will accelerating economic growth and globalisation have on cities?
  • Who will decide the future of culture? What are the roles of government, cultural organisations, civil society and corporations – and how will they they change in order to meet new challenges?
  • How has digital technology changed expectations around knowledge, engagement and responsiveness?
  • What is the future of informal, grassroots and ‘fringe’ cultural life? Is underground and folk culture being lost?
  • What ideas are the new world cities and megacities bringing to the cultural conversation?
  • With culture taking the lead, what could cities become in ten years? In fifty years?

This will be the first time that a session of the World Cities Culture Forum summit has been open to the public. Registration is free, although seats are limited.

Moscow, a city with both a rich cultural heritage and a tradition of looking towards the future, is a fitting location for the summit. The Moscow Department of Culture manages an extraordinary network of over five hundred institutions at over one thousand sites across the city. Having been shaped by a tradition of state investment in culture, Moscow is now reinventing itself for the post-Soviet era – modernising museums and galleries, creating new and improved public spaces, and developing new models of public-private partnership.

After the summit we will be publishing a policy briefing summing up the discussions shared by speakers and delegates in Moscow. In the mean time you can read the policy briefing from our 2015 London summit.